CHESTER― Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer today announced the establishment of Pennsylvania’s first-ever joint enforcement pilot program to combat the misclassification of construction workers in Delaware County.
Act 72, the Construction Workplace Misclassification Act, protects construction workers from being misclassified as independent contractors, rather than as employees, and assures a level playing field so employers violating labor laws do not have an unfair competitive advantage over those employers who treat their workers fairly.
The misclassification of workers costs the Commonwealth millions of dollars in lost tax revenue, and unemployment and workers compensation payments. Misclassification further denies workers protections under labor and employment laws and disadvantages law-abiding companies.
“Contractors in Delaware County that have been exploiting vulnerable construction workers to make a profit be advised – this practice will no longer be tolerated,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “I am pleased to announce today a partnership between my Office and the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office to prosecute Act 72 violations.”
For a construction worker to be lawfully classified as an independent contractor, Act 72 requires that several, specific criteria be met. Failure to meet any one of the rigorous requirements means a construction worker is an employee.
“As the son of a Union family, it is my priority to stand up for working people,” said District Attorney Stollsteimer. “I am proud to partner with Attorney General Shapiro and his Office to combat worker misclassification here in Delaware County.”
Working together, the offices hope to ensure fairness in the construction industry, punish those that choose to break the law, and deter future wrongdoing. Attorney General Shapiro hopes that the program will be able to serve as a model for future joint enforcement efforts with district attorneys across the Commonwealth.
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