What happens when a company doesn’t have worker’s compensation insurance and an employee claims an injury on the job? If the worker is unscrupulous, the company can be defrauded for many thousands of dollars. In this case, a worker fell and injured his lower back, first stating it was a fall down stairs at home, later switching it to a slip and fall at work. The injury required two surgeries. Because the company had no worker’s insurance, they paid for the employee’s medical bills and full salary for fear of being sued by the employee. They also gave the worker a raise after the injury despite a written warning for his performance. The company grew suspicious that the worker was taking advantage when he started to claim that he had neck pain well past the allotted time for recovery. DIG was hired to determine if this worker was falsely claiming injury. Searches revealed this worker was using a false social security number and did not live at the address given to the company, and surveillance showed the worker putting on a back brace after driving but before going into a doctor’s office, then removing the brace before getting back in the driver’s seat. The company stopped paying this worker’s wages and medical bills and now has full insurance.
Lessons learned: As an employer, it is important to subscribe to worker’s compensation insurance, as it puts a limit on the amount and type of compensation that an injured employee may receive. DIG also recommends that background screening be performed on all potential new employees and periodically thereafter.