Workers’ compensation is a state-mandated program that provides money and medical benefits to workers injured or made ill at their workplaces. Workers’ compensation helps injured workers and protects employers from personal injury litigation in most cases.
To be effective, workers’ compensation requires that employers and employees follow the rules. Sometimes, in an effort to cut corners, employers operate outside the requirements, sometimes to a fraudulent degree. Some Pennsylvania employers commit crime to save money in a variety of ways, including:
* When an employer reports fewer employees than are on payroll, it pays less money to the insurer for workers’ compensation coverage.
* When obtaining workers’ compensation insurance, an employer may make misrepresentations, including the type of work performed and the actual history of workplace injuries.
* An employer may attempt to pay employees cash or claim they were hired as independent contractors. An employer may also claim that a worker may not collect workers’ compensation insurance unless employed with the company for a period of time.
* An employer may knowingly opt not to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for its employees.
Attempts by employers to circumvent state workers’ compensation laws cost everyone money. Fortunately, workers can usually apply to the Pennsylvania Uninsured Employer Guaranty Fund for lost benefits and wages, whereas employers who commit fraud face misdemeanor or felony charges and must reimburse the fund and pay fines and penalties.
Speak with an attorney if your employer fails to provide you with information to make a workers’ compensation claim after an on-the-job injury or illness. The system works when everyone plays by the rules.