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Ohio employer fraudulently avoided workers' comp insurance

Ohio workers are fortunate that the state provides an insurance system that helps their employers cover workplace injuries and get employees back to work. Employers and employees can, and should, take precautions at work to reduce or limit the risk of accidents, but workplace accidents and injuries are bound to happen. Certain work environments are inherently dangerous and that is why workers' compensation coverage is so critical. It is also why the state takes workers' compensation coverage so seriously.

In Ohio, it is illegal for employers to fail to maintain workers' compensation coverage. One employer in Cleveland was recently sentenced by a jury on a criminal charge for his failure to maintain workers' comp coverage for his employees. Not only did he fail to provide coverage, the employer actually concealed his payroll so that he wouldn't have to pay for workers' compensation coverage.

The man's fraudulent activity not only hurts his own employees but also the entire state insurance system. By not paying into the system, there are fewer funds to cover injured employees across the state, not to mention that it simply is not fair to the employers who do make the payments into the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC).

BWC makes it a priority to investigate cases like these in which employers fail in their duty to pay for coverage or actively try to defraud the system. The BWC investigation team heard rumors that the man wasn't paying for workers' compensation coverage. Initial efforts to warn him about the law that requires coverage were unsuccessful and the employer did not obtain a policy. Even worse, during that time, three employees filed workers' compensation claims that totaled over $30,000. In addition to the criminal punishments, the BWC plans to make the employer pay back all of his overdue premium payments, which currently total more than $60,000.

Source: Claims Journal, "Ohio Business Owner Sentenced for Failing to Maintain Workers' Comp Coverage," Aug. 26, 2013

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