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Labor Officials Crack Down On Misclassified Workers

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(Matt Dwyer/WTIC Photo)

(Matt Dwyer/WTIC Photo)

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WETHERSFIELD, Conn. (AP) – State labor officials say they have recently halted work by 19 companies at six construction sites in Westport. The state says the firms misclassified workers as independent contractors to avoid workers compensation and other payments.

Gary Pechie, director of the Department of Labor’s division of wage and workplace standards, said Wednesday the companies face a daily fine of $300 for each day they fails to carry workers’ compensation coverage as required by law.

In the past six months, 103 stop work orders were issued with $81,000 in fines collected.

The agency investigates complaints from workers and unions and checks building permits.

Stop work orders are imposed on companies that misclassify workers as independent contractors to avoid paying workers’ compensation, unemployment taxes and payroll reporting.

     (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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