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White Collar Convictions on the Rise for Workers’ Compensation Act Violations

December 29th, 2013 at 9:11 am

Every state has its own unique workers’ compensation laws that govern local business owners’ obligations to their employees. In Illinois, almost all employers are required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance for any individual who is injured, hired, or has localized employment in Illinois. The complicated requirements of the regulations that govern Illinois workers’ compensation laws can be daunting and confusing to both business owners and employees alike. In the last six years alone increasing numbers of Illinois employers have been prosecuted and pled guilty to Class 4 felonies for refusing to provide workers’ compensation for employees.

workers' compensation actRecent Illinois Workers’ Compensation Suits

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (“IWCC”) Insurance Compliance Unit has been upping the stakes for those Illinois employers who refuse to comply with the federal and state requirements that they obtain workers’ compensation insurance. Numerous local employers throughout Illinois have pled guilty to Class 4 felonies, after years of opportunities to cure their lack of workers’ compensation insurance. Fines for these offenses have ranged from upwards of $10,000.00 for one local Chicago resident who refused to obtain insurance after two years of repeated citations from the IWCC.

The Workers’ Compensation Law

820 ILCS 305, Workers’ Compensation Act requires Illinois employers to obtain workers’ compensation insurance for an estimated 91 percent of all Illinois employees. The only business owners exempt from the Act include corporate officers, sole proprietors, and limited liabilities companies. Those Illinois business owners who plead guilty to violating the Act by not obtaining workers’ compensation insurance can be fined $500 for each day of noncompliance with the Act. In recent years, the IWCC has more vigorously pursued violators. Since 2007, over $7 million dollars in fines has been collected from local Illinois employers who have violated the Act. Avoiding these colossal fines should be relatively simple for those local business owners who have or obtain a good grasp over the Act and its specific requirements for Illinois business owners.

Local Illinois business owners will increasingly have to be aware of the laws and requirements governing their obligation to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. The workers’ compensation attorneys here at the Law Offices of Francis J Discipio in Chicago, IL, are standing by, ready and willing to answer any questions you may have concerning both federal and local employment and workers’ compensation law and how they affect your businesses’ legal obligations.

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