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Scott Walker, Governor
Reginald J. Newson, Secretary

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 24, 2015
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

USDOL Awards State $1 Million to Enhance UI Program Integrity

Two grant awards to fund fraud prevention efforts and enforce willful misclassification laws

MADISON – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson announced today that Wisconsin has been awarded two federal grants totaling $1 million by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to enhance fraud prevention strategies and increase the detection of companies that purposefully misclassify workers to avoid paying UI taxes, which creates an uneven playing field for the vast majority of UI-covered Wisconsin businesses that follow the law and support the state's UI Trust Fund.

"As most Wisconsin employers in the state's UI system comply with the law and pay the required contributions to support the UI Trust Fund, we have a responsibility to identify and take corrective action against instances where an employer intentionally misclassifies workers as independent contractors and avoids paying UI taxes as a result," Secretary Newson said. "These federal funds will help us develop additional tools to ensure that businesses operate on a level playing field. Additionally, these funds will help us implement data-driven strategies to strengthen our already robust system to detect attempts by individuals to file claims for unemployment benefits fraudulently."

Highlights of the two grant awards include:

The DWD awards are among $39 million in grant funding awarded by the DOL to 43 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

To report suspected UI fraud or to report misclassified workers

Information on how to properly classify a worker in Wisconsin

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