Computers are making it easier for state inspectors to check whether businesses have workers’ comp insurance policies. The result: more fines.
Since the start of 2012, Georgia has uncovered 538 businesses without comp policies and has issued $480,000 in fines. The companies will pay a total of $1.2 million in premiums to come into compliance.
The Georgia Board of Workers’ Compensation used to rely on complaints and random checks to uncover violators.
Now, inspectors can quickly check a national database to see if a business is paying premiums for coverage. They can even do this from laptops in their cars.
At year end, the inspectors check to see whether the former violators dropped the coverage they were forced to buy when they were caught.
Another tool at the inspectors’ disposal: cross checking data from the U.S. Department of Labor to see if employers paying unemployment insurance premiums aren’t providing workers’ comp coverage.
Which companies are more likely to be targeted? Restaurants, stores and small construction companies are the most frequent violators, so they’re the types of businesses that get checked the most.
Complaints from employees may soon rise as well. The state now has a website employees can use to see if their employer has workers’ comp coverage.