In the realm of workers’ compensation, most people tend to associate fraud with employees faking injuries to get undeserved benefits. However, there is another side to this story that often goes unnoticed.
Employers sometimes commit fraud to keep employees from obtaining the workers’ compensation they rightfully deserve. This kind of fraud can have serious consequences for both workers and employers.
Obstacles faced by injured workers
When a worker gets injured on the job, they deserve workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits cover medical expenses and lost wages resulting from work-related injuries. Ideally, the process should be straightforward. In practice, injured employees sometimes face significant obstacles when trying to access these benefits.
One of the most common hurdles injured workers encounter is employer interference. Employers might try to discourage or prevent employees from filing workers’ comp claims, either by intimidating them, threatening to terminate their employment or persuading them to use personal health insurance instead. These actions can lead to serious complications for injured workers.
Employer fraud and its consequences
Employer fraud as it relates to workers’ compensation can take various forms. All of them involve unethical actions intended to deny or obstruct an injured worker’s access to benefits. Such fraudulent behavior includes:
• False documentation
• Refusal to report
If caught engaging in these fraudulent activities, employers can face severe legal and financial consequences. They may be subject to fines, penalties and even criminal charges.
Statistics indicate that there are around 4.9 million workers’ compensation claims filed every year. While this is a staggering number, the fact remains that every individual behind these claims deserves their rightful compensation without interference from an employer.