Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Record penalties for workers' comp insurance
FRANKFORT, KY. (July 21, 2005) – Kentucky employers who failed to provide required workers’ compensation insurance for employees were hit with more than 1,100 citations in fiscal year 2005, resulting in the collection of a record $737,775 in penalties, Governor Ernie Fletcher announced today.
The 2005 data from the state Office of Workers’ Claims (OWC), was up from 709 citations in fiscal year 2004 and nearly doubled the $388,826 in penalties collected in 2004.
Governor Fletcher said collecting record penalties, while not a priority, serves to discourage violations of the workers’ compensation law.
"This administration has taken an aggressive approach on the enforcement of the statutory requirement for employers to have workers’ compensation insurance," said Governor Fletcher. "Employees deserve to have confidence that if they are injured on the job, their income, medical bills and other liabilities for injured workers will be covered by their employer."
Kentucky requires any employer with at least one employee to carry workers’ compensation coverage. William Emrick, executive director of the OWC, said widespread failure of some employers to abide by the law raises costs to those who do.
"Employers who disregard the workers’ compensation law have an unfair advantage when competing against employers who provide proper workers’ compensation coverage for their workers," said Emrick.
Investigators from the OWC probe businesses based upon leads, complaints from the public, random inspections and reports of employee injuries. Citations were issued in the construction, trucking, manufacturing, retail and professional service industries. The smallest penalty assessed was $200; the largest $50,000.