It’s no picnic trying to run a business these days — and it’s not easy being an employee in a lot of places, either. Just don’t try to skirt the rules surrounding workers’ compensation. Whether you’re a business owner, a medical professional who treats workers’ comp patients or an employee, workers’ comp fraud is a serious crime.
What does the law consider workers’ comp fraud? Consider these examples:
- As a medical provider for injured workers, you run unnecessary tests, provide unnecessary physical therapy, prescribe unneeded medications or exaggerate the extent of someone’s problems so that you can “upcharge” the insurance company.
- As an employer, you just don’t bother buying workers’ comp insurance — and maybe tell your injured employees to lie if they have to go to the hospital or doctor so that they can get treatment covered under their health insurance plan.
- As a business owner, you misclassify employees by either designating laborers who work in dangerous positions as “office help” or claiming that an employee is an independent contractor who isn’t covered under workers’ comp.
- As an employee, you try to pass off an injury that happened at home as a worksite injury, or you pretend to be hurt far worse (or for far longer) than you actually are.
Because workers’ compensation fraud tends to be a “hot-button” issue, the authorities sometimes level charges against a person or company and then look for evidence to support their claims later. If you’ve been charged with fraud (or think you soon will be), get experienced legal help as fast as you can.