Tennessee Cracks Down on Employer Workers’ Comp Fraud in the Construction Industry
The Tennessee Department of Labor announced that it has been expanding its efforts to uncover employer workers compensation fraud in the construction industry in order to better protect workers in the construction industry who are entitled to file a workers compensation claim.
The Workers Compensation Division has implemented new procedures to identify potential workers comp and payroll fraud such as intentionally misclassifying workers as independent contractors to avoid paying taxes, failing to report all paid wages, misrepresenting the type of work performed, and paying workers “under the table.” By avoiding correct numbers on payroll, the employers are able to avoid paying workers comp premiums and unemployment insurance.
“We are working aggressively to stop misclassification fraud by employers. When these unethical practices are identified, the Division of Workers’ Compensation of the Department of Labor & Workforce Development will assess administrative penalties for misclassification as well as refer cases for prosecution,” said Administrator for Workers’ Compensation Abbie Hudgens.
Now that the new procedures have been put in place, one company, a Nashville drywall company has been accused of lying to a workers comp insurance company about how many employees were actually on its payroll. The company settled for $300,000.
Workers Comp in South Carolina
Any full-time employee (working for an employer with four or more employees) who has an employment related injury and needs medical attention should be covered under workers’ compensation insurance. It doesn’t matter if the injury was a complete accident or the fault of a co-worker.
South Carolina does not award workers compensation to workers who are intoxicated on the job. This accusation could be used as “employer retaliation,” however, and the claim is difficult to prove. Just because your employer, or your employer’s insurance company, denies your workers’ compensation claim does not mean that they are right to deny your workers’ comp benefits.
If the employer is using a legal reason to deny workers’ comp, you need to determine if the reason is valid, or if it is a false accusation against you (such as a work injury due to intoxication). Your employer also may not want to accept your work injury, especially if your injury is difficult to prove and requires you to seek legal assistance. Job-related injuries employers commonly initially deny include injuries sustained from repetitive injuries, stress, mental conditions, and environmental conditions such as claims of toxic exposure.
Anyone can file a workers comp claim for a work-related injury on their own. The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission oversees conflicts that arise between the injured employee and the employer’s insurance company.
However, even with a mediator, an injured employee is challenged to act on his own behalf against a business entity. Insurance companies have lawyers, lots of fine print and look for reasons not to pay. Workers’ compensation is their business. The Strom Law Firm, LLC can help you.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Workers Comp Claims in South Carolina
The workers comp lawyers at The Strom Law Firm, LLC proudly seek justice on behalf of employees injured or killed on the job who work for private companies, as well as employees working for local county, city, and state government. We are licensed to practice throughout South Carolina, as well as Georgia and New York. If you have been injured on the job, give us a call. We offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case.803.252.4800.