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Uninsured employers may end up behind bars in California

Employers are legally required to provide workers' compensation insurance for employees in California. Failure to do so can result in serious legal repercussions, including fines or even time behind bars for uninsured employers. It turns out one employer has recently found himself in this type of situation.

The employer is the owner of a construction firm, RAR Renovations, Inc., that was contracted to work on a luxury condominium project. However, it turns out that somehow the employer failed to cover as many as 25 workers who had worked on this particular construction project. A county court ordered the 45-year-old owner of the construction firm to reimburse three companies that suffered losses as a result of RAR's non-compliance.

RAR and the owner pleaded guilty to two felony counts in March. The criminal charges included fraudulent workers' compensation practices and insurance fraud. The court ordered the man to pay more than $60,000. However, the man was able to avoid actual time behind bars with five years of probation instead.

Although it is definitely not a good thing for the employer to have to pay such a large monetary fine, it is fortunate the man was able to avoid physically going to jail. Other uninsured employers may also be able to avoid jail time or even have charges against them dismissed if they are able to present a strong enough legal defense argument in front of a judge. However, understanding of the relevant rules and regulations will be required in order to prevail in the court of law in California.

Source: lohud.com, "Rockland contractor Kujtim Kukaj to pay $60K for insurance fraud", Matt Spillane, June 23, 2015

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