WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
State News

Roofers Raise Concerns About Workers Comp Denials For Undocumented Workers

national_institute_for_occupational_safety_and_health.jpg
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health via wikimedia commons
/

Florida roofers want state insurance regulators to crack down on companies that use a person’s immigration to status to avoid paying workers compensation claims.

Florida law requires workers comp claims be paid whether or not an employee can work in the U-S legally.  But in 2003, state lawmakers approved a change making it illegal to file a claim with bogus papers.  Now, professional employer organizations that manage workers comp for small businesses are using the change to avoid paying benefits.  Adam Purdy of Edwards Roofing says that’s wrong.

“It was not until after these employees reported a workers compensation claim that a PEO reports the employee as illegal and denies their coverage,” Purdy says.  “This is shameful and should not be tolerated.”

“The PEO had a duty to determine their legal status of their employees up front and not after a workers compensation injury has occurred,” he says.

An NPR/ProPublica investigation earlier this year showed undocumented workers were being deported instead of receiving care for their legitimate workers comp claims.  Purdy is encouraging state insurance regulators to get involved as lawmakers review the workers comp system.