A new workers compensation whistleblower Web site that allows Florida citizens to submit referrals of alleged violations of workers compensation rules has already produced hundreds of new complaints and more than $500,000 in penalties since its launch less than two months ago.
Since the site was launched in June, Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink it has received 328 referrals online. As a result of those referrals, 36 stop-work orders were issued against employers, resulting in $526,000 in assessed penalties.
The Web site makes it easier for any citizen to submit a complaint about suspected non-compliance with workers compensation rules and provides real-time feedback to complainants.
The site also allows the Division of Workers Compensation to input referrals and initiate investigations more rapidly.
“Florida workers who are injured on the job can face devastating medical bills and serious financial hardship if their employers aren’t properly covered, which is why we want to make it as easy as possible for whistleblowers to report possible violations of workers comp rules,” said Sink.
The Division of Workers’ Compensation conducted nearly 30,000 onsite investigations of worksites to determine employer compliance for the 2008-2009 fiscal year. Examples of non-compliant workers’ compensation coverage include working without workers’ compensation, under-reporting payroll such as paying employees in cash instead of from checks from payroll, and misclassifying employees in order to receive a lower workers’ compensation rate.
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