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Employer Misclassification of Workers

Misclassification of Workers

Misclassification occurs if an employer treats people as independent contractors when they are employees. Some employers use this tactic to avoid compliance with:

  • Unemployment insurance (UI)
  • Workers' Compensation
  • Social Security
  • Tax withholding
  • Temporary disability
  • Minimum wage and overtime laws that protect workers

When you pay workers off the books, it is fraud. It deprives workers of the protections they deserve.

These practices also put law-abiding business at a competitive disadvantage, because they incur expenses for UI and Workers' Compensation for their employees.

Joint Enforcement Task Force

New York has a Joint Enforcement Task Force with staff from:

  • The Department of Labor
  • The Attorney General's Office
  • The Department of Taxation and Finance
  • The Workers' Compensation Board
  • The Workers' Compensation Fraud Inspector General
  • The New York City Comptroller's office

The goals of the task force are to:

  • Address misclassification of workers
  • Seek to end these unfair practices
  • Ensure workers and employers of fair and equal treatment under the law

Report Fraud

Let us know if you think an employer is committing fraud by:

  • Misclassifying its workers
  • Breaking New York State labor laws

We take all allegations of fraud and violations seriously. You can remain anonymous. Please include as many details as possible. We keep all information secure.

Submit complaints to the Task Force in the department's Employer Fraud Unit, 24-hours a day at 1-866-435-1499.

You may also contact the Task Force, weekdays at 518-485-2144 between 8 am and 4 pm or send us an e-mail. Or, you can complete the Tip Sheet.

Fax it to: 518-485-6172

Mail it to:

New York State Department of Labor
Liability and Determination, Fraud Unit
W.A. Harriman State Office Campus
Building 12 - Room 356
Albany, New York 12240

Other Efforts

The New York State Department of Labor and other partner agencies share data to uncover fraud. This helps assure compliance with employment, tax and insurance laws.

The department's Unemployment Insurance Division and the Internal Revenue Service also share data -- including audits and investigations. New York is a signatory to the Federal-State Questionable Employment Tax Practices (QETP) program. For details, please view the QETP Progress Report.

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