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Employee fraud problematic for some California businesses

California employers are obligated to purchase workers' compensation insurance so injured workers can file benefit claims to help cover the cost of their medical bills and replace lost wages in the aftermaths of workplace accidents. However, because fault is not a factor in workers' compensation, employee fraud remains problematic for many businesses. No employer should have to suffer the financial repercussions and other business complications caused by fraudulent claims.

Often, the type of fraud an injured employee attempts to commit involves misrepresentation of an injury. For instance, a former deputy, age 45, was arrested on a recent Tuesday for supposedly lying about an injury he claimed happened on the job. Apparently, the officer filed a workers' compensation claim after he reached into the trunk of a patrol car and injured his back.

The man says the severity of the injury led to back surgery, and it has rendered him incapable of performing not only work duties but also many basic daily functions. He has reportedly been in a wheelchair and unable to drive, bend or lift things. His employer apparently suspected fraud when the former officer was captured on film performing many of the acts he reported he was unable to do. A physician who viewed the surveillance video has claimed that it appears the worker has been deceptive about his injury.

The financial loss connected to the former deputy's alleged employee fraud totals more than $50,000. If convicted, he may spend up to five years in prison. He has adamantly denied the allegations against him, saying the documentation of his injury is valid and his life has been devastated by his condition. California employers who suspect similar unlawful behaviors in their workplaces may contact attorneys for guidance.

Source: sun-sentinel.com, "Former Broward deputy accused of workers' comp fraud says back injury is legitimate", Tanya Alanez, May 5, 2016

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