Michigan bills target payroll fraud, bolster AG’s crackdown

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Democrats are eager to bolster the state attorney general’s planned crackdown on payroll fraud with a series of bills aimed at closing gaps they say let business owners escape unpunished.

The measures would toughen criminal penalties, protect whistleblowers target the misclassification of employees as independent contractors and put restrictions on non-compete agreements. Another bill would let the state, local governments and workers sue bad actors who may be shielded from individual liability.

The measures were introduced more than four months after Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel said her office would target businesses that cheat their employees of wages.

Nessel this past week issued the first charges originating from the unit she created in April.