Nearly all employers in the state of California are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which protects workers in the event that they are injured in an on-the-job accident. Unfortunately, some employers fail to abide by the law. An employer may intentionally misrepresent its workers’ compensation coverage in employee information in order to lower costs. Doing so is illegal and harmful to everyone within the business. As California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones told Insurance Journal, “Employers who commit workers’ compensation fraud cheat the system leaving their employees at risk and their clients vulnerable to financial disaster.” If you are a worker in Cameron Park, here are a few signs of workers’ compensation fraud that you should look out for:
1. Paying Employees Under the Table
If your employer is paying you, or any other employees “under the table,” or categorizing your wages as expenses, it may be, in part, because they trying to avoid paying their share of employer taxes and workers’ compensation insurance premiums. In fact, a California employer who was recently arrested for alleged workers’ compensation fraud had more than $755,000 in unreported payroll, according to an Insurance Journal article.
2. Classifying Employees as Independent Contractors
Another way that an employer may avoid paying workers’ compensation premiums is by misclassifying workers who are clearly employees as independent contractors. By counting workers as independent contractors, an employer can claim that the workers do not count toward their workers’ compensation premiums, and can even deny those workers benefits if they get hurt on the job. If you believe that you or anyone at your place of work is truly an employee, not an independent contractor, you should report it immediately.
3. Avoiding Audits by Changing Carriers Frequently
If your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier is changing frequently, it may be because your employer is trying to avoid an audit that would reveal hidden information about the business, such as how many workers are employed or the type of work that employees perform (both of which can affect workers’ compensation premiums). Another sign that your employer is trying to avoid an audit or is committing workers’ compensation fraud is that your office has a physical office location in Cameron Park, but the address for your office/place of work is a mail drop or P.O. box.
Your Right to Workers’ Compensation Insurance
If you are an injured employee in Cameron Park or anywhere in the state of California, you likely have the right to workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer is disputing your right to benefits or you have been told workers’ compensation coverage is unavailable, let a knowledgeable Cameron Park workers’ compensation lawyer review the specifics free of charge. If you are having difficult obtaining workers’ compensation coverage after a workplace accident or if you want more information about insurance fraud because you suspect that your employer may be committing it, contact the Cunningham Law Group, AP.C. You can read more about insurance premium scams and how to recognize them on the website of the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.
At the Cunningham Law Group, A.P.C., we are dedicated to protecting an injured worker’s rights to workers’ compensation benefits after a workplace injury occurs. For legal guidance about getting the insurance benefits that you deserve, schedule a free consultation with our lawyers today by contacting us now.