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Feds give grants to combat misclassification of workers

The U.S. Labor Department has awarded 19 states a total of $10.2 million in grants aimed at helping them combat employers' misclassifications of workers.

New York will receive $500,000, the maximum amount granted, as part of $8.2 million given to the states.

Additionally, four of those states will share in the remaining $2 million, awarded for the highest performance in detecting misclassifications or for the most improved work. They are Maryland, New Jersey, Texas and Utah.

All the funds will help identify instances of employers improperly classifying workers as independent contractors, instead of employees, which means savings on such things as payroll taxes.

The funds are also earmarked to detect off-the-book payments to employees. The aim is to enhance employer audit and education efforts. This year marked the first time the department has handed out grants to address the problem.

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