Most workers are honest and trustworthy. However, there are always a few employees who lack integrity and make things harder for everyone else in the workplace. Some may even fake work injuries or exaggerate how badly they are hurt. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, nearly $7.2 billion of workers' compensation fraud occurs each year in the U.S.
For employers, that is a lot of money to leave on the table. Here are four ways you can stop workers' compensation fraud at your company.
Conduct thorough background checks
Companies should conduct background checks before they hire any new workers. These checks must be thorough. Check employment records, criminal records, credit history and education. Look for previous workers' compensation claims. Some people bounce from job to job, filing fraudulent workers' comp claims and assuming the system will never catch up with them.
Make sure employees understand workers' compensation
Explain workers' compensation benefits to your employees. Let them know these benefits provide medical and financial assistance when a worker is injured on the job. You should also point out that fraudulent workers' compensation claims are illegal, and you will report these illegal actions to law enforcement.
Teach supervisors to respond quickly
Accidents do happen, even when a workplace is strict about safety. Train supervisors and management to respond quickly to workplace accidents. They should record details about the accident and offer to take the injured worker to the hospital. This will ensure you are clear on the extent of the worker's injuries and could prevent the worker from making any fraudulent claims later.
Keep in contact with injured workers
After a worker is injured, management should reach out to the injured worker during his or her recovery. Express concern, and let the worker know he or she is missed at work. Showing you care about your employees may get them back to work sooner and keep them from trying to file a lawsuit.
Workers' compensation fraud occurs, but you and your company can prevent it by conducting background checks, explaining workers' comp benefits, responding quickly to injuries and following up with injured employees.