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Penalties imposed for not having workers' compensation coverage

Connecticut requires that employers carry workers' compensation coverage for their employees. Workers' compensation benefits may then be available for a worker if he or she is injured or becomes ill on the job. Not all employers comply with this requirement, however.

Recently, the Labor Department discovered that individuals working at 18 Connecticut grocery stores were not provided workers' compensation coverage. The Labor Department learned of this issue upon receiving wage complaints from workers who were working for these stores' cleaning contractors. The grocery stores involved included Whole Foods, ShopRite, and Stop and Shop. Twenty-three workers were performing cleaning services at these grocery stores across the state and were not covered by workers' compensation coverage.

Upon learning of this failure of coverage, the Labor Department issued stop work orders against cleaning contractors USD Cleaning, LLC and Paraiba Cleaning Corporation. Under a stop work order, a company cannot begin working again until it has provided proof that it has corrected all identified deficiencies. Additionally, Connecticut imposes a $300 fine per worker, per day that a company is in violation. The aforementioned companies had additional violations as well, including improper treatment of employees as independent contractors and failure to provide unemployment coverage.

These are significant violations, as a failure to provide workers' compensation coverage precludes workers from obtaining full workplace protections, thus taking advantage of these hard-working individuals. If you are working for a Connecticut company that you believe is not providing proper workers' compensation benefits coverage, you may wish to speak with an attorney to discuss your rights and options. Workers' compensation coverage is essential to protect individuals in the event of a workplace accident or other workplace injury.

Source: WTNH, "Labor Department issues stop work orders at 18 CT grocery store locations," Scott Powell, July 25, 2016

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Law Offices of Wesley M. Malowitz

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