LANSING — House and Senate Democrats unveiled a plan today to crack down on companies committing payroll fraud, increasing penalties for bad actors while strengthening oversight to protect businesses playing by the rules. Unscrupulous companies stole an estimated $429 million in wages and overtime pay from hardworking Michiganders between 2013 and 2015, impacting more than 2.8 million workers. In addition to the impact on individual workers, payroll fraud costs Michigan taxpayers $107 million a year in tax revenue. In response, state Rep. Brian Elder (D-Bay City), whose House Bill 4869 would increase criminal penalties for payroll fraud, issued the following statement:

“Payroll fraud doesn’t just deprive hardworking people of their earnings or the state of revenue it’s due — it hurts the businesses that are playing by the rules, too, which are more often than not the small, mom-and-pop establishments propping up local communities. Increasing the penalties and fines for fraudulent employers strips bad actors of their unfair advantage, and ensures that everyone has a level playing field. It means more for the state, more money for local businesses, and more money in the pocketbooks of everyday Michiganders.”