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Employer cannot help without workers' compensation coverage

Companies in Ohio are required to have workers' compensation coverage in order to cover the costs of any unexpected injuries that might occur to employees while on the job. This is a very important form of coverage that is legally necessary-not possessing such insurance could leave some employees without any way to recoup the costs of taking time off to recover from an injury. Workplace injuries vary in severity and can leave an employee unable to work for days, weeks, months, even years. This is why workers' compensation is so important.

The owner of a limousine company was recently ordered to repay more than $13,600 to the state of Ohio and the Bureau of Workers' Compensation. In addition, he was sentenced to 30 days in jail but this was suspended in exchange for a probation sentence of five years.

The situation involved a misclassification of the limousine company's employees. According to reports, the man did not classify his employees as workers for the company-instead they were considered subcontractors. Perhaps because of this classification, there was no workers' compensation coverage in place for any employees that could be or were hurt. A state official said that if an employer controls the work environment of a worker and provides them with the tools to perform her or his job, they cannot be considered a subcontractor.

According to reports, the company's employees were categorized differently in 2003. A change in the categorization prompted action by the state and an audit was performed in 2008 after the company's workers' compensation policy expired in 2007. The state notified the employer but inaction on the part of the company forced the hand of the state-they charged the owner in April 2010.

He pleaded guilty to the charges last month because he wanted to put the issue behind him and his company. Reports indicate that he believed his company was in compliance with the law.

Source: Toledo Blade, "Limo owner to pay more than $13,600 in restitution," Kris Turner, Oct. 31, 2012

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Philip J. Fulton Law OfficeRepresenting Victims Of Workplace Injuries And Disability

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Columbus, OH 43215

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