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When Employers Lie About Workers' Compensation

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

When Employers Lie About Workers' CompensationAdversaries of workers’ compensation laws in Illinois cite fraudulent employee claims as a reason for reform. While fraud does exist, the number of workers who make fraudulent claims is miniscule. Instead, it is employers who are more likely to engage in deceptive practices. Employers want to save money on the workers’ compensation insurance they are required to provide. As a result, some try to cut corners while lying to their workers. When employers commit workers’ compensation fraud, they can leave their injured employees responsible for covering their own medical expenses.

Fake Compliance

Illinois law mandates that all employers carry workers’ compensation insurance in the event of an employee being injured on the job. Intentionally failing to provide the insurance is a felony that can result in heavy penalties, including:

  • Daily fines until compliance;
  • Possible prison sentences; and
  • A stop-work order imposed by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.

Employers must post proof of their workers’ compensation coverage in a place that employees can view it. However, some employers create fake certificates so that employees will believe that the employer is compliant. It is only after a workplace injury occurs that workers realize that their employer has deceived them.

Misclassified Workers

Employers can save money on their workers’ compensation insurance by lying to an insurance company about the employees being covered. Insurers will charge higher premiums to employers whose workers are at greater risk of injury. An employer may lie about the type of work its employees do or classify full-time employees as independent contractors. This qualifies the employer for a cheaper insurance plan but may leave the employees with inadequate coverage for the dangerous work they do.

False Statements

Employers with workers’ compensation insurance do not directly pay for their employees’ workplace injuries. However, they know that allowing successful claims may:

  • Cause insurance companies to increase their premiums; and
  • Leave them vulnerable to lawsuits if they try to terminate the injured employees.

Insurers are looking for evidence that will help them deny compensation claims. An employer can help the insurer and itself by lying about what caused the worker’s injury. It may claim that the employee was acting recklessly or performing a task outside of his or her work responsibilities. The lies can give the insurer reason to believe that the claimant’s work was not responsible for his or her injuries.

Recourse

You should report any suspected incidents of workers’ compensation fraud to the Illinois Department of Insurance’s Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit. If your employer did not have coverage at the time of your injury, you are allowed to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer. A McHenry County workers’ compensation attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can protect you against your employer’s attempts to deny you compensation. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.

Source:

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/resources/Pages/fraud.aspx

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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