An Ohio judge has ordered a container manufacturer to suspend operations at the request of the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation. The BWC says that in failing to maintain workers' compensation coverage for its employees, the company has repeatedly failed to protect its staff. It is believed to be the first time the BWC has taken such an action.
The BWC argues that other Ohio employers have been forced to front the cost of workers' compensation benefits owed to employees of the container company, which allowed its policy to expire in 2006.
Under Ohio law, citizens who are injured on the job must receive workers' compensation even if their employer does not have an active policy. When an employer does not pay its premiums that cost is deferred among other businesses. Since the company's policy lapsed in 2006, the BWC has repeatedly, attempted to help the company keep its employees covered. During that time, the company has been the target of 22 workers' compensation claims, including one stemming from the death of an employee. The company now owes nearly $700,000.
The owner of the container company has pled guilty to felony failure to comply with workers' compensation laws, agreeing to resolve the issue by making several payments. Despite promising to make monthly and lump sum payments, the owner has failed to do so. This prompted the BWC to ask a judge to order the company's operations halted.
The head of the BWC accused the container company of failing to cooperate with BWC attempts to resolve the issue. He argued that the company repeatedly ignored attempts to find a solution.
Source: Claims Journal, "Ohio Company's Refusal to Protect Employees Results in Court Action," April 4, 2012