A 61-year-old woman recently received four years of probation for intentionally not paying for workers' compensation insurance in Pennsylvania. The president of the trucking company entered guilty pleas to one felony and one misdemeanor charge in exchange for the dismissal of hundreds of charges related to worker's compensation benefits.
The woman received a sentence of three years of probation for the more serious offense, followed by one year of probation for the lesser crime. She was assessed $450 in fines and ordered to submit to DNA testing. She was also directed not to possess any firearms. In addition, she was also ordered to pay just over $54,000 to the U.S. Postal Service related to monies her company received for the workers' compensation premiums.
The company did not have the legally required workers' compensation insurance coverage for their employees for just over eight months during two separate periods in 2008 and 2009. They were paid to provide the benefits but failed to do so. The judge told the woman that she was lucky no one was hurt at work during that time frame.
Official documents reported that the USPS gave the company money as part of a contract to cover workers' compensation insurance. However, business administrators used the money for other expenses, mostly for payroll and gas for the trucks. The woman admitted to the judge that the economy and their own financial problems led to the failure to provide coverage during that time frame.
Employees expect their employers to carry workers' compensation insurance according to federal law. A workers' compensation attorney might be able to help clients who feel the need to file a lawsuit against a business for failure to comply with the law.
Source: Public Opinion, "Joann Wildeson gets probation for failing to pay workers' comp premium", Samantha Cossick, May 22, 2013