Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Announces Record Penalties for Failure to Provide Workers' Comp Insurance

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, July 26, 2006  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Mark York

Penalty collections top $1 million for FY ‘06

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Aggressive enforcement of the law requiring workers’ compensation insurance for employees has resulted in the record collection of more than $1 million in penalties, Governor Ernie Fletcher announced today.

The state Office of Workers’ Claims (OWC) issued more than 1,000 citations in fiscal year 2006 to Kentucky businesses that had failed to provide the required coverage.

“Employees are our greatest asset in the business environment and if injured on the job should know their income, medical bills and other liabilities will be covered by their employer,” Governor Fletcher said. “It’s also unfair to the business community when some employers are abiding by the law while others are not.”

“When some are allowed to shirk their responsibility to provide coverage, the result is higher rates on everyone else,” the governor said.

For the year, nearly 8,000 investigations were conducted by OWC, resulting in $1,192,471 in penalty collections. In fiscal year 2005 penalty collections totaled $737,755.

Kentucky law requires any employer with at least one employee to carry workers’ compensation coverage.

“Our priority is not to collect record penalties but to protect employees on the job,” said William Emrick, executive director of the OWC. “We hope these penalties will serve to discourage violations of the law.”

Investigators from the OWC probe businesses based upon leads, complaints from the public, random inspections and reports of employee injuries.