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Workers' compensation fraud defense in California

It is unlawful for a California employee to collect wage replacement benefits after a workplace accident while earning an income at another job. Unfortunately for many employers, this is a common form of workers' compensation fraud. In another state, two employees in unrelated situations are facing charges for attempting to defraud the system.

One of the workers was employed as a baker when she claimed to have been injured on the job while escaping a robber. Apparently, she filed a claim stating that she had injured her back so severely that she was unable to return to her workplace duties. The problem seems to be that during the same time period, she was discovered to be earning more than $3,000 as a full-time nanny, as well as having been employed as a housekeeper for more than a month.

Another case headed for court in the same state involves a technician who claims to have suffered a head injury on the job at a waterproofing company. The state's department of labor says the same man was working as a tow-truck driver while collecting wage replacement benefits from his former employer. A spokeswoman from the department explained that such fraud has an adverse effect on other workers whose claims are legitimate. Employers, too, are often made to bear the cost of increased premiums due to fraudulent claims.

There is recourse through the legal system for California employers facing problems due to workers' compensation fraud. It is typically a good idea to consult with an experienced business lawyer if one suspects that a worker is attempting to misrepresent an injury or has violated the conditions for receiving benefits. An attorney can offer appropriate counsel as to the best course of action to take in seeking a swift and fair resolution to the problem.

Source:, "State cracks down on workers comp fraud", Stephanie Goldberg, May 11, 2016

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