When a worker is injured on the job, he or she has the right to obtain financial assistance via workers’ compensation in order to help during recovery time. However, there are some employees who abuse the system in order to obtain benefits from workers’ compensation that they do not deserve. This can result in criminal charges against a worker committing employee fraud. It turns out one man is now in this type of predicament in California.
The worker was a prep cook who had been employed at a local corporation when he filed for workers’ compensation benefits in mid-June 2013. The man claimed he had hurt his right wrist from kneading dough while on the job. He later added to his claim that he also injured his left wrist. The man received medical treatment and was granted total temporary disability benefits.
However, despite repeatedly denying the ability to work, it turns out the man had been working in various capacities during the time he had been receiving benefits. An investigation revealed that he had cooked for a private party, worked as a chef consultant for a local restaurant, provided one homemade pizza demonstration, and even assembled office furniture. According to surveillance reports, he was even able to repair a long stretch of a fence and worked out strenuously in the gym. The man pleaded no contest to charges of workers compensation fraud and now awaits sentencing.
This case in California illustrates what could happen to any employer in the restaurant industry or any other industry. Although most workers are probably honest, there are still a few that could be committing employee fraud. This can result in increased insurance premiums for employers. Therefore, it would be a good idea to fully investigate any suspicious employees receiving benefits and then take the necessary legal actions to stop fraud.
Source: thecalifornian.com, “Cook pleads no contest to workers comp fraud“, Chelcey Adami, August 12, 2015