A bill to help close loopholes on the illegal practice of the misclassification of workers may come up for a vote in the state Senate at the beginning of next year. Supporters say the bill could generate $300 million in revenue for the state, while helping honest contractors and employees.
State Rep. John Galloway updated WBCB on the status of H.B. 716 Thursday. The legislation passed the state House unanimously 198-0. Now, all it needs is to come up for a vote in the Senate.
“I talked to Joe Scarnati, the Senate Pro Tempore, about a week and a half ago,” said Galloway. “He promises that bill would run early January.”
Employers acting in bad faith misclassify their workers as subcontractors to pay less for labor and skip out on benefits. It allows these contractors to lower costs, which then enables them to outbid other contractors following the law.
Worker misclassification is already illegal, but Galloway says enforcement is the tricky part. H.B. 716 would create a task force to investigate the practice, and spread responsibility to other parts of government like the office of the Attorney General.
“Other states have addressed it. We copied the New York model, which went into effect last year,” Galloway said. “It did realize almost $400 million a year in revenue. That’s revenue we could use to build our infrastructure, our bridges and roads, and fund our schools.”
Galloway expects the bill to pass, possibly with an amendment.