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Los Angeles Employer Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Carlos Rivero accused of fraudulent workers' compensation claims

The state of California is home to many professional athletes, referees and their various support staff. When fraudulent workers' compensation claims are filed against a professional sports league, a person may face serious financial and professional consequences. Major League Soccer referee Carlos Rivero was recently suspended from the Professional Referees Organization after officials charged the young man with filing potentially fraudulent workers' compensation claims.

Reports indicate that Carlos Rivero was arrested and released, though he faces two felony charges related to the potentially fraudulent compensation claims. Authorities believe he may have collected close to $14,000 during the time in question while still employed. Although the professional referee claimed to have been injured, he continued to work with Major League Soccer as assigned.

Lack of insurance in California may be just as expensive

A recent report revealed that California may maintain the highest cost for workers' compensation in the nation. This may lead some employers to the decision that they should operate under a lack of insurance. Without insurance, a business may be exposed to providing hefty medical expenses should a worker be hurt. A lack of insurance may cost an employer thousands of dollars in the event an accident occurs and may require professional help to minimize legal consequences.

Although the California workers' compensation system was recently reformed, some people believe that the high cost of premiums may need further reformation. A study found that for every $100 of payroll, an employer is providing $3.48 of that to workers' comp insurance. This is much higher than the cost that employers in other states may be charged.

Officer accused of making fraudulent workers' compensation claims

The vast majority of employers simply want what is in the best interest of their employees. Many employers in California have learned that working to ensure safe working conditions, for example, is not only good for employees but also for the company in general by limiting employee turnover. Despite their best efforts, workplace accidents may still occur. In these instances, employees are likely protected financially by workers' compensation insurance coverage provide through their employer; however, some employees may embellish the nature of their injuries in order to increase the amount of compensation they receive. One out-of-state man was recently charged with making fraudulent workers' compensation claims.

The 55-year-old man was a police officer. Although he was fired in Dec. 2013 for reportedly leaking an internal memorandum regarding an alleged crime and being dishonest about the leak, he was rehired afterward.  He says he received treatment for an injury suffered in the line of duty from Oct. 2013 to March 2014.

Help for uninsured employers in California

Because many companies realize the importance of a safe and healthy workforce, most take steps to ensure that conditions are optimal at their business locations. Despite the safety precautions an employer may take, there is a potential for a workplace accident in most any job, even in jobs that seem to be relatively safe. As a result, California requires employers to provide workers' compensation coverage to its employees. Uninsured employers may face some relatively serious consequences if they fail to provide such insurance.

Fortunately, there is help for companies and other employers who have been accused of failing to provide the required insurance coverage. If you find yourself in this situation, the attorneys at Sacks & Zolonz, LLP can work with you to discuss your options. Additionally, we can help you choose the best course of action and assist you throughout the entire process.

Injured worker claim and firefighting in California

Both regular employed and volunteer firefighters in California are often provided with technical rescue training in the event of a specific situation while in the field in an attempt to lower the risk of an injured worker claim. Although these situations are not common, they can occur and may place a firefighter or rescue worker in a high risk or hazardous situation. Correct training can make the difference in saving lives and preventing an injured worker claim.

Sometimes a rescue worker may be required to enter a confined space in order to help someone. These spaces may be difficult to enter and exit and are not meant to be occupied for an extended amount of time. Potential entrapment or asphyxiation may cause serious work injury to a firefighter or result in a tragic fatality.

California school district may look to an employer defense

When a large group of employees is accidentally exposed to a dangerous chemical, an employer defense may be established to help prevent detrimental financial damage. A total of three California schools were recently closed after asbestos fibers and dust were said to have been found inside some of the buildings. The decision came after a heated discussion and vote among the school board that addressed the potential closing of 11 schools that had been under construction during the summer months. The school district may consider an employer defense in the event that the faculty and other workers fall ill.

Professionals discovered after school was back in session that asbestos dust may be present as a result of the renovations. A district representative contacted the Occupational Safety and Health Administration with concerns regarding the exposure, which prompted an investigation. The toxic compound was suspected to be underneath tiles on the ceilings of some of the classrooms, which had been drilled through and disturbed.

Increased workers' compensation fraud in Los Angeles

Working as a police officer or firefighter in Los Angeles can place a person at a higher risk for work related injury. The generous benefits provided when a person is placed on leave may contribute to an overwhelming number of potential workers' compensation fraud that may exist among public servants. An employer that suspects workers' compensation fraud may question the validity of an injury and begin an investigation.

A study found that public employees that work in safety have experienced an increase in salary, leave time for work injury and the length of time required for leave. In the past year a total of 19 percent of public servant employees in Los Angeles were placed on temporary leave for a work related injury. Reports suggest that many of the hurt employees would file claims for a new injury just as their leave was expiring.

Officer accused of fraudulent workers' compensation claims

Submitting fraudulent workers' compensation claims can harm a private or public business and may place them in a difficult financial situation. A man employed as a juvenile detention officer in California was recently charged for submitting potentially fraudulent workers' compensation claims. Records show that the District Attorney's office will be pursuing action against the accused man.

The officer originally claimed that he injured his elbow while working in the detention center and required temporary leave for disability.  While collecting workers' compensation benefits, the accused man purportedly denied working or earning wages at his personal landscaping business. However, an investigation found that the officer may have been working and collecting income from the landscaping venture while receiving workers' comp benefits.

Officer accused of fraudulent workers' compensation claims

Fraudulent workers' compensation claims can be financially damaging to county offices and other businesses through increased premiums and the cost of medical care. When an employee attempts to gain benefits that are not entitled, an employer may feel the need to look into the situation and proceed with action. A California County Probation Chief reported that one of his officers was recently arrested for potentially fraudulent workers' compensation claims.

The woman's employer first suspected the workers' compensation claim to be false after she submitted a disability claim. Once reviewed, officials from the Department of Insurance found reason to believe that the officer had embellished information in the claim. They suspect this was done to collect additional benefits from supplemental disability compensation.

OSHA investigated fatally injured worker claim

A California employer that is responsible for the training or care of wild animals may run the risk of experiencing an injured worker claim. In the event a worker suffers a tragic accident, an employer may seek help to prevent unnecessary expenditures in the event of an injured worker claim. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently began an investigation to determine what may have happened when an elephant caretaker was crushed to death.

The tragic accident took pace when one of the elephants purportedly stepped on their caretaker and inflicted fatal crush injuries. The retired veterinarian was working within the animal's enclosure in a zoo setting and was discovered deceased within the animal's habitat barn. Records indicate that an increasing number of professionals believe that specific barriers or safety measures should be in place before workers are allowed to approach enclosed animals.

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