Contractor Appeals Audit Claiming Independent Contractors

A small Southern California construction company that claims to be a sole proprietorship with no employees is asking the California Department of Insurance to intervene in a nearly $400,000 premium dispute with its workers’ comp carrier. The home remodeling company says it used independent contractors to complete its projects, but the carrier says the contractor … Read More »

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Targeted Inspections Find 25% Uninsured

The state’s Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF) uses high-tech reconnaissance and research to identify employers in several industries that are most likely operating in violation of California labor laws. It looks for payment of wages, workplace safety, and providing workers’ compensation coverage. In the latest fiscal year, the task force identified and inspected 578 businesses … Read More »

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Mandatory Workers’ Comp For All Contractors

Small contractors in three specialty segments will have to carry a workers’ comp policy even if they claim to have no employees under a bill advanced by the Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee. The bill, SB 216 by Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa), is sponsored by the Contractors State Licensing Board and will ultimately … Read More »

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Small Contractors, AB 5, & Presumptions in Workers Comp Legislation

The California Legislature is still early in the bill introduction process, but a few bills have implications for the workers’ comp system. Most direct is one to require more small contractors to carry workers’ comp coverage. Another would expand workers’ comp presumptions for employees in acute care hospitals. Two other bills are directed at limiting … Read More »

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Six Felony Convictions In Premium Fraud Case

The owner of a paving company pleaded guilty to six felonies and agreed to pay over $1.4 million in restitution to two workers’ comp carriers as part of a deal to end a workers’ comp fraud case. Maurosan Milhomem, the owner of Viking Pavers, Inc., copped to the charges related to workers’ compensation insurance premium … Read More »

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Roofer Cops To Workers’ Comp Fraud Charges

Monterey County prosecutors secured a guilty plea from the owner of a roofing company accused of hiding payroll to avoid over $700,000 in workers’ comp premiums and payroll taxes. Juan P. Gutierrez, the owner of Costa Pacific Roofing, will be sentenced next month, but he is likely to receive only probation instead of any jail … Read More »

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Contractor Arrested For Denying Workers’ Comp Benefits, Hiding Payroll

A Southern California construction contractor is facing felony charges alleging he illegally denied workers’ comp benefits to a worker injured on the job and hid payroll to lower his premiums. The worker ultimately lost part of his leg after the initial puncture wound became infected. Harry Minassian (see photo), the owner of Pacific Construction in … Read More »

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Targeted Inspections Find Violations Of Workplace Rules

California’s multi-agency labor enforcement task force (LETF) inspected nearly 1,400 businesses out of California’s 550,000 estimated businesses during the latest full fiscal year. LETF doesn’t reach many businesses however; only 1/4th of 1% of California businesses were inspected. The targeted inspections found noncompliance rates above 90% in some industry sectors and when businesses were out … Read More »

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