Labor and Industries and Employer Surveillance of Injured Workers

Do L&I and Self Insured Employers do Surveillance of Injured Workers?

Yes, L&I and Self Insured Employers spy on  injured workers every day. They hire private investigators to follow injured workers. They sit in front of your house and watch. These investigators take videos and photos. They ask questions of your neighbors. They work with State, Federal and local law enforcement to detect and prosecute fraudulent activity.

Why Do L&I and Employers Spy on Injured Workers?

L&I and employers are looking for evidence of willful misrepresentation and fraud. They are looking for workers who collect L&I benefits in a dishonest way. Willful misrepresentation and fraud are against the law.

What is Willful Misrepresentation?

Willful misrepresentation is fraud when it is intended to result in financial gain.

  • For injured workers fraud includes obtaining money and other benefits which they are not entitled to by willfully misrepresenting or omitting facts.
  • For employers fraud includes under reporting hours and misclassifying workers.

What is a Fraud Order?

A fraud order is serious business. It is L&I’s way of saying you have done something wrong and we are coming after you. Do not ignore a fraud order. Protest, appeal, and otherwise deal with the order in timely fashion. Get a lawyer, maybe two.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Help with a Fraud Order?

With a fraud order L&I will want to take back the value of the benefits you obtained. You may wish to consult with a workers compensation lawyer. 

If law enforcement is going to charge you with fraud you should speak with a criminal defense lawyer. 

This is important. Be careful with criminal charges, fraud is a felony. A felony conviction could follow you around for the rest of your life. Don’t let that happen to you.

What is the Willful Misrepresentation Reporting Requirement and Checklist?

It is a checklist of details about you and your claim that the L&I fraud division will look at when deciding whether to issue a fraud order.

This form will tell you a lot about how fraud claims are handled at L&I. Here is a link to a blank report form. Willful Misrepresentation Reporting Requirements and Checklist.

Surveillance After a Settlement

Surveillance after a settlement happens, but not very often. Most surveillance occurs, if at all, when a claim is open. If you were honest in the handling of your claim then there is little to worry about.

How Do I Report Fraud?

Online: Report L&I Fraud Online

L&I fraud hot line 1-888-811-5974 (Option 3)

Where can I Find the L&I Fraud Law?

  • RCW 51.32.240 (5) allows L&I to recoup all fraudulent payments together with a 50% penalty.
  • RCW 51.48.020 provides that obtaining benefits by fraud is a felony or gross misdemeanor.

How to Contact Us

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Chris Sharpe

Chris Sharpe

Christopher Sharpe is the go to attorney for injured persons. His law firm is helpful, honest, and knowledgeable about workers' compensation and personal injury law in the State of Washington. Chris has been helping injured Washington State workers for over 40 years. He has built his practice on thoroughly educating, honestly helping, and successfully representing workers throughout Washington State.

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