Temporary employment agency pays fine, sentenced to prison
- A Dorchester, Massachusettes, woman was sentenced in federal court in Boston for tax and fraud offenses in connection with her operation of a temporary employment agency.Dam Ngoc Luong, 70, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin to one year and one day in prison and three years of supervised release.
- Luong was also ordered to pay $3,993,169 in restitution to the IRS and $155,870 in restitution to Traveler’s Insurance Co.
- Luong defrauded the insurance carrier she engaged to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage for employees, by concealing the cash wages paid to her employees.
Texas proposes rules on claims for death benefits
- The Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation proposed amendments to Title 28, Texas Administrative Code (28 TAC), Section 122.100 and new 28 TAC Section 124.8, concerning claims for death benefits.
- The amendments and new section allow eligible beneficiaries to file claims for death benefits with DWC or an insurance carrier and clarify an insurance carrier’s obligations for recordkeeping and notice to DWC.
- Existing rules require an insurance carrier to send a plain-language notice of potential entitlement to workers’ compensation death benefits to a potential beneficiary.
- The new section requires the insurance carrier to copy DWC on that notice.
Former employee in Florida arrested
- A former employee of the Sarasota County, Florida Sheriff’s Office was taken into custody, following an investigation into Workers’ Compensation Fraud.
- Neil Wilson had been placed on administrative leave since September 6 following an investigation by the Florida Department of Financial Services into a suspected fraudulent workers’ compensation claim.
- The claim, which spanned 13 months, resulted in a $30,522.03 loss (amount paid to date), with the total amount incurred listed at $64,033.26. Following the outcome of the investigation, the Department of Financial Services presented its case to the State Attorney’s Office.
- The State filed one count of Workers’ Compensation Fraud ($20,000 or more, but less than $100,000), a second-degree felony, and requested an order for Wilson’s arrest, which was granted.
Potential boost to H-2A program
- The U.S. Department of Labor proposed a new rule that would strengthen protections for farm workers in the H-2A program and help prevent abuses that undermine wages and standards for all agricultural workers.
- The proposed rule would add new protections for worker self-advocacy, better protect workers against retaliation, make foreign labor recruitment more transparent, and enhance the department’s enforcement.
- This proposal builds on a final rule the department published in October 2022 that modernized key aspects of the H-2A program.
- The rule would improve workers’ ability to advocate for better working conditions by expanding and clarifying existing anti-retaliation protections.