Home > Fraud Awareness, SID Information > Make ‘em pay: BWC Employer Compliance Unit

Make ‘em pay: BWC Employer Compliance Unit

By John Sledd, Manager, Employer Compliance Department

BWC’s Employer Compliance Department works closely with the Special Investigations Department. The Employer Compliance Department’s role is to identify employers who are operating their business without participating in the Ohio’s Workers’ Compensation System. Additionally, the department attempts to determine the causes of non-compliance and assist employers in obtaining or reinstating their coverage.  In some instances, employers who attempt to avoid or evade their worker’s compensation obligations commit criminal acts such as failing to pay their premiums, improperly reporting their employees or forging or altering documents to obtain lower premiums.

When the Employer Compliance Department suspects that a criminal act has been committed, the employer is referred to the Special Investigations Department for a criminal investigation.  In some instances, the Employer Compliance Department may pursue civil remedies, such as an Injunction, to prevent an employer from operating until they have paid their outstanding premium and have obtained proper coverage. Our overarching goal is to help employers identify and use the proper tools to insure coverage for their employees to maintain a safe and financially sound business operation.  

A Case In Point
The Special Investigations Department received a referral from the Employer Compliance Department that a Columbus health services company was currently operating with lapsed coverage. The Employer Compliance Department attempted to bring the subject into compliance but the employer failed to make payments to become compliant. During an interview with investigators, the owner of the company admitted to having five part-time employees. Later, the owner told investigators that she made contact with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office’s Collection Division to pay her past due BWC premiums. Investigators determined that the Collections Division made numerous phone calls to the owner, which were never returned. The owner of the company was convicted of one second degree misdemeanor count of failure to comply.

If you suspect that an employer is operating without workers’ compensation coverage, let us know. You may report it online at http://bit.ly/reportfraud or you may speak with a fraud hotline agent by calling 1-800-OHIOBWC.

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