Business Insurance Wisconsin companies saw the case of a group of business owners In North Carolina forced by the state to pay delayed work related liabilities to employees as a precedent of what could happen if business insurance is not taken seriously by employers.
An investigation conducted by the News & Observer revealed that tens of thousands of employers failed to carry required workers´ compensation coverage. The North Carolina Industrial Commission followed the story and is now forcing business owners that have unresolved issues regarding employees´ medical bills and missed wages to “Pay something. Anything. Make a sacrifice or go to jail. ”
Commission officials are dusting off cases rendered years ago and demanding payment. In the coming months hundreds of employers will be called to hearings to defend themselves and to explain to authorities how they will pay.
Business insurance Wisconsin agents are aware that uninsured businesses are quite common and always urge their clients to ask for the coverage they are entitled to by law, so they can avoid facing situations where employers fail to compensate injured workers for years.
Such is the case of John Ashworth as he limped into the sixth floor conference room of the Industrial Commission´s building. It´s been 3 years since he fell off the roof he was fixing while working for Roger Wayne House, the owner of a construction company in North Carolina.
He broke both legs and the pain is still so intense he has to use crutches to walk. In February 2011, a deputy commissioner order House to pay Ashworth $250 a week until he can go back to work and to pay his $37,814 medical bills. So far, Ashworth hasn´t seen a dime.
House was called to hearings to defend himself but he didn´t show up. So far, the head commissioner has called at least 50 business owners but when asked what did they plan on doing to pay for their claims he received the same answer: “Nothing”.
Several cases of suffering hard working employees experiencing the same distress have pass through business insurance Wisconsin offices, hence the interest in the case.
Bad economy is the most common explanation. Dana Cash, a construction company owner told the commissioner she had lost more than a half million dollars in the past two years battling a depressed housing market. She mentioned all the homes she lost to foreclosure and the utility bill she struggles to pay each month. In the meantime, Ashworth collects disability payments from the federal government and his landlord is kind enough to let him pay rent as he can.
This is a wakeup call Business insurance Wisconsin firms want to bring to the general public´s attention.
Some business owners met the commission´s firm stance arguing why worker´s compensation is required for small businesses. Such is the case of Jeffrey Jones, a dock builder who says he will never pay a dime to his former employee, David Hedrick.
Jones, 53, said he didn´t believe Hedrick deserved any payment for crushing his ankle while helping him build a dock. “Hedrick knew he had no insurance and took that risk when he came to work. I haven´t had insurance in 13 years and need a colonoscopy. I could get that done for free in jail, so go ahead”, said Jones.
Business insurance Wisconsin officers are aware that hard economic conditions force workers to take up any job they can, but they advice them to think about their health, their future and their family, otherwise they could spend years waiting for a compensation that might never arrive.