When you hear a news report about an employer failing to carry adequate workers' compensation coverage or comply with state workers' compensation laws, the usual image is of an industrial plant or a construction site. Rarely would the image of an award-winning actress come to mind. But actress Tina Fey has been hit with a fine for failing to comply with state workers' compensation laws.
Fey's representatives are saying that it is all a mistake due to a mix-up in addresses. But the case still casts a spotlight on businesses that attempt to fly under the radar without worker's compensation coverage.
While fines can be assessed, such as the one against Fey, the appropriate agency must learn of the misconduct first. Sometimes this happens when an employee is actually injured on the job and tries to file a workers’ compensation claim. At that point, the employer may be caught red-handed and be subject to numerous fines and charges.
Regardless of the type of business, even show business, when workers’ compensation coverage is required by state law, compliance is important. Fey’s representatives say that her accountant has not been in the location where the bill was sent for over six years. The bill for $79,000 covers the period from November 2012 to February 2014. The clerical error is being blamed by Fey’s camp for the erroneous information.
Whether you are employed by a glamorous television star, or you work in a mill that provides lumber for California movie sets, you have rights. While Ms. Fey likely has the money to cover her $79,000 bill, the net worth of an employer has nothing to do with its responsibility to provide coverage. Anyone who has been injured on the job should consult a workers’ compensation attorney for assistance.
Source: New York Daily News, “Tina Fey hit with $79,000 judgment for failing to pay workers compensation insurance: court docs,” Barbara Ross, March 28, 2014