Cole Johnson, president of Paul Johnson Drywall, was tapped to serve on the business advisory council for a new pilot program called the Employee Misclassification Compliance Assistance Program (EMCAP), which is being initiated by the Department of Labor’s Phoenix District Office of the Wage and Hour Division (DOL). Johnson was asked to serve as a representative of the construction industry. Other industries being targeted include hospitality, janitorial, food service and security.
EMCAP was developed by the DOL, in cooperation with the business advisory council, which is comprised of business leaders from various industries. The program is designed to address the growing issue of worker misclassification, which the DOL identified as a trend arising from the business practice of utilizing independent contractors and other contingent workers opposed to hiring employees, thus improperly classifying workers. To address issues arising from this business practice, the DOL launched a five-year Misclassification Initiative in 2011.
In order to provide a mechanism for companies that may have erred in their classification of workers that allows them to address the issue without creating the potential for further exposure with DOL, the group established the EMCAP pilot program in Arizona. EMCAP intends to increase compliance, while providing employers with an opportunity to conduct a self-audit. Employer requests to participate in this program will be accepted from October 1 until November 28, 2014.
In May 2014, Paul Johnson Drywall (PJD) president Cole Johnson began initial collaborations with the DOL by implementing its classification initiative. As a result of this effort, PJD reactivated 1,325 workers as W-2 employees and hiring 627 new employees, taking the firm to nearly 2,000 employees.