In a very interesting story out of Montana, the state's highest court recently heard arguments in an uninsured employer case pitting a religious group with certain ideals concerning labor against a 2009 state law mandating that all employers must provide work comp coverage.
In recent uninsured employer news, the owners of a northern California roofing company were arrested by law enforcement officials last week on a multitude of work comp fraud charges.
Public and private companies and government agencies need to be aware of false worker's compensation claims that are sometimes made. Although many claims are valid, it is unfortunate that some individuals will put their jobs and reputations on the line in an attempt to collect fraudulent workers' compensation benefits.
Even though June is still roughly six weeks away, the National Safety Council is already encouraging employers across the U.S. to start making the necessary arrangements for National Safety Month, a four-week campaign designed to prevent serious work injuries and illnesses.
If you've ever taken a flight to a local or international destination and looked out the window prior to your departure or just after your arrival, you more than likely saw airline workers driving baggage handling vehicles back and forth across the tarmac. However, if you thought that the only real risk of work injuries to these drivers was perhaps striking a plane rolling to or from its gate, you'd be wrong.
Employers are constantly on the lookout for new devices or more efficient methods that will improve productivity and increase profits. While this is certainly understandable, employers should also be on the lookout for new devices, processes or procedures that will cut back on work injuries, as this will not only improve productivity and increase profits, but also improve the overall health and safety of employees.
As has been made clear in previous posts, employers of all sizes in all industries and in both public and private sectors must remain vigilant when it comes to potentially fraudulent and frivolous work comp claims. In fact, one of the more common instances of this type of employee fraud is misrepresentations by the employee regarding the severity or symptoms of their injury.
From office employees and medical professionals to landscapers and construction workers, it's not unusual to read stories about employee fraud/work comp fraud occurring here in California. What is far more unusual, however, is to read stories about one particular company or employer being plagued by repeat occurrences of work comp fraud over a relatively short amount of time.
As an employer, you do everything you can to provide your employees with a safe and productive work environment. Doing so will not only protect your bottom line, but also serve to insulate you from potential OSHA fines, workers' compensation claims and increased workers' compensation insurance premiums. However, this is only one part of the equation, as you must also take steps to protect yourself from potential employee fraud.
Over the past year, our workers' compensation defense blog has been covering a rather tragic story involving an employee who was killed in a workplace accident at a Brooklyn-based tortilla company.