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.
Workers' compensation defense may be necessary for some California companies that foresee a future risk of serious health related problems among multiple employees. The medical costs of multiple workers that suffer health damage from chemical exposure may be extensive for an employer, making a strong workers' compensation defense valuable. The National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety recently completed a study that found high levels of Benzene exposure in specific oil and gas industry positions.
A business owner may find themselves in a difficult situation if they are accused of workers' compensation fraud by the government or an insurance company. A California chiropractor was recently prosecuted for his potential involvement in one of the state's largest ever workers' compensation fraud cases to date. The man is accused of being the ringleader of a group responsible for funneling $50 million dollars worth of insurance benefits from insurance providers and the state.
Experts agree that the rate of workers' compensation fraud continues to increase in California. The rise is seen in both contended claims and the amount of injuries that are filed. An employer that suspects an accident or injury has been claimed in an attempt to commit workers' compensation fraud may research the best possible method for investigating the situation.
When an employer is taken advantage of through workers' compensation fraud, both the company and its insurer can suffer financial damages. Some professionals may choose to begin the process to reveal the theft and attempt to regain the monetary loss. A woman formerly employed at a local California bank has been accused of workers' compensation fraud after being involved in the robbery that purportedly caused the false mental injury.
Home health care facilities in California are responsible for sending workers into the homes of their clients and may often require an employer defense in the event someone is hurt while on the job. An employer defense may work to protect a company from having to provide compensation benefits beyond necessity when an accident does occur. A higher court decision recently determined that an Alzheimer’s patient who had been sued by a home health care employee was not responsible for providing compensation for an injury.
Proper medical treatment is a cornerstone of the proper administration of California’s workers’ compensation system. Essentially, treating doctors must implement treatments that are scientifically proven to abate the injuries or illnesses that a worker suffers from as a result of an on-the-job injury or accident.
Arguably, one of the best ways to manage workers’ compensation costs is to maintain a safe working environment. Part of this may include establishing a drug-free workplace policy. While it may seem obvious that workers should not be taking drugs while at work, it may be surprising how many workers come to the workplace while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Also, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) reports that drug abuse costs businesses more than $80 billion each year.
Wearable technology is the next big thing for retailers. From Samsung’s smart watch to Google’s Glass, the world of mobile technology has a great deal to offer consumers and employers alike. For employers, wearable technology can provide a number of opportunities to expound on safety measures and take further action to prevent injuries.
As workers’ compensation defense attorneys, a great deal of our practice involves counseling employers on when and how to issue denials. Denying a work comp claim comes with its consequences, and more states are focusing on penalizing employers for unjustified denials. Moreover, a focus on the legal requirements behind denials has increased over the past few years. Because of this, it is important for employers to understand the steps and requirements behind workers’ comp claim denials.