Workers’ compensation is an important system which was put in place to protect workers from unscrupulous employers who would prefer to put the well-being of their business over the well-being of their employees. The workers’ compensation system provides protections to an injured employee to make sure that he or she receives compensation for work-related injuries. The system also provides protections to employers by helping create checks and standards for injuries and compensation limits. California has also established special state task forces to help deal with the problem of workers’ compensation fraud. Although the majority of workers’ compensation claims are valid, employers should keep a look out for some red flags for workers’ compensation fraud.
One red flag is a delay in reporting the incident. For most employees, an injury severe enough to require medical attention is not an incident to be taken lightly. Most employees who have actually sustained a work-related injury will immediately report being hurt. An employee who waits days or even weeks to report the injury could be committing fraud.
Another common red flag is when the employee is inconsistent or vague about the details of the incident. Employers should look for employees who frequently change the version of events or cannot remember important details, such as the date or location of the incident.
The lack of witnesses or the type of witnesses also can be a marker for fraud. An employee whose job responsibilities typically include working together with others or in front of large groups, but who sustains an injury while he or she just happened to be alone is a red flag. Moreover, if the only witnesses available are the close friends or family members of the injured, it may be important to investigate further.
Where you have a difficult time following up with the employee while he or she is supposed to be at home recuperating, this can also be a red flag. In this situation, employers should watch for situations in which repeated phone calls or attempt to contact the employee during normal business hours are unsuccessful. Family members who answer the phone may seem noncommittal about the injured employee’s whereabouts, or always claim the employee is sleeping.
Workers’ compensation fraud can have a serious impact on your business. Call us today to talk about how we can help protect your business.