Gov. Tony Evers on Friday announced appointments to a task force that will examine worker misclassification and payroll fraud in Wisconsin.
The appointments come after Evers in April signed an executive order forming the group to re-examine how the state enforces misclassification — a practice believed to be rampant in the construction industry. The task force is charged with developing recommendations on the topic and reporting its activities and findings to the governor on or before March of each year.
“Individual agencies do a great job at combating this serious issue that adversely affects some of our most vulnerable workers, but through this task force, agency efforts will be better coordinated,” Evers said in a statement. “By evaluating each agency’s approach and investigation methods and sharing best practices, our efforts to support Wisconsin workers who are left without important safeguards like unemployment insurance and labor protections will be more strategic and coordinated.”
The task force will be staffed by the Department of Workforce Development and DWD Secretary-designee Caleb Frostman will serve as chair.
DWD’s Unemployment Insurance Division enforces worker misclassification and in 2018 conducted 2,459 audits of companies, identifying 8,877 misclassified workers. The agency last year collected more than $1.5 million in unemployment insurance taxes, interest and penalties.
“I am excited to chair this important task force and proud of the work that investigators have done and will continue to do to help eradicate worker misclassification,” said DWD Secretary-designee Frostman. “The goal of the task force is to give our front-line staff even more tools and strategies that they can employ as they continue their work to support the Wisconsin worker.”
The members of the task force are:
- DWD Secretary or designee: Sec. Caleb Frostman (Task Force chair)
- Attorney General or designee: Michael Morris
- DOR Secretary or designee: Maria Guerra Lapacek
- OCI Secretary or designee: Andrew Stoughton
- DWD Worker’s Compensation Division: Steve Peters
- DWD Unemployment Insurance Division: Mark Reihl
- DWD Equal Rights Division: Jesus Villa
- Workers Representative: Andy Buck
- Business Community Representative: Pete Braun
- Senate Majority Caucus: Sen. Dale Kooyenga
- Senate Minority Caucus: Sen. Dave Hansen
- Assembly Majority Caucus: Vacant
- Assembly Minority Caucus: Rep. Chris Sinicki
- Public Member: Cynthia Buchko
- Public Member: Steuart Wilson
- Public Member: Jerry Shea
- Public Member: Gary Rockweiler
- Public Member: Tim DeMinter