Bill Summaries: S576 (2015-2016 Session)

  • Summary date: Mar 30 2015 - View summary

    Enacts new Article 4 in GS Chapter 95, Fair Competition and Employee Classification Act, clarifying the distinction between employees and independent contractors. Requires specified notices concerning employee classification to be placed in conspicuous places on each job site.  Requires employers engaging the services of independent contractors to post notices of the right to be properly classified as an employee and the right to challenge the employer’s employment status classification in court. Prohibits retaliation against individuals who allege that their employment status was wrongly classified by their employers, as described. Prevents any provisions of the Article from being waived or contravened by private agreement.  Creates a presumption of employee status that must be rebutted by a party asserting that a hired individual is an independent contractor by a preponderance of the evidence. Specifies what cannot be used in the determination of status as an independent contractor. Details additional provisions related to the employee/independent contractor determination. Creates a civil cause of action for violation of employment status classification requirements. Requires the Commissioner of Labor (Commissioner) to enforce and administer all the provisions of this Article, including the authority to hold hearings and institute criminal and civil proceedings. Sets out civil penalty amounts and considerations in determining penalty amounts. Allows the Commissioner to enter into specified agreements for collection of claims and the maintenance of actions in court. Establishes provisions for the ordering and enforcement of a stop work order upon the receipt of information concerning the violation of the provisions of this Article. Requires, after the second or subsequent violations of the Article within five years of an earlier violation, the Department of Labor to add the employer to the list to be posted on the Department of Labor's website as well as notify the employer that they cannot be awarded a state or local government contract until four years have elapsed. Requires specified agencies to cooperate in regards to the sharing of information concerning suspected misclassification.

    Amends GS 95-241(a)(1), making a conforming change, adding this Article to the list that prohibits retaliation by employers for related actions.

    Applies to employment existing on or after the date the act becomes law.