Workers’ compensation fraud is all too common, especially in the construction industry, where injuries are prevalent and coverage is necessary. If an employer fails to provide coverage for their workforce, there can be a variety of serious ramifications, including criminal charges, excessive fines, and even the issuance of a stop-work order in Florida. A construction project without proper coverage can create a domino effect as a stop-work order stalls the project, leading to mounting penalties and missed deadlines. If you’ve been issued a stop-work order, seek the advice of a stop-work order attorney in Florida.
The biggest reason why workers’ compensation fraud has become a billion dollar issue is that fraud can be committed by an employer, employees, or even a third party. In this article, a workers’ compensation defense attorney in Florida will discuss some of the most common ways each of these parties can commit fraud.
How Employers Commit Fraud
Employers that conceal payroll records, misclassify the work tasks of their workforce, pay cash under the table, or simply fail to obtain workers’ compensation coverage may be reported and issued a stop-work order. Any of the above examples are considered “premium fraud” because the employer is the culprit and is essentially cheating the system by paying less for workers’ compensation coverage than they are required to by law. Unfortunately, all of the above infractions are common. In fact, workers’ compensation fraud impacts everyone from unethical employers caught committing infractions to legitimate employers forced to pay raised premiums.
How Employees Commit Fraud
Similarly, there are a myriad of ways employees can commit workers’ compensation fraud. Generally, “claimant fraud” is when an employee exaggerates their injury symptoms, completely fabricates that an injury occurred, or works an additional job for cash while they’re allegedly out injured from their primary job. Even worse, some medical practitioners become willfully involved in health care fraud by providing unnecessary treatment to an allegedly injured worker, billing for treatment that never occured, or double billing both the workers’ compensation insurer and the health insurance company for the same service. In any of these above examples, an employee is falsely receiving benefits for an injury that did not occur on company time.
As we stated before, workers’ compensation fraud is a common crime that impacts every type of business, including construction businesses. To learn more about laws related to workers’ compensation fraud, including how to lift a stop-work order in Florida, consult an attorney.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.