Cases show skipping BWC coverage a costly risk
In separate cases on back-to-back days, Ohio BWC netted two convictions of Cleveland-area day care center operators who refused to pay their workers’ compensation premiums until the BWC pressed criminal charges against them.
One owner must pay the BWC nearly $34,000 and serve one year probation, while the other owner has already paid the BWC nearly $30,000 to bring her centers into compliance.
“These business owners’ refusal to maintain coverage places them in a minority group of employers who seem to disregard the importance of ensuring their employees receive care if they are injured on the job,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison. “Identifying employers that don’t pay helps maintain a fair system that keeps all employers’ premiums as low and stable as possible.”
In the first case, Karon Jones, 45, of Solon, pleaded guilty to a first-degree misdemeanor count of Attempted Obstructing Official Business, according to her June 13 sentence in the Cuyahoga County common pleas court. A judge ordered Jones to pay the BWC $33,985 in restitution to bring her policy current and imposed probation in lieu of a six-month jail sentence.
Jones’ policy for Norak Inc., dba Dynamic Creations, lapsed from Jan. 1, 2010 through June 30, 2015. The BWC Employer Fraud Team (EFT) opened Jones’ case in August 2015 after the BWC Special Investigation Department identified the center and other child care facilities operating in Ohio without valid BWC coverage.
In the second case, Tenora M. Edwards-Jones, 47, of Richmond Heights, pleaded guilty June 14 in Cuyahoga County common pleas court to one count of Failure to Comply with the Law, a second-degree misdemeanor. Edwards-Jones had lapsed coverage at two day care centers in Cleveland Heights, Excell Early Learning Center and The Blue Room Ltd., dba Educare Development Center.
Prior to her sentencing, Edwards-Jones paid the BWC $28,514 to bring both policies current.