The Sun Sentinel published an interesting article last week on a new whistle blower website, set up by the Chief Financial Officer (and Senate candidate) Alex Sink.  The Department of Financial Services is cracking down on Employers who fail to secure coverage.  Employees can  also check if their Employer has coverage on the DFS site.

Considering the state of the economy and that most Employers are enduring layoffs, the reporting of non-compliance by former employees is probably a motivating factor behind whistle blowers.  If you are an Employer who does not have coverage and has four or more employees, now is a time to get that coverage.  Because hiding it will just make the penalties that much worse than the premiums and now, more than ever, you are likely to get caught.

The penalty for not carrying W/C coverage can be as little as $1,000 or a formula based on the premiums the Employer would have paid, multiplied by 1.5 times.  I’ve seen W/C coverage penalty fines and they can be very expensive to litigate and, ultimately,the paying of the fine.  Most times, the Employer is not disputing the lack of coverage but the size of the fine to limit their costs.

Bottomline: Employers, check with the DFS website and your insurance broker to make sure you have coverage or if you need coverage.  Also, confirm that if you fall under one of the W/C coverage exemptions, you have proper documentation and notice with the State.

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