Attorney General Ellison announces members of Worker Misclassification Task Force

Selects advocates, researchers, policymakers to serve along with legislators and representatives of state agencies; first meeting of Task Force on September 13, Rep. Greenman to co-chair

Task Force to explore impacts on workers, business, and public; plans to propose recommendations in time for 2024 legislative session

September 7, 2023 (SAINT PAUL) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison today announced that he has selected the 15 voting members of his new Advisory Task Force on Worker Misclassification, which he announced on July 6. They include advocates, researchers, Minnesotans with an interest in the topic, a member of each body of the Minnesota Legislature, and representatives from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, Department of Revenue, and Department of Employment and Economic Development.   

The first meeting of the Task Force will take place on Wednesday, September 13 from 1:00–3:00 p.m. All meetings of the Task Force are open to the media and the public. There will also be an option to attend virtually: those details will be released early next week. 

Attorney General Ellison also announced that Representative Emma Greenman will serve as a co-chair of the Task Force. Task Force members will choose the other co-chair at their first meeting next week. 

Worker misclassification is when an employer improperly classifies an employee as an independent contractor. While some workplace roles may be appropriately assigned to independent contractors, misclassifying workers who should be considered employees can expose them to exploitation and discrimination without the basic federal and state labor-law protections to employees, such as minimum wage, overtime pay, and disability accommodations, among others. Businesses that actively practice misclassification in order to save on wages may create a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace and an uneven playing field for employers who are in compliance with the law.  

Members of the Attorney General’s Advisory Task Force on Working Misclassification will study the issue and its impacts on workers, the business community, and the public at large; explore best practices in policy and enforcement from examples based in Minnesota and in other states and jurisdictions; and propose a set of recommendations for both enforcement and regulatory reform. The task force will publish a final report on their findings and recommendations in the spring of 2024 but plans to make initial policy recommendations in December 2023 in time for the 2024 legislative session.   

“Misclassifying workers hurts not only those who are misclassified and their families, it hurts all Minnesotans, including businesses who do the right thing by their employees by playing by the rules, and every Minnesota taxpayer who has to make up the slack for law breaking employers,” Attorney General Ellison said. “I’ve created this task force to gather the best thinking about the problem and make practical, workable recommendations to the Legislature, State agencies, other levels of government, industry, nonprofits, and advocates about how we can put an end to the problem. I’m looking forward to the good work I know the Task Force members will do. I am grateful to them for accepting my offer to serve on the Task Force and thank everyone who applied.” 

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “Misclassification denies employees access to critical benefits and protections they are entitled to — overtime, the minimum wage, family and medical leave and, in some cases, safe workplaces. It generates substantial losses to the U.S. Treasury and the Social Security and Medicare funds, as well as to state unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation funds. It cheats every taxpayer. It undermines the entire economy.”  

Members of the Task Force   

Attorney General Ellison has selected the following people to serve as Task Force members: