INDIANAPOLIS – Yesterday, State Senator David Niezgodski (D-South Bend) filed a bill to curb the growing problem of worker misclassification.

Worker misclassification occurs when employers label workers as independent contractors, rather than employees. This practice allows employers to avoid paying unemployment and other taxes on workers, as well as covering these individuals on workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance.

Sen. Niezgodski’s bill would require Indiana’s Department of Revenue (DOR), Department of Labor (DOL), and Worker’s Compensation Board of Indiana (WCB) to report on worker misclassification each year. The three departments would be required to report on the number of employers who improperly classified at least one worker, the total number of improperly classified workers and an estimate of the costs to the state as a result of misclassified employees.

“This an opportunity for the legislature to step in and meet the needs of working families in Indiana,” Sen. Niezgodski said. “When hard-working employees are misclassified as contractors, they miss out on many essential benefits that have deeply negative effects on their families.

”My bill simply offers a reporting mechanism, providing pure, unaltered information to the General Assembly. All state legislators would benefit from having the facts laid out in front of them on their desks so that we can see how substantial this issue is in Indiana. Having this useful information harms no one but can benefit many.

“I believe all of my colleagues in the General Assembly should get behind this bill. It is an easy and effective way for the state to start to get a hold of this problem.”