Investigations of Uninsured Businesses by North Carolina Fraud Unit
The very recent update on the Industrial Commission’s initiative that started in 2014, pressed to thoroughly investigate and penalize state businesses operating without the required worker’s compensation coverage. This was imposed upon by the North Carolina Industrial Commission Chairman, Andrew T. Heath. Chairman Heath stated that –
“Our goal is not only to penalize uninsured businesses, but also to ensure that they acquire and maintain proper workers’ compensation insurance coverage.”
Accordingly, businesses which are not in compliance with the concerned laws of the state might attract civil as well as criminal liability. Likewise, it is also important to have compensation insurance under Worker’s Compensation Act, 1968, failure of which will impose criminal liability upon one.
Consequently, the Commission’s fraud alerting tool, the Noncompliant Employer Targeting System (NETS), that uses data from various state agencies to create a list of potentially noncompliant businesses was credited, and the Fraud Unit was enabled in order to identify the covered employers not having a current workers’ compensation insurance policy. The underlying motive behind such steps by the Fraud Unit was to compensate the workers/employees and provide medical care to them for an injury at workplace.
Records show that the Commission collected approximately $678,000 in civil penalties, for the year 2013-2014. Additionally, the Fraud Commission actively holds on-site enforcement operations on businesses that are identified by NETS to be violating insurance rules. This operation resulted into charging few businesspersons with misdemeanor charges. The data collected showed an estimated increase of around 43% as compared to the year 2012-2013. Following the same pattern, currently 85 such cases of misdemeanor have been filed with operations in Durham, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Pitt, and Wake counties.
In doing so, Heath also mentioned that –
“Employers who attempt to flout the law will be identified, investigated and properly sanctioned to make certain that their workers are insured as required by the North Carolina Worker’s Compensation Act.”