The Florida First District Court of Appeals recently decided a case that will have dramatic impact on injured workers who are being paid "under the table." In Fast Track Framing v. Marando Homes, the Court found that if an injured worker is paid cash and does not report those wages to the IRS as taxable income, the money will not be counted as "wages" and therefore cannot be calculated in the injured workers' average weekly wage. If the injured worker is earning only money paid "under the table," then is average weekly wage is zero and he or she is not entitled to any wage benefits under Florida Workers' Compensation law.
The worker comp carrier love this case, but the employers better be careful. If they swear under oath that they are paying the injured worker "under the table," they could easily open themselves up to an IRS audit for unreported payroll taxes. Further, the Florida workers' compensation law has a fraud provision penalizing employers for knowingly misrepresenting or concealing payroll.
Sadly, under Florida workers compensation, a lot of carriers will do whatever it takes to deny workers' compensation benefits to injured workers. Thus, most workers' comp claimants need attorneys to watch out for them!
My Tampa Bay personal injury law firm has been representing those injured in work comp claims, auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, and other personal injury matters for over 53 years. For more information, click here.