From Alex Sink's Newsletter:
Florida CFO Alex Sink today announced that her new workers' comp whistle-blower web site which allows citizens to submit referrals of alleged violations of workers' compensation rules has already produced hundreds of new complaints and over $500,000 in penalties since its launch less than two months ago.
The electronic non-compliance referral web site makes it easier for any citizen to submit a complaint online about suspected non-compliance with workers' compensation rules and provides real-time feedback to complainants. The site also allows the Division of Workers' Compensation to input referrals and initiate investigations more rapidly. Since the new workers' comp whistle-blower site was launched in June, CFO Sink’s Division of Workers' Compensation has received 328 referrals online. As a result of those referrals, 36 Stop-Work Orders were issued, resulting in $526,000 dollars in assessed penalties.
“Florida workers who are injured on the job can face devastating medical bills and serious financial hardship if their employers aren’t properly covered, which is why we want to make it as easy as possible for whistle-blowers to report possible violations of workers' comp rules,” said CFO Sink. “This new workers' comp whistle-blower web site makes it easier for our citizens to provide anonymous referrals for alleged violations and also allows for more expedient fraud investigations. And with half a million dollars already assessed in penalties from these online referrals, we can see this new system is working.”
“I am very proud of my staff within the Bureau of Compliance for creating the database in-house with assistance from IT staff,” said Division of Workers’ Compensation Director Tanner Holloman. “They took a proactive stance to help citizens find an easier way to report and track workers’ compensation referrals.”
Referrals can be submitted electronically at the Non-Compliance Referral Database on the Division of Workers' Compensation web site at http://www.fldfs.com/wc/index.htm. The new database provides complainants with the ability to electronically submit referrals and receive feedback and updates without revealing his or her identity.
The Division of Workers’ Compensation conducted nearly 30,000 onsite investigations of worksites to determine employer compliance for the 2008-2009 fiscal year. Examples of non-compliant workers’ compensation coverage include working without workers’ compensation, under-reporting payroll such as paying employees in cash instead of from checks from payroll, and misclassifying employees in order to receive a lower workers’ compensation rate.
For more information about CFO Sink’s Division of Workers Compensation or to submit a complaint, visit www.MyFloridaCFO.com.