Some workers in California and elsewhere file workers' compensation claims for non-existing or exaggerated injuries. Working another job or starting a small business while also receiving benefits checks may help resolve anybody's financial problems. However, the business at which the alleged injuries were suffered will have to pay increased insurance premiums. For this reason, company owners may benefit from exploring the ways in which employee fraud can be prevented.
A woman in another state recently pleaded guilty to defrauding the workers' compensation insurance system. According to court documents, it was determined that the woman worked at two jobs while also receiving temporary total disability benefits. She received a 180-day jail sentence that was suspended for five years of community control. Restitution of $4,639.75 must be paid as a condition of the suspended sentence.
Misrepresentation of injuries is a common way of committing workers' compensation fraud. Some workers exaggerate the severity of injuries, and others claim benefits for injuries that are not work-related. Some workers then claim temporary or permanent disability, only to allow them time to obtain other sources of income in addition to benefits payments. It is not uncommon for workers to be observed taking part in sports activities or other actions while they pretend to be unable to work.
In cases of such employee fraud in California, criminal charges may be filed. Convictions can have devastating consequences, often including orders of restitution. An experienced employer defense attorney can educate employers on how fraudulent claims can impact the company's insurance premiums. When fraud is suspected, a lawyer can assist in investigating the validity of the injury claims and taking legal action against employee fraud.
Source: workerscompensation.com, "Ohio Woman Guilty of Fraud, Ordered to Repay More Than $4K", Feb. 7, 2016