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Engineering Firm Fined $54,000 for Workers' Compensation Violation

2/27/2003

CONTACT: Tami Torres
(850) 413-2842

FT. MYERS – The Division of Workers' Compensation has fined a Port Charlotte engineering firm more than $54,000 for failing to provide workers' compensation coverage for its employees.

A workers' compensation fraud investigator found that Herston Engineering Services, Inc., 20101 Peachland Boulevard, Port Charlotte, failed to provide workers' compensation insurance coverage for six workers employed at the time of the investigation.

"We will continue to crack down on employers who evade premiums and leave workers unprotected, while also pursuing reforms to improve the affordability and availability of workers' compensation coverage," said Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher.

Workers' compensation law in Florida requires construction-related businesses with one or more employees, and nonconstruction-related businesses with four or more employees, to pay compensation or furnish benefits to employees that suffer accidental injury or death arising out of work performed during the scope of employment.

The Bureau of Compliance is the enforcement branch of the Division of Workers' Compensation that ensures employers obtain and maintain the required workers compensation insurance coverage for their employees. Since July, 2002, bureau investigators have assessed more than $4.7 million in fines and contacted more than 13,600 employers to verify workers' compensation insurance coverage.

Anyone with information concerning an employer that fails to secure the proper workers' compensation coverage for its employees should notify the bureau at (850) 488-2713. To report a violation online, log on to www.fldfs.com/WC/databases.html. Information may also be obtained by writing the Bureau of Compliance, 200 East Gaines Street, Tallahassee, Florida, 32399-4228.