Workers’ Comp Wrongdoing: What comes to mind?

January 14, 2013 New York Workers Compensation No comment

When one brings up the topic of wrongdoing in a Workers’ Comp setting, many (especially here in Long Island) will first think about the infamous Long Island railroad case where many LIRR retirees filed claims for disability that were described, in a word, as fraudulent. Mention the words Workers’ Comp fraud, and most people think first, I believe, of phony claims FOR Workers’ Comp. But what about the many employers who fail to cover their employees for Workers’ Comp each year, or underreport payroll, misclassify workers or do other bad things?

What I never understand is why, and correct me if I’m wrong, stories of phony claims by workers are always given the headlines and come to mind more readily than cases of employer fraud. (An attorney named Leonard Jernigan comes out each year with a blog called “Top 10 Workers’ Compensation Fraud Cases” of the previous year. Jernigan’s #1 in 2012, for instance, is the “Operation Dirty Money” case in Florida where a construction company—an employer— scammed $70,000,000 from the Workers’ Comp system in Florida.)

It just seems to me that for some reason, worker fraud is somehow “sexier” news for the newspapers and other media, than employer fraud when in fact, both exist, both are bad and both should be equally condemned. Just thinking aloud, but I’m still not sure why this imbalance, I believe, continues to exist in people’s minds .

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