Nine Arrested for Contractor Fraud, No Workers Comp

Undercover Sting in Florida Lands 9 in Jail for Failing to Obtain Workers Comp

contractor fraudAfter a two-day undercover operation in Florida, nine men have been arrested for failing to purchase workers comp for their employees, and committing contractor fraud.

The investigation targeted unlicensed contractors in Manatee County. The contractors reportedly failed to purchase workers comp insurance for their employees, which is a violation of federal law.

“This activity displays a blatant disregard for worker safety, and I commend this joint effort,” Florida CFO Jeff Atwater said in a statement. “We will continue working to protect the integrity of the construction industry in Florida and make sure these fraudsters can’t put more Floridians at risk.”

“Unlicensed activity is against the law and threatens the livelihood of licensed professionals who have demonstrated knowledge of the profession and have met all of the requirements prescribed by law to possess a state of Florida license,” said DBPR Secretary Ken Lawson. “Consumers should be aware of the various risks associated with doing business with unlicensed individuals and should always verify an individual’s license through DBPR prior to hiring them.”

The investigation was a joint effort between the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Insurance Fraud, and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Both groups routinely investigate unlicensed activity to protect workers from workplace injuries.

The groups arranged to meet with the unlicensed workers to get a quote for construction work. Once undercover agents met the group, local law enforcement arrested nine men on charges of workers comp fraud and providing services without a contractor’s license.

It is unlawful in all states for companies to fail to provide workers comp insurance for their employees.

Employer Retaliation of Workers’ Comp in South Carolina

In most states, employees have a legal right to be protected from workers’ comp retaliation. Most commonly, people think of workers’ comp retaliation as retaliatory discharge or firing an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

Improper retaliation can fall short of termination, such as discrimination or harassment, and may include the following:

  • demotion, negative reassignment, reclassification or transfer;
  • unwarranted disciplinary action and/or negative performance evaluations;
  • wage reductions, salary reductions or a reduction in the number of hours scheduled; or
  • an unreasonable increase or decrease in job duties or responsibilities.

Most states have some legal remedy for injured workers retaliation. The right to sue for workers comp retaliation varies from state to state, so it is a good idea to consult a SC work injury lawyer to protect your rights for workplace injury.

South Carolina is an at-will employment state, meaning an employer can hire or fire an employee for any reason or no reason at all, subject to certain exceptions.

Employers may still legitimately terminate or discipline any employee, regardless of workers’ compensation status.  However, the employer’s reason for the negative action cannot be a pretext for workers’ compensation retaliation and the negative action may not violate any other employment law(s).

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Workers Comp Claims

The workers compensation 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.  You need an attorney who will fight with you to the end. Give us a call today 803.252.4800 for a free workers comp case review.