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Workers’ Comp Compliance Sweep Nabs 23 Employers

8/7/2007

CONTACT:  Tara Klimek or Nina Banister
(850) 413-2842   
 
PANAMA CITY—Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink today commended state workers’ compensation compliance investigators who conducted a recent sweep of 177 businesses in two Panhandle counties that resulted in 23 Stop Work Orders against employers found to be operating without the required coverage. 
 
The sweep was conducted by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Workers Compensation, Bureau of Compliance (District 1A).  Two examiners and 13 investigators executed the sweep between July 23 and July 26 in South Walton County and the Panama City/Panama City Beach area.  Seven of the checks were conducted on a military installation with a federal investigator attending and observing.
 
“Our investigators are tenacious about protecting workers by ensuring employers are complying with the law,” said CFO Sink, who oversees the department.  “Because of our aggressive investigations and tougher laws, compliance is increasing. 
Employers are becoming more aware of their responsibilities and that if they fail to obtain workers’ compensation coverage, they will be caught.” 
 
During the last fiscal year, District 1A led the state’s seven districts with a total of 546 Stop Work Orders and also led the state with the amount of premium generated – more than $3.2 million – as a result of employers coming into compliance and obtaining workers’ compensation coverage.  District 1A was second in the state with the number of new employees – 1,054 – coming into compliance as well as the total amount of penalties the district assessed, which came to more than $15.6 million.
 
Employers are enjoying a cumulative 40-percent drop in premiums, carriers have seen Workers’ Compensation Administration Trust Fund assessments plummet from 2.57 percent to .25 percent beginning in January, and Florida has experienced overall premium growth with 28 new carriers writing workers’ compensation coverage in Florida.
 
“A strong economy and tougher compliance efforts have produced these solid results,” said CFO Sink.  “More importantly, more workers are getting the protection they deserve.”

As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink  oversees the department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.