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What happens if employers abuse workers' comp?

It is a legal requirement in New York for employers to have worker’s comp insurance, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that all employees are offered their rightful worker’s comp benefits. It doesn’t happen often, but some employers have tried to take advantage of loopholes in the system, or have even outright lied, to avoid paying what they are supposed to pay. Much of this problem comes from the fact that workers’ comp relies largely on the employers reporting and monitoring themselves.

The risk of having an unscrupulous employer is one of the main reasons that it is advisable to speak with an attorney who understands workers’ comp law. You may find that you deserve more from workers’ compensation than you thought at first. In fact, nearly $5 million has been recovered since 2013 from those who have admitted being guilty of workers’ comp fraud. Examples of such fraud include listing an employee being classified as an independent contractor, meaning that said employee isn’t eligible for the benefits they deserve, or misclassifying a job function to make a position seem less dangerous, thus lowering the rates employers must pay.

Fortunately for New York employees, these offenses are not flying under the radar. In fact, earlier this year, a grand jury recommended a few changes to crack down on dishonest employers. These changes range from increased penalties and transparency to broader education and data collection.

In many ways, you are your own best advocate. You know better than anyone what functions you perform in your job, which is why it is important to take workers’ comp claims very seriously. Enlisting the aid of an attorney can help you understand your workers’ comp benefits better and may assist you in receiving the compensation you deserve, even if your employer is not playing by the rules.

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