Layoffs are never easy, especially when it's the first one you've had to do as a business owner. While most business owners understand the importance of protecting themselves legally during a layoff, you may overlook the risks associated with your workers' compensation policy. While most workers' compensation claims are legitimate, even those filed right after a layoff, there is always a chance that a layoff may lead to a fraudulent claim in an attempt to secure more financial stability in the transition. Here are some tips to protect your company from these risks.
Consider Security Cameras
One of the best lines of defense against fraudulent claims is an offensive effort. Video security systems are great for this because they record all of the activity on the floor. This is helpful if you have an employee file a claim after the layoff, because you can pull up their last shift and observe their activities. If the injury is evident, you can be confident that the claim is legitimate.
Communicate With Your Workers' Compensation Company
By notifying your workers' compensation company in advance about your plans for a layoff, you can ensure that they are on alert for any potential claims. If a claim is filed, they can examine it a bit more closely with the understanding that there's an increased risk of fraud. They may also be able to give you some ideas to help you combat this risk in-house.
Ask About Injuries During Exit Interviews
When you conduct the exit interviews as part of the layoff, ask each employee about any potential unreported injuries. Sometimes, employees will hesitate to report an injury out of concern for their job, but will then file the claim after a layoff. You can even have each employee sign a statement that certifies that they haven't suffered any unreported injuries. Keep those forms on file in case there is a question later.
Offer An Assistance Program
If you can offer an assistance program for your laid-off employees, it may make the transition easier and reduce the risk of fraudulent claims. For example, provide access to resume writing services, job placement support, and other similar tools to make it easier for them to get back to work. This reduces the financial worry, which may eliminate the chances of a claim.
The more proactive you can be about supporting your employees and protecting your company during a layoff, the less risk you'll have of fraudulent workers' compensation claims after the fact. Talk with your workers' compensation insurance company today for more help.