According to a recent news article from Business Insurance, two employers in California have just been sentenced to prison following convictions involving workers’ compensation violations. Prosecutors have stated that one employer, a licensed contractor, did not have workers’ compensation as required to protect his employees in case of an accident.
Anyone who has ever worked in any type of employment setting has probably seen the workers’ rights poster that is handing in the break room or next to the copy machine. This poster, while you may not give it much thought, lists the important right afforded to by your by your employer pursuant to state, local, and federal law. This includes your right to minimum wage and your right to overtime pay in most situations.As our Riverside employment lawyers can explain, it also has information pertaining to workers’ compensation as well as various other rights owed to you by your employer. If your employer is not providing you with appropriate wages and benefits or workers’ compensation protection, you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to see if you have a valid claim. Some employers who do not do things according to the labor code will also try to intimidate their employees so they do not complain to anyone. Any type of retaliation by your employers is not allowed, and you should not allow yourself to become a victim of this type of intimidation.
In this case, the contractor provided tree-trimming work that was done by his employees. He did not get workers’ compensation to employees because he claimed to be exempt, and he said he did not have any employees. He said he was the only one who did the tree trimming work. However, an inspector was present on one of his jobsites early this year and discovered that an employee was doing the tree trimming work and issued him a citation and summons. He was given jail time for this, as it is a serious offense, and was ordered to serve 40 days in the county jail. While this is not state prison, it is certainly not where any employer would want to spend 40 days of his life. He was also ordered to pay $10,000. That money will go to the California uninsured employers fund. As the name implies, this fund was established to help pay for treatment for workers who are injured on a job while working for an employer who did not have the legally required workers’ compensation employment coverage.
The other employer who was sentenced to jail owned a restaurant. He was convicted of making a material misrepresentation to have a lower insurance premium as well as one count of tax evasion. Prosecutors say he did not report the total number of workers employed at his buffet and paid many of them in cash so there would be no paper trail. Unfortunately for him, this plan did not work. He was convicted of a felony and sent to jail for 90 days followed by probation.
Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 949.375.4734.
California employers sentenced for workers comp violations, April 21, 2017, By Kristen Beckman, Business Insurance
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