Thank you for your “ Contract to Cheat” series on how dishonest employers are cheating their workers, our governments, Social Security and Medicare by misclassifying “employees” as “independent contractors.” It doesn’t take much calculating to realize all governmental losses are in the tens of billions of dollars.
In North Carolina, 37 percent of construction workers have been cheated this way, and lost tax revenues vary with the depth of employers’ dishonesty. Losses to workers nationwide must be in the hundreds of billions of dollars; these losses approximate the illicit gains by dishonest employers.
As if the fraud were not bad enough, slack regulators seem to think they have no enforcement responsibility. Of 1,553 inquiries into contracts that a federal board is investigating, not one focuses on worker misclassification fraud.
A Wake County regulator who did not understand the significance of the misclassifications couldn’t understand why federal regulators hadn’t directed them to flag this issue. “That’s a very easy fix for HUD,” she said. If it’s so easy to fix, why hasn’t it been fixed? Makes one think the regulators don’t want it fixed.
The N&O barely addressed how widespread this immoral exploitation is in other businesses. One can only imagine.