California employers are mandated by law to provide workers' compensation insurance for all employees. This is considered a relatively basic right by many workers. What should also be considered a relatively basic right by employers is that right is that employees will be honest about their conditions and only use or collect such benefits when truly needed. Sadly, this does not always happen.
An example of this can be seen in the case of a sheriff's deputy in Orange County. For a period of at least six months, he was found to have engaged in activities that he was reportedly not able or allowed to do during an injury he experienced while on the job. Physicians' orders barred the man from lifting anything that weighed more than 10 pounds after he hurt his back and left side in a trip-and-fall accident.
However, despite accepting workers' compensation benefits and performing amended duties at work, the man engaged in vigorous physical exercise and even lifted items weighing twenty times the weight he was allowed to per his doctor's orders. After being charged with multiple felonies, the man plead guilty to six different misdemeanor charges for the fraud. He will serve time in jail and complete a probation sentence. He must also repay nearly $35,000 to the county.
Employers who suspect that an employee is not being honest about a job-related injury or illness may wish to talk with an attorney. This may offer insight into how to address such concerns and prevent fraud.
Source: OC Register, "Orange County sheriff's deputy pleads guilty to insurance fraud after faking injury," Kelly Puente, Feb. 21, 2017