According to a report in Clay Today, a principal of an Orange Park pizzeria was arrested on felony charges for allowing his workers’ compensation insurance coverage to lapse two times in the past five years. The report states that an investigator conducted a compliance visit at Infield Pizzeria and Sports Bar late last year. The investigator discovered that the business’s worker’s comp insurance had expired September 23, 2016, and the company had not renewed or purchased another police. Therefore, employees of the company were not covered by workers’ comp insurance.
The investigator issued a Business Records Request giving the company ten business days to comply with the request to determine how many employees were working for the company and whether the company had insurance coverage for those employees during a specific date range. The company failed to comply with the request; therefore, the state issued a stop work order. The state’s investigator returned a few weeks later to find the business open and operating that led to a Working in Violation Notice.
A second inspector followed up earlier this year and was presented with a policy for workers’ compensation. However, after further investigation, it was determined that an insurance policy had been canceled in November of last year for non-renewal and another policy was canceled in February of this year for non-payment. Miller, the principal arrested for the violation, faces one count of a second violation of workers’ compensation fraud within five years.
Employers Must Purchase Workers’ Comp Insurance
Under the Florida Workers’ Compensation Statute, employers must cover their employees with workers’ comp insurance. The requirements for insurance vary according to the number of employees, type of industry, and entity organization.
For example, construction companies with at least one employee must have workers’ comp coverage, but non-construction employers must have four employees before they are required to purchase a workers comp insurance policy. Agricultural business must have coverage if they have six or more regular employees and/or 12 or more seasonal workers. It is an employer’s responsibility to purchase and maintain workers’ comp insurance — employees cannot be required to pay any portion of the insurance premium for workers’ comp coverage.
When an employer fails to comply with the law, the owner or principals of the business can be charged with fraud and arrested. Convictions for workers’ comp fraud can be severe.
Report All Workplace Accidents Immediately
If you are injured in a workplace accident, or you develop a work-related illness, report the incident to your employer immediately. Your employer is required to report the injury to its workers’ compensation carrier. If an employer fails to report your injury or the insurance carrier fails to provide benefits, contact a Boca Raton workers comp claim immediately.
Even if your employer does not have coverage, you may have other options for receiving compensation for your workplace injury. However, you must act quickly to protect your right to receive compensation or benefits.
Call for a Free Appointment with a Florida Workers’ Comp Attorney
The Broderick Law Firm, P.L. can help you obtain the benefits you deserve. Contact our office today 1-800-333-3903 to speak with an attorney. We represent individuals in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale & Miami, FL.
Source: “Area man facing workers’ comp fraud,” Clay Today, June 28, 2017