Evers Signs EO Creating Task Force on Payroll Fraud & Worker Misclassification

On April 15, Gov. Tony Evers signed an executive order creating a Joint Enforcement Task Force on Worker Misclassification. The task force is assigned to facilitate coordination among Wisconsin agencies in the investigation and enforcement of worker misclassification.

The executive order arises from what the Evers administration views as an issue with Wisconsin employers fraudulently misclassifying their employees as independent contractors. Classification as an independent contractor prevents the receipt of certain benefits and pay associated with classification as an “employee” under Wisconsin and federal law.

The executive order specifically directs the task force to:

  • Study a 2009 report from a similar task force convened under former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle.
  • Develop recommendations for coordinated misclassification enforcement.
  • Work with business, labor, and community groups to prevent misclassification and enhance reporting mechanisms.
  • Increase public awareness of the issue.
  • Review and recommend statutory and regulatory changes.
  • Deliver an annual report to the governor by March of each year.

The task force will be staffed by the Department of Workforce Development (DWD). Members include:

  • DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman
  • Attorney General Josh Kaul
  • Department of Revenue Secretary Peter Barca
  • Office of Commissioner of Insurance Mark Afable
  • DWD’s Worker’s Compensation Division administrator
  • DWD’s Unemployment Insurance Division administrator
  • DWD’s Equal Rights Division administrator
  • At least one individual representing workers
  • At least one individual from the business community