Idaho, federal agencies team up on worker rights

Officials from the Idaho Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Labor agreed to work together to crack down on employers who deprive workers of benefits by misclassifying them as independent contractors.

The departments signed a three-year memorandum of understanding to share information and coordinate law-enforcement efforts against employers who violate employee rights.

“Misclassified workers are often denied access to critical benefits and protections – such as family and medical leave, overtime and minimum wage – to which they are entitled,” said David Weil, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division administrator.

Kenneth Edmunds, Idaho Labor Department director, said his office is available to explain employer obligations and rules to anyone seeking help to comply with law.

“Businesses use independent contractors because it often saves them money,” Edmunds said. “But if these same businesses don’t follow the rules, it will cost them a whole lot more than they bargained for.”