Worker’s Compensation Claims: “Identifying and Investigating Undocumented Workers”

Worker's Compensation

Move over, blue- and white-collar jobs: The workforce color spectrum is ...

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, an undocumented worker or undocumented immigrant is a foreign-born person who is not a permanent resident and is not a U.S. citizen. The term “undocumented” refers to the lack of legal documentation that permits the individual to work in the United States.  In 1986, Congress enacted the Immigration and Reform Control Act (IRCA) which makes it illegal for employers to knowingly hire undocumented immigrants and requires employers to take affirmative steps to confirm and attest to an employee’s status. IRCA mandates that employers verify the identity and eligibility of all new employees by requiring every new employee to present specific documents before commencing work. All states have some form of law which requires employers to validate a worker’s legal work status prior to employment.  Multiple states have specific requirements for the use of the Federal E-Verify System.  E-Verify is an Internet-based system that compares information entered by an employer from an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to records available to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration to confirm employment eligibility. E-Verify is the only free, fast, online service  that electronically confirms an employee’s information against millions of government records.  Several states have laws requiring the reporting of known undocumented workers and the employers that hire them.  Non-compliance could result in fines and loss of business licenses.   

It is clear that employers/PEOs need to make sure the individuals they are hiring are individuals who are legally permitted to work in the United States.  Employers/PEOs need to follow Federal and State Laws with employment documentation and compliance. There are multiple steps and processes that an employer/PEOs should utilize to validate the worker is legally allowed to work in the United States.  There are also several methods to validate the documents and personal identification provided by the worker are authenticated.  

Insurance Professionals have some of the same responsibilities as employers.  Insurance Professionals should request and receive the employment paperwork used with hiring and paying the claimants. Insurance Professionals should review the documentation provided by employers/PEOs for noncompliance and indicators of hiring undocumented workers.  In several instances employers have been found to be complicit in hiring undocumented workers through social networks, labor leasing, and family businesses.  Investigations show undocumented individuals use elaborate websites, companies, and techniques to reproduce fraudulent identification to provide to employers and insurers to represent themselves as legal workers. 

Insurance Professionals should hire a professional and well established Special Investigations Unit (SIU) to assist in the identification, investigation, and required reporting of Undocumented Workers in the work force.  

The Brumell Group is a full-service SIU Management, Fraud Consulting & Investigations firm with over 30 years of experience in investigating fraud. If you would like to learn more about your SIU options, please contact the Brumell Group today. Save time, save money, and stay compliant by partnering with the Brumell Group for all your SIU needs. Call us today at (904) 880-5150 to get a free consultation.