Employees in Massachusetts generally cannot directly sue their employers for any injuries sustained at their jobs. Instead, employers across the Commonwealth must purchase “no fault” workers’ compensation insurance, which is part of a system that is intended to protect workers who are tragically killed or suffer a serious injury in a workplace accident. Unfortunately, some Massachusetts employers endeavor to avoid paying their fair share of workers’ compensation premiums. Employers who are caught doing so can face both financial and criminal penalties.
According to Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, a Chelsea man was recently charged with committing worker’s compensation fraud in an effort to avoid paying almost $50,000 in workers’ compensation premiums. The 50-year-old man allegedly underreported the total payroll at a now defunct Dorchester temporary employment agency, where he acted as operations manager, to cut costs. Although the agency operated a payroll of more than $2 million between 2007 and 2009, the man reported to his workers’ compensation insurer that the amount was less than $200,000. He was apparently granted a lower insurance premium based on the purportedly bogus numbers.