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Los Angeles Employer Workers' Compensation Law Blog

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.

Employer defense may help during an investigation

An employer defense may have the potential to ease consequences in the event an employer is accused of dishonest practices. A recent report revealed the high number of businesses in California and across the nation that have intentionally labeled employees as independent contractors to intentionally avoid higher costs. Lawmakers in Washington have announced their plan to expose companies that mislabel the classification of their employees in an attempt to financially benefit. A business owner may prepare an employer defense if they suspect they may be investigated.

This practice allows a company to benefit from workers without the financial burden that direct employment often requires. An employee may require insurance, overtime and other costs or compensation for their work. The practice of misusing an independent contractor status has purportedly cost the government billions of dollars in tax money through stimulus agreements and contracts federally assigned to these employers that may have been dishonest about their staff.

Brad Culpepper accused of fraudulent workers' compensation claims

Suspecting a former employee of fraudulent workers' compensation claims can be difficult for an organization as they decide what their first steps should be. An insurance provider contracted by the NFL recently made the claim that Brad Culpepper is guilty of fraudulent workers' compensation claims, including lying. The agency made the decision to pursue legal action against the claimant after he was involved in potentially suspicious physical activities.

The professional and popular millionaire filed the questioned workers' comp claim in California for an injury suffered while a member of the National Football League. During the time Brad Culpepper pursued the claim, the state did not regulate a statute of limitations allowing any player at any time to file their claim. The former athlete believes that his injuries were legitimate and benefits should be provided for past expenses incurred.

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