"Ohio's workers' compensation system succeeds when businesses pay premiums on time," Governor Bob Taft said. "In order to keep costs low for all employers while maintaining high-quality benefits for Ohio workers, we must continue to aggressively pursue those companies that dodge their financial obligations to BWC and the state."
BWC Administrator/CEO James said the state will not tolerate businesses that are trying to cheat Ohio's workers' compensation system. "BWC will not let employers shirk their responsibilities to pay workers' comp premiums; those that try will face serious consequences," said Conrad.
Of the 100 employers on the list, 73 are headquartered in Ohio, while others are located as far east as New Jersey and as far west as Oregon. Collectively, the group owes more than $2.2 million for the payroll period of Jan. 1, 2004, through June 30, 2004; the average business owes $22,016.
According to Conrad, companies that fail to pay premiums not only hurt the workers' compensation system, they adversely affect Ohio businesses and citizens as well. "By not paying premiums, a business can use that money for other purposes," Conrad said. "They can undercut competition and unfairly win a job, stealing work they normally might not win. They also pose problems to private citizens who may contract for their services. For the good of BWC and all Ohioans, this type of activity must end."
Should an employee be injured on the job while the business' workers' compensation coverage is lapsed, the employer would have to pay dollar for dollar the cost of the claim.
BWC has unveiled a tool on its Web site, the employer coverage look-up, which will allow the public to check out employers and see if they're paying into the system. This tool can be accessed by going to www.ohiobwc.com and clicking on "Ohio employers," then "Coverage look-up."