Failure to carry workers’ compensation coverage for employees in Massachusetts is currently only a misdemeanor. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has recently pushed for more serious punishment against employers who do not provide workers’ compensation for their employees. Under Coakley’s proposed bill, failure to carry workers’ compensation will be a felony in Massachusetts, which is the same charge for workers’ compensation fraud. Sponsored by Senator Katherine Clark (D-Melrose) and Majority Whip Ronald Mariano (D-Quincy), this new bill would not only make the punishment consistent with workers’ compensation fraud, but would also penalize the employer with the same punitive measures as workers’ compensation fraud, which is currently five years of prison or a fine of $10,000.
Proposed within a legislative agenda of nine new bills, Coakley commented that: “These bills tackle a number of important challenges in our Commonwealth, including protecting public safety…and more effectively combating fraud and corruption…Our office is working to address these challenges in a comprehensive way, and these new laws would assist our efforts and others across the Commonwealth.”
Other bills within her agenda include legislation to prevent unnecessary foreclosures, human trafficking legislation, economic crime legislation, corporate manslaughter, metals dealing, and legislation against methamphetamine drug trafficking. For a complete list of the proposed legislation, visit the press page released by Coakley’s office: AG Coakley Announces Legislative Agenda.
Massachusetts Attorney General Wants Tougher Workers’ Comp Penalties, Insurance Journal, January 31, 2011
Contact the Massachusetts work injury lawyers at Altman & Altman if you have been injured on the job.