The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation has identified more than 41,000 firms in the state that have failed to pay workers' compensation premiums or report their payroll data to the agency on time. According to the Dayton Daily News, this caused rates for businesses that made payments to rise. The companies found to have been violating the law by not paying workers' compensation premiums could face harsh penalties.
According to the analysis, some of the employers were unable to make payments due to a general lack of funds, with others closing and forgetting to cancel their workers' compensation. However, some companies likely neglected their payments intentionally in order to gain an advantage by cutting costs.
Employers that fail to maintain coverage under the BWC can face fines and even criminal charges. If a worker is injured and the employer is unable to provide compensation due to lapsed coverage, the worker could even target the company with a lawsuit. A representative with the Ohio BWC said that about 40,000 employers in the state allow their coverage to run out every year.
Following the BWC's report, close to 25,000 of the listed companies made their delinquent premium payments and brought their workers' compensation coverage up to date. However, more than 12,200 employers' accounts are still delinquent, representing $5.6 million in unpaid premiums.
An Ohio director with the National Federation of Independent Business suggested that the problem is not unusual in its scope. But the point of workers' compensation coverage is for employers to be able to take care of employees who are injured when it isn't their fault.
Source: Springfield News Sun, "Firms face charges for skipping workers' comp payment," Cornelius Frolik, May 13, 2012