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Woman guilty of fraudulent workers' compensation claims

Fraudulent workers' compensation claims are a significant headache for California employers, particularly when a worker lied in an attempt to gain benefits. A middle aged woman was recently convicted of filing fraudulent workers' compensation claims after a jury trial. A colleague testified that the woman had been dishonest and had actually injured her arm at home when she was tripped by her pet dog.

The false report was originally made following a morning shift while the woman completed her work duties at the bakery where she was employed. She claimed she injured her shoulder and arm while making pizza. Following the incident, the woman sought medical care and was treated for the injury by a provided physician.  

The purportedly injured employee was permitted to return to work under restricted circumstances, allowing her to participate in light duty activity. Close to two months after the claim was made, the woman resigned from her position. During the time she was employed and collected the injury benefits, she received a total close to $3,130.

The amount she received spanned beyond the dates of her employment but ceased as soon as the investigation discovered the fraudulent activity. Due to early exposure of the fraudulent workers' compensation claims the situation was quickly investigated and stopped. A California employer that believes an injured worker is taking advantage of his or her benefits may seek to expose the dishonesty and look to a professional as they try to minimize the effect it could have on business operations and the cost of doing business.

Source: missoulian.com, "Woman guilty of workers' comp fraud in Columbia Falls; dog, not work caused injury", Vince Devlin, Nov. 15, 2014

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