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Los Angeles Employer Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Worker faces employee fraud charges

Worker's compensation insurance plays an important role in today's workplace. It protects California workers from the suffering financially after unfortunate accidents at the workplace. However, there are some workers who end up abusing the system by exaggerating their injuries. This can result in employee fraud charges, as well as loss of benefits.

One worker seems to have done this and is now facing fraud charges. The 32-year-old worker had been collecting workers' compensation insurance benefits since suffering an injury that supposedly prevented him from working. However, the man was observed working as a youth hockey coach. The man was reportedly being paid to coach the youth hockey team.

Fatal accident could result in injured worker claim

Machines are created to help people in their various tasks and endeavors. Industrial workplaces are particularly dependent upon the use of machinery in order to accomplish various tasks. Unfortunately, this means that industrial workers are generally at risk of injury while at the workplace in California or in any other state. This may result in an injured worker claim being filed, which can have significant consequences for employers.

This is what one employer may be facing after an employee was killed in a recent industrial accident. The company, Ebara International Corporation, specializes in precision welding and machining. The incident occurred just after 6 a.m. in early December.

Fraudulent workers' compensation claims filed by California woman

When an employee is suspected of falsifying information, a business may need to protect itself from potential fraudulent workers' compensation claims. Business owners may look to professionals for help in an attempt to keep insurance premiums from rising. A middle-aged woman that was featured on the reality show "Bridezillas" recently appeared in a California courtroom accused of filing fraudulent workers' compensation claims after suspicion led to an investigation.

Reports indicate that the woman is charged with 14 felonies in connection with the fraud of which she is accused. Authorities claim that the woman collected over $40,000 in compensation benefits after filing false documents. The investigation that uncovered the suspected fraudulent activity began shortly after the woman claimed to have hurt her back, shoulder and neck while working.

Injured worker claim for deceased employee spurs investigation

When a fatally injured worker claim is made, a California employer may face a series of investigations, potential fines and an increase in insurance premiums. A business may wish to review the situation surrounding the injured worker claim and begin looking at its legal options. A young woman recently lost her life after suffering a head injury from being trapped inside a dumbwaiter at her place of employment.

A dumbwaiter is a small elevator that is generally used to transport food or other small kitchen and restaurant items up and down between staff. The size and structure of a dumbwaiter is not designed to hold a person and is not intended for human occupation. Reports indicate that the deceased victim became trapped inside of the food elevator and suffered fatal crush injuries to her skull.  

Employer defense may have lowered OSHA fines

In the event that a California oil drilling company is accused of serious safety violations, an employer defense may help to minimize consequences. A drilling company was recently accused of 13 safety and health violations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Representatives of the company met with federal officials and were able to secure a reduced fine for the hazards identified at one of their drilling sites. The reduction in fines may be the result of an employer defense strategy.

The oil drilling site underwent an inspection and was given a $46,200 citation for potential hazards that were discovered by the agency. After the meeting, the fine was reduced to $32,340. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that an inspection was done after a claim was made against the drilling company for allowing a dangerous work environment.

Nurse jailed for fraudulent workers' compensation claims

When a California staff member attempts to defraud employers through the exaggeration of an injury, he or she can cause serious financial difficulties for the company by causing rising insurance premiums. A woman who worked as a registered nurse was recently sentenced after an investigation uncovered that she made fraudulent workers' compensation claims for a back injury. Reports indicate that she collected nearly $300,000 in benefits as a result of her fraudulent activity.

The nurse first informed her employer that she suffered a back injury, and then she moved forward with a claim for state disability. She also proceeded with filing for workers' compensation. The claims resulted in the woman collecting benefits for her back injury for over seven years.

California construction company may need employer defense

When a business is accused of violating safety or health regulations, management may choose to fight the accusations. In this type of situation, an employer defense may help to protect a company's assets. A California construction company that was recently cited for violations after two employees lost their lives while on a job site may be seeking to defend itself. 

The tragic accident took place when two construction workers plummeted to the ground from a platform held 80 feet in the air by a crane. The construction company was working on a bridge when a cable broke on a pile driver crane the workers were using. An additional crane was then used to lift two men 80 feet into the air to inspect the problem. Unfortunately, the rigging attaching the platform to the second crane failed, resulting in the platform and the men on it falling to the ground.

Man charged with workers' compensation fraud for false timesheets

Workers' compensation fraud is a crime in California and can have serious consequences for an employer who is the target of the fraud. A business owner may suffer unnecessary financial losses if a fraudulent claim goes unnoticed. One vigilant business avoided losses when it became suspicious of one man's claims. He has since been charged with workers' compensation fraud.

The accused worker had been placed on workers' compensation after being involved in a work-related accident that resulted in injury. After being injured, the man agreed to take part in a program that would put him to work while he recovered. The transitional employment was intended to allow him to continue to earn an income, but on a lighter-duty assignment.

California Ebola rules could help avoid injured worker claim

Medical facilities and personnel are no strangers to dealing with health hazards as they care for patients, and numerous policies and procedures are in place to protect them. However, Ebola has presented new challenges. Recently, the California division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration instituted new rules regarding safety procedures, stating that every medical facility in the state needs to institute in an attempt to avoid an Ebola-related injured worker claim.

Under the new regulations, if a patient is suspected of having Ebola, medical staff are required to wear hazardous material suits and respirators when coming into contact with these patients. In addition, isolation rooms have to be available to quarantine these patients. Of course, none of these precautions means anything without comprehensive training for anyone who may come into contact with the virus.

Woman guilty of fraudulent workers' compensation claims

Fraudulent workers' compensation claims are a significant headache for California employers, particularly when a worker lied in an attempt to gain benefits. A middle aged woman was recently convicted of filing fraudulent workers' compensation claims after a jury trial. A colleague testified that the woman had been dishonest and had actually injured her arm at home when she was tripped by her pet dog.

The false report was originally made following a morning shift while the woman completed her work duties at the bakery where she was employed. She claimed she injured her shoulder and arm while making pizza. Following the incident, the woman sought medical care and was treated for the injury by a provided physician.  

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