A search warrant to obtain paperwork from a restaurant in California was executed in June 2013. A thorough investigation followed and revealed that the owner had falsified the records of the restaurant. The man was charged with 16 misdemeanor and felony counts, including alleged workers' compensation fraud, payroll tax fraud, violations regarding minimum wage as well as overtime premium and the dissuading of a witness.
The 68-year-old founder of a bird sanctuary in California was placed under arrest over the weekend of Nov. 2. He was booked into jail for workers' compensation fraud charges but was released some time later. The defendant had allegedly been conducting business at the sanctuary for the past seven months without the required insurance for worker's compensation.
For many years thousands of athletes from around the country have been allowed to file workers' compensation claims in California and collect for what is called cumulative trauma. That is a category of injury that occurs over time and may include arthritis or the accumulated brain injuries that built up over a career of successive head concussions. Due to loopholes in the relatively lenient California workers' compensation law, there was no effective employer defense to the procedural correctness of these filings.
Although the total number of workers' compensation claims has dropped nationwide, the numbers of questionable workers' compensation claims have been rising. California is a leader in the department of questionable claims, according to a report published by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), a nonprofit company supported by more than 1,000 insurance companies. These figures explain and support why employers must present a workers' compensation defense in many cases.
A well known former football player has publicly stated that he feels many players are simply seeking money from the NFL by filing lawsuits alleging injury. The player is publicly against workers' compensation fraud. However, what he has not made public on his television appearances is that he has also filed for claims. The former player filed his claim in California has have many other former players.
Most employers respect the legal rights of their workers, since without their employees most businesses cannot survive. This is true for businesses in all types of industries, including professional sports teams. However, sometimes workers' compensation laws in certain jurisdictions may be overly liberal, which could result in a sports team being exposed to large amounts of liability from injured athletes. The National Football League has recognized this and has been lobbying for a bill which would limit claims from out-of-state players in an effort to reduce the costs of workers' compensation defense.
California work environments can be exceedingly dangerous and an accident can happen when one least expects it. However, whenever a worker is hurt in California, he or she can file a claim for workers' compensation benefits to pay for medical care, lost wages and other kinds of compensation. In such cases, employers will also be liable to pay a portion of those workers' compensation benefits. In some cases, a workers' compensation defense may be necessary to protect employers from being liable for the accident.
There are a large number of employees who must drive regularly as part of their job. As a result of these millions of workers traveling on California roads each day, there are also a substantial number of accidents that result in these employees suffering injuries. In a recent report, it was found that older drivers are far more likely to be involved in a fatal accident then younger drivers, causing many to look at their current driving policies to ensure each employee is protected. Not only would driving policies potentially save lives, but it my also provide a workers' compensation defense if a worker makes a claim.
California employees may be following the latest changes regarding workers' compensation. While workers' compensation is necessary, the most recent changes could potentially open the door for even more workers' compensation fraud. With obesity now being considered a disease, the lives of many could also change. Unfortunately, this could potentially have a negative impact on employers.
A business owner accused of intentionally misrepresenting his payroll has been found guilty and sentenced by a state court. The owner of a California-based cleaning company has been sentenced to five years in prison or ten years' probation and a requirement to pay hefty fines. He was found guilty on a number of charges related to workers' compensation fraud.