On Safety

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Workers’ comp beauty queen

August 22, 2014

An employee defrauding the workers’ compensation system is rare, but it can happen. In a recent case, the allegations are a real beauty.

A 22-year-old California woman was collecting workers’ comp benefits for a work-related foot injury, according to the state Department of Insurance. She told her doctor she could not wear shoes or put any weight on the foot, and the doctor ordered her off work and told her to keep the foot elevated.

Now authorities allege that the woman, while collecting workers’ comp benefits, participated in at least two beauty pageants in high heels without any apparent discomfort. One of the pageants was video-recorded showing the woman’s participation. She was subsequently arrested and charged with workers’ comp fraud.

“Fraudulently collecting workers’ compensation benefits by lying about the severity of an injury is illegal, and insulting to legitimately injured Californians,” state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said in a press release. “This suspect made the job of our departments’ detectives easier by openly participating in high-profile events.”

If only every defrauder was so brazen.

The opinions expressed in "On Safety" do not necessarily reflect those of the National Safety Council or affiliated local Chapters.

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