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Florida Fights Workers' Compensation Fraud

Florida legislators have once again stepped up efforts to crack down on payroll fraud by naming another special prosecutor to investigate and punish workers’ compensation fraud.

Last month, the Palm Beach Post reported that Palm Beach County (containing the cities of West Palm Beach and Boca Raton) is now the latest county to assign a full-time special prosecutor charged with pursuing worker misclassification and workers’ compensation fraud.  The article explains the role of State Attorney Dave Aronberg in procuring the $143,720 for this effort:

“Aronberg, a former state senator, pushed for the money for the new initiative with the help of Florida Department of Financial Services leaders when he visited the state’s capitol during the recently ended legislative session.”

Aronberg is quoted by the Palm Beach Post:

“Workers compensation fraud has far-reaching effects, from costing Florida taxpayers millions to jeopardizing the health and recovery of workers who are injured on the job, to putting legitimate construction companies at an unfair disadvantage against competitors who cut corners and violate the law.”

Other counties in Florida which have special prosecutors assigned to fighting workers’ compensation are Miami-Dade (containing the city of Miami), Broward (containing the city of Fort Lauderdale), and Hillsborough (containing the city of Tampa on the Gulf Coast).

As legitimate professionals in the Florida construction industry get fed up with the costly crime of workers’ compensation fraud, the push to fight back against it is moving across the state.  What does this mean for the rest of the country?  Will each state have to reach its own “rock bottom” of cash-paid workers in the underground economy of this industry before legislators and other leaders step up to put an end to this and other types of payroll fraud?

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