Eight counties | 36 cities | one region

a voluntary council of local governments
serving the missouri meramec area.

MRPC board learns about labor issues

For immediate release

For more information, contact
Bonnie Prigge or Caitlin Jones

ST. JAMES—According to a University of Missouri-Kansas City study, misclassification of Missouri’s labor force is a major issue for the state causing serious financial implications. Shane Anslem, Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) at-large representative for labor and representative of the Mid-America Carpenters Union, discussed the issues of misclassifying employees at MRPC’s April 11, 2024, board meeting. 

Employee misclassification is defined as the case where employers treat workers as independent contractors that should otherwise be wage or salaried employees. Worker classification affects federal and state income tax, social security, Medicare taxes, among other things, as well as, affecting an employee’s eligibility for social security and Medicare benefits, employer provided benefits and tax responsibilities. 

According to Anselm, abuse of the independent contractor designation has an impact on worker. Many times, these individuals are paid late or are paid of a fraction of the hours worked. They also do not receive the benefits of social security and Medicare paid on their behalf. Misclassification of employees causes rising costs in workers compensation and increases the drain on other income supporting programs, including programs used by local communities in the region and supported through tax dollars. He added that federal income tax losses could be up to $104 million, and state income tax losses could be as much as $45 million.

In order to make the right determination between contractor and employee Anselm offered the following suggestions:

  • If a worker receives intensive instructions on how work is to be done or is provided training on required procedures and methods, that worker may be an employee. 
  • If a worker has significant investment in the work, is not reimbursed for some or all business expenses and may realize a profit or incur a loss, that worker may be an independent contractor. 

To report employee misclassification or for those with questions about classification, visit labor.mo.gov/offthebooks or call the Missouri Worker Misclassification Hotline at 573-751-1099.  

In other business, the MRPC board:

  • Approved Dent County Presiding Commissioner Gary Larson to serve as the MRPC representative on the Meramec Regional Community Foundation board;
  • Heard updates on timelines for upcoming projects recently awarded to MRPC including the Hermann Comprehensive Plan, Military Installation Resiliency Review grant through the Department of Defense, two active transportation plans through University Extension and the Safe Streets for All planning grant through the Federal Highway Administration, and
  • Heard proposed changes to the MRPC bylaws that would change the title of the minorities at-large position to underrepresented at-large position. This proposed change will be voted on at the June meeting.

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. Mary Heywood, representing the unemployed, serves as chair of the board. A professional staff of 30 offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion/.