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Using Surveillance Cameras to Fight Workers' Comp Fraud

Fraudulent workers' compensation claims cost businesses a lot of money, and for those who insure themselves or for small businesses facing claims, these costs may put them out of business. Businesses must do everything they can to combat fraudulent behavior, which can range from claiming an injury that never happened to claiming an existing injury happened at work. One of the ways to combat this type of false claim is to install surveillance cameras in the workplace, and to notify workers that they are under surveillance. This can not only help you fight false claims, it can deter people from filing claims in the first place to avoid their own legal repercussions.

Cameras in Action

Three recent cases in California demonstrated how well video cameras can help fight fraudulent injury claims. In two cases in restaurant kitchens and one in a warehouse, workers moved things around, yelped in pain, and were transported to hospitals in ambulances. In each case the business owner had video surveillance, and the workers were investigated and convicted. The business owners did not experience an increase in their workers' comp insurance premiums, because thanks to the videos the cases were considered total frauds.

Limitations on the Use Of Cameras in the Workplace

Before installing video surveillance, business owners should consult their attorneys to be sure they are following California laws regarding privacy in the workplace. For example, without a court order business owners cannot place surveillance equipment or two-way mirrors in places such as bathrooms or changing areas where employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy. The use of video equipment that also records sound might be a violation of federal wiretapping laws, even if the business owners have an otherwise legitimate reason for surveillance. Be sure to notify your employees that they are under surveillance to keep yourself within the boundaries of the law and to dissuade workers from setting up false scenarios that lead to workers' compensation claims.

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