Employees in Massachusetts generally cannot directly sue their employers for any injuries sustained at their jobs. Instead, employers across the Commonwealth must purchase “no fault” workers’ compensation insurance, which is part of a system that is intended to protect workers who are tragically killed or suffer a serious injury in a workplace accident. Unfortunately, some Massachusetts employers endeavor to avoid paying their fair share of workers’ compensation premiums. Employers who are caught doing so can face both financial and criminal penalties.
According to Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, a Chelsea man was recently charged with committing worker’s compensation fraud in an effort to avoid paying almost $50,000 in workers’ compensation premiums. The 50-year-old man allegedly underreported the total payroll at a now defunct Dorchester temporary employment agency, where he acted as operations manager, to cut costs. Although the agency operated a payroll of more than $2 million between 2007 and 2009, the man reported to his workers’ compensation insurer that the amount was less than $200,000. He was apparently granted a lower insurance premium based on the purportedly bogus numbers.
The case was reportedly referred to the Attorney General’s Office by the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts. Coakley said such behavior not only undermines the workers’ compensation insurance system but also unfairly places law-abiding employers at a disadvantage. Although the temporary agency paid lower workers’ compensation premiums during the policy period, its insurer was still required to pay all such benefits awarded to company employees.
In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, workers’ compensation benefits normally include an employee’s medical costs and lost wages. These can be awarded either permanently or temporarily, depending on the magnitude of the accident or illness and its effect on the worker’s ability to hold a job. If an individual’s workplace accident injury prevents him or her from returning to a specific occupation, he or she may also be eligible to receive vocational training expenses. The surviving spouse and any dependents of an individual who was unfortunately killed at work may also be entitled to collect financial compensation under Massachusetts workers’ compensation laws. If you have questions about your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you should contact an experienced Massachusetts lawyer as soon as you are able.
If you were injured or someone close to you was tragically killed in a Massachusetts workplace accident, you may be entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits. The seasoned lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C. are available to help you navigate the process of your worker’s compensation case. To speak with a dedicated Suffolk County workers’ compensation attorney about your situation, do not hesitate to contact Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C. through our website or give us a call toll-free today at 800-367-0871.
Chelsea Man Indicted in Connection with Workers’ Compensation Fraud, Attorney General Martha Coakley Press Release dated December 15, 2014