Safety and OSHA News

2 strange comp cases: Caught on Facebook and Height of Hypocrisy

What happens in Arizona doesn’t stay in Arizona when you post it on your Facebook page. And in a another case, it’s apparently “do as I say, not as I do,” when it comes to workers’ comp.

First, the case of Michael Mallory, formerly of Ohio. While working in the Buckeye state, Mallory was injured and began collecting workers’ comp benefits.

Then he relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona. The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) received a tip that Mallory was doing construction work in Arizona while collecting comp benefits.

Investigators found Mallory was working for Safety Compliance Services in Arizona as a rescue technician. His Facebook page showed photos of him wearing rappelling gear and doing rappelling work.

Mallory pleaded guilty in Ohio court to workers’ comp fraud. He was ordered to pay $7,644 in restitution and investigative costs to BWC. He paid $6,000 at sentencing and was given a six-month suspended sentence provided he pay the balance of the amount by Oct. 13.

BWC CEO Steve Buehrer called Mallory’s case “a clear example of someone who knowingly broke the rules and flaunted his crime.”

‘Do as I say … ‘

If a corporate executive made negative comments about employees receiving workers’ comp benefits, do you think the exec would have the chutzpah to request comp himself?

That appears to be the case in San Francisco, according to SFGate.com.

In April, Henry Alvarez was fired from his job as executive director of the San Francisco Housing Authority amidst concerns about his leadership of the agency which was about to run out of money.

The housing authority was also caught up in two lawsuits from three former employees who said Alvarez retaliated and discriminated against them. Two of the three said the discrimination was for taking paternity or disability leave.

In one case, Beverly Myres, a workers’ comp analyst for the housing authority, said she was fired while on disability leave with a knee injury.

Her lawsuit claims Alvarez said in a meeting, “How can the workers’ comp person be out on workers’ comp?” Myres also alleges Alvarez made derisive comments about her disability.

Myres’ attorney, Heidi Machen, said “We find it the height of hypocrisy that after an extensive record of saying that anyone who takes workers’ comp is a malingerer and a fraud, Mr. Alvarez then files for it.”

Alvarez is seeking disability payments, health care and a voucher worth up to $10,000 for job training. He claims his injuries occurred four days after he requested his leave of absence from the housing authority for personal reasons. He filed the claim two weeks after he was fired, claiming injuries in five areas, including the back and neck, all of which are stress-related.

The controversy around the former housing authority executive director also escalated when he set up a restaurant in Berkeley, CA, while he was presumably too ill to do his day job.

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Comments

  1. Too many Worker’s Comp. claim abuse cases that are found/caught receive the whopping punishment of resitution for wages gained under fraud and repayment to cover the cost of suveilance. Wow with such minimal punishment – what is the deterent to playing this game???

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