Ohio BWC Unit To Target Non-Compliant Employers


Focus on better protection for injured workers and employers that play by the rules

Columbus, OH  (CompNewsNetwork) - Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) Administrator Marsha Ryan announces the creation of the BWC compliance unit. The unit will aggressively pursue those operating businesses in Ohio and do not have workers' compensation coverage to protect the health and well-being of their employees.

“Ohio's greatest business assets are the hard working men and women who faithfully perform their duties, despite the risk of injury,” said Ryan. “BWC's new compliance unit will work to ensure each business pays its fair share for workers' compensation coverage. Thus, protecting working Ohioans and the businesses that comply with the laws of our state.”

Non compliant employers include those whose coverage has lapsed, been cancelled as uncollectible, are operating their businesses without required coverage or have applied for coverage and failed to meet minimum payments. Today, more than 5,540 Ohio employers have an outstanding balance of more than $10,000 in workers' compensation premiums and penalties. These employers collectively owe the State Insurance Fund more than $235 million. Of these, 1,132 employers have had claims filed by injured workers in the last two years.

Since January 2004, 1,655 employers without workers' compensation coverage have had 2,160 claims filed against them for wage compensation totaling more than $9.2 million and medical costs totaling nearly $5.9 million. In addition, 1,477 employers have reported $0 payroll, which is utilized for premium calculation. However, these same employers reported more than $101 million in total payroll to the Ohio Department of Taxation.

Ryan added, “Because BWC is revenue neutral, wage compensation and medical costs paid to employees of non compliant business owners forces employers who abide by the law to absorb the costs through higher workers' compensation premiums. By focusing on enforcing compliance BWC is making progress in its commitment to make certain Ohio workplaces are safe and all employers pay fair and accurate premiums.”

The compliance unit will be staffed with current BWC employees who will be trained to aggressively police compliance, collect overdue premiums, and work with the Office of the Ohio Attorney General when legal action is necessary.

Categories in which the compliance unit will pursue non-compliant employers fall under Ohio Revised Code 4123.01 and include:

  • Employers operating a business without required coverage;
  • Employers with coverage but are not reporting the correct payroll or correct manual classifications; 
  • Employers whose coverage has lapsed, though continues to operate without coverage as required.

For more information about BWC and its customer-focused reform efforts visit www.ohiobwc.com/reform.

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