Taking another step to ensure all Ohio employers pay their premiums, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has recently completed a targeted sweep of 331 Cincinnati employers.
BWC identified Cincinnati ZIP codes that reportedly had a high potential of negligent employers. Of the 331 employers contacted, 32 were found to be questionable. At this time, 13 of the businesses have either made payment on lapsed accounts or obtained coverage for the first time.
“Employers without workers’ compensation coverage are not only breaking the law, but driving up rates for everyone else,” said BWC Administrator/CEO James Conrad. “Our goal is to find those employers who ignore their responsibilities to pay workers’ compensation premiums so that we can reward Ohio’s businesses with lower costs.”
The sweeps were the final stage of BWC’s efforts to bring employers into compliance. When a business does not make its premium payment on time, the bureau sends a series of letters notifying the company its account is lapsed. If payment still is not received, BWC personnel contact the employer directly, either by phone or personal visit, to collect outstanding premiums due.
Employers that elect not to pay their premiums will have their account balances certified to the Attorney General’s office for collections. Failure to pay could result in further penalties, interest and property liens being assessed against the employer.
Injured workers who work for non-compliant employers are still entitled to workers’ comp benefits. However, employers are responsible for paying the direct costs of all claims filed by workers who are injured during the period when the account is lapsed.
Non-compliant employers don’t just adversely affect BWC, Conrad said; they hurt employers that do pay into the system as well.
“BWC does not tolerate attempts by employees or employers to cheat the system,” he said. “By not paying for coverage, other employers can be forced into paying higher premiums. This agency and its partners are committed to finding Ohioans that do not contribute their fair share to workers’ compensation so that they can pay the price for their crime.”
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