Employers can face significant penalties for failing to protect their employees with workers’ compensation insurance. First, the employer can be ordered to pay a fine of up to $1,000 per day for each day insurance is not provided. Employers can also face criminal felony charges, which carry a sentence of up to two years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10,000 upon conviction. Finally, if the failure to secure workers’ compensation insurance is determined to create a significant danger to employees, business operations can be suspended until workers' compensation and employers' liability insurance is secured.
When Your Employer Doesn’t Provide Workers’ Comp
If you suspect your employer does not have insurance, you can report Rhode Island workers’ compensation fraud to the Fraud Prevention and Compliance Unit. As long as you make a complaint to the Fraud Unit in good faith, the employer cannot take any legal action against you for making the report.
The Fraud Unit can help in a variety of matters concerning bad faith on the part of an employer, including:
- Premium fraud. Employers may not have sufficient insurance to cover work-related injuries due to premium fraud such as underreporting the number of employees in order to pay less for insurance. Premium fraud is a criminal offense.
- Falsifying claims information. Any employer who intentionally makes false statements to prevent an employee from filing a claim or obtain benefits may be prosecuted.
- Encouraging fraud. Employers may be charged with a criminal offense if they encourage workers not to file claims or command workers to report any work-related injuries they suffer as happening outside the workplace.
- Penalties. Any person convicted of workers’ compensation fraud may be ordered to pay monetary penalties up to $50,000 and face imprisonment for up to five years.
If your employer did not secure workers’ compensation insurance, you and your fellow employees are not prohibited from filing lawsuits against the employer. For this reason, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible after an injury at work. Simply fill out the easy online contact form on this page, or contact Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum at 401-946-3200 to set up a consultation with our work injury attorneys.