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Los Angeles Employer Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Workers' compensation defense may be needed for Benzene exposure

Workers' compensation defense may be necessary for some California companies that foresee a future risk of serious health related problems among multiple employees. The medical costs of multiple workers that suffer health damage from chemical exposure may be extensive for an employer, making a strong workers' compensation defense valuable. The National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety recently completed a study that found high levels of Benzene exposure in specific oil and gas industry positions.

The Institute believes that employees that regularly work on job sites where fracking or flowback takes place may be regularly exposed to this cancer-causing gas. Researchers found that when employees opened tank hatches located on well sites, close to 88 percent of the air samples contained high levels of Benzene beyond recommended levels. The federal recommendation for exposure limits Benzene to .1 part per million in the entirety of a worker's shift.

OSHA to change injured worker claim regulations

An injured worker claim can include specific details regarding an incident and may reveal safety hazards in a California workplace. This may place an employer in a position where they must protect their business from potential repercussions. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently made changes to regulations that require employers to report certain information, including when an injured worker claim involved the death or hospitalization of an employee.

In the past, the agency required employers to file a report for 75 percent of the accidents or injuries that resulted in hospital time or fatality. The new changes require information be submitted to OSHA within a 24 hour period when an employee suffers amputation or blindness from a work related injury or is otherwise hospitalized. The death of a worker would need to be reported no later than eight hours after the business is aware of the tragedy.

Man accused of $50 million worth of workers' compensation fraud

A business owner may find themselves in a difficult situation if they are accused of workers' compensation fraud by the government or an insurance company. A California chiropractor was recently prosecuted for his potential involvement in one of the state's largest ever workers' compensation fraud cases to date. The man is accused of being the ringleader of a group responsible for funneling $50 million dollars worth of insurance benefits from insurance providers and the state.

The group of people accused of fraud purportedly ran medical facilities in multiple counties across California. The clinics may have filed thousands of workers' comp claims for patients that did not exist and for injuries that had been inflated. The amount billed to insurance companies over time for the benefits reached close to $50 million.

California contractor caught working with lack of insurance

Statistics show that many contractors with a lack of insurance in the state of California may be providing services to customers. Allowing employees to perform work duties without workers' comp coverage can place a business owner at risk of being discovered. In a recent surprise investigation, the California Contractors State License Board uncovered local contractors working with a lack of insurance and without licensure.

A contract employer in California is responsible for providing workers' comp insurance for workers and maintaining appropriate licenses. Undercover personnel presented themselves to tree trimming contractors as homeowners in an attempt to gain information and catch those practicing illegally. A total of six different companies were contacted for bids and asked to submit estimates above the state required minimum for licensure.

California contractors with a lack of insurance

A report revealed that in the recent past, one sixth of all construction employees in California were misclassified or not reported to potentially avoid insurance and fair pay. This can place employers and their workers in a difficult situation if they experience an injury while at a job site, and there is a lack of insurance. As the economy recovers, California continues to grow its construction industry with a need for contractors.

Reports show that thousands of informal construction workers have been mislabeled so that certain employers may be able to avoid paying tax or insurance. Many of these employees are also paid about 40 percent less than a standard employee makes. A worker that feels their wage and hour rights have been violated may unknowingly expose a business that is failing to provide workers’ compensation insurance when they file a claim.

When a claim becomes workers' compensation fraud

Experts agree that the rate of workers' compensation fraud continues to increase in California. The rise is seen in both contended claims and the amount of injuries that are filed. An employer that suspects an accident or injury has been claimed in an attempt to commit workers' compensation fraud may research the best possible method for investigating the situation.

A recent conference discussed the rising problem and how the actions of employers can be important when a worker files an injury claim. An employer can help prevent workers’ compensation fraud by asking questions and recording information immediately following an accident or injury. Unfortunately, not all business owners may be able to discuss a work injury before a claim is filed to help guide a victim and influence honesty.

Businesses allegedly suffered lack of insurance in California

An employer that has purchased workers' comp insurance from a false provider may be operating with a lack of insurance. In the event that an employee is injured while working, the lack of insurance may place a business in a very difficult financial situation. A California man was recently taken into police custody for allegedly selling fraudulent insurance to businesses.

The man was accused of providing both liability and workers' comp insurance to businesses, without having valid policies actually issued. The illegal practice of providing false insurance to an employer can place a business and its employees in a very difficult position in the event of an accident. He was charged for forgery including insurance and certificates, fraudulent conduct intended as theft and illegally transferring money.

California woman sentenced for false injured worker claim

Workers’ compensation fraud can be damaging to an employer financially and professionally. A California woman who worked for the county was recently sentenced for collecting benefits from a false injured worker claim she filed. A business owner who has suffered from a false injured worker claim may choose to seek repayment from the dishonest party and halt all medical benefits.

The situation began when the employee claimed to have severely injured her back while at work. While she remained on complete disability leave from her job, she purportedly requested home health care for assistance due to her extreme condition. As the woman continued to collect workers’ compensation benefits for her claimed damages, a team of investigators began to review her case.

Workers' compensation fraud at California bank

When an employer is taken advantage of through workers' compensation fraud, both the company and its insurer can suffer financial damages. Some professionals may choose to begin the process to reveal the theft and attempt to regain the monetary loss. A woman formerly employed at a local California bank has been accused of workers' compensation fraud after being involved in the robbery that purportedly caused the false mental injury.

The incident occurred when the accused woman helped organize a heist that included armed robbery of her place of employment. During the robbery of the bank that she helped to manage, the employee was staged as having been kidnapped by robbers. The worker claimed to have suffered from her experience and filed a workers’ comp claim for post traumatic stress disorder.

Arrest made for fraudulent workers' compensation claims

Fraudulent workers' compensation claims can damage a company financially and could affect insurance premiums if not discovered. A California employer that has discovered a false injury may start an investigation in an attempt to uncover the truth. A beauty contestant was recently arrested for making fraudulent workers' compensation claims when she was apparently seen competing in pageants following an injury.

The young woman claimed to have hurt her foot while working at a supermarket. The injury was serious enough that the woman stated she would be unable to return to work. She told her employer that the pain limited her ability to wear shoes or walk when weight was applied to the injured foot.

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