We all know that money is stolen from hard-working people every day in the form of robberies, burglaries and other thefts, but you might be surprised to learn that employers steal more money from hard-working people than robberies, burglaries, larcenies and auto thefts combined.
Although these numbers are based on 2012 data, the same probably holds true still today. The most unfortunate part of these statistics is that the victims of wage theft are usually the people who can afford the theft the least.
What is wage theft?
“Wage theft covers a variety of infractions that occur when workers do not receive their legally or contractually promised wages,” according to wagetheft.org.
“Common forms of wage theft are non-payment of overtime, not giving workers their last paycheck after a worker leaves a job, not paying for all the hours worked, not paying minimum wage, and even not paying a worker at all.”
What is even more sobering is to think based on these statistics: they get the numbers regarding traditional theft from what is reported to police, whether it is recovered or not. They get the data for wage theft based on what is: reported, looked into, taken to court, and won back for employees. So, I would be willing to assume that the numbers of wage theft are actually much larger, in reality.
Fortunately, there are remedies under state and federal laws to recover from those thieving employers engaging in wage theft. Even if it is something that seems small, like employers keeping a percentage of tips, it is still wage theft and is actionable in civil court. Contact a lawyer if you suspect your employer of engaging in the activities described above.
Respected colleague Leonard Jernigan from North Carolina writes a yearly blog post about fraud in workers’ compensation. His current record over the five years he’s written this post is that for each top 10 list, the largest dollar amounts stolen are in the category of employer fraud, except for one employee incident, which happened this last year, so the record is 49 employers, 1 employee.
The very complicated article below definitely falls into the employer fraud category. David DePaolo writes about an incredibly complex situation that affected workers, employers and the greater society in a number of states, including Oklahoma, which made a major change to the workers’ compensation system last year.
“And who knows how much of the failure of Park Avenue and Imperial Casualty and Indemnity Co. contributed to that state’s abysmal rate work comp insurance cost ranking leading up to last year’s historic opt-out legislation,” he wrote in the article.
My point is that when anyone commits fraud in a workers’ compensation system, regardless of the state, there can be far-reaching consequences for society being stuck with the bills of that fraud and for injured workers and also employers who play by the rules. In addition, absorbing the cost of that fraud can also be far-reaching, even potentially contributing to changes to an entire workers’ compensation system.
Just ask Oklahoma.
Corporate fraud is a major problem in the workers’ compensation system. Today’s guest post authored by David DePaola is shared from http://daviddepaolo.blogspot.com and highlights a very serious problem with the nation’s workers’ compensation system.
What do Oklahoma, New York, Washington, Kentucky and Florida have in common?
If it’s workers’ compensation, then the connection is a far reaching scheme involving millions of dollars, failed insurance companies and professional employer organizations.
A federal grand jury in New York back in October 2012 indicted Wilbur Anthony Huff, principal behind a couple of professional employer organizations, Matthew Morris, Park Avenue Bank’s former senior vice president, and Allen Reichman, the former director of investments at New York investment house Oppenheimer & Co. that Huff and Morris engaged with former bank president and Chief Executive Officer Charles Antonucci in an elaborate conspiracy to plunder Park Avenue Property and Casualty, formerly known as Providence Property and Casualty Insurance Co., and its subsidiary, Imperial Casualty and Indemnity, and artificially inflate the bank’s assets to secure funding from the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a press release that Huff, who secretly controlled South Florida PEOs O2HR and Certified HR Services, was at the “vortex of fraud” in a series of schemes involving more than $100…