It appears that the Office of Workers Compensation has recently made the decision to emphasize § 32-1532 of the District of Columbia Workers’ Compensation Act of 1979, which states in relevant part:
(a) Within 10 days from the date of any injury or death or from the date that the employer has knowledge of a disease or infection in respect of such injury, the employer shall send to the Mayor a report setting forth: (1) the name, address, and business of the employer; (2) the name, address, and occupation of the employee; (3) the cause and nature of the injury or death; (4) the year, month, day, and hour when and the particular locality where the injury or death occurred; and (5) such other information as the Mayor may require.
(e) Any employer who fails or refuses to send any report required of him by this section shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 for each such failure or refusal.
While the statute itself is certainly not new, the OWC has recently begun to issue Show Cause Order’s to employers/insurers in instances where the Employer’s First Report (Form 8) was filed late - requesting an explanation as to why. Based upon the explanation provided, the fine may be enforced, reduced, or waived.
Whether this decision was the result of increasing numbers of Form 8’s being filed late, delaying the claim process (the official explanation) or a method to increase revenue – employers and carriers need to be aware that the decision has been made.
Article contributed by Scott Massengill