Q Can an Employer Misrepresent Jobs to Get Lower Workers' Comp Rates?
In the event that an employer knowingly provides false information about an employee for the purposes of receiving lower workers' compensation insurance rates, they are liable for criminal and civil prosecutions.
If a complaint is filed, the Fraud and Noncompliance Unit of the state’s Department of Labor will investigate the case to determine if a criminal violation has occurred. If the unit is able to substantiate a violation, the division director may refer it to the Office of the Attorney General for prosecution. If no violation is substantiated, the case is administratively closed.
The willful misrepresentation of an employee’s job classification for the purpose of obtaining insurance at less than the proper rate is a class A misdemeanor, and can be prosecuted as such. A subsequent violation is a class D felony and can be prosecuted as such.
Fraudulent statements intended to discourage an employee from filing a workers’ comp claim are likewise a class A misdemeanor and can be punished by a severe fine.
Anyone who knows of companies engaged in such practices should report them to the Department of Labor for investigation. Such fraud not only has a negative effect on employees — it creates an unfair advantage for the fraudulent company in the marketplace.
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