DLT to launch month-long effort to combat fraud
October 27, 2011
This November, the RI Department of Labor and Training is launchinga month-long education effort to prevent and combat fraud. Among the department’s initiatives is a series of free fraud prevention workshops for RI employers in the areas of unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation and temporary disability insurance, and worker misclassification.
Other department-wide initiatives include the creation of an internal cross-divisional work group charged with identifying fraud prevention strategies in unemployment insurance, the addition of a staff member to its existing Income Support Fraud Unit, and the recently publicized collaboration with the State Police in the successful effort to arrest 13 unemployment insurance recipients who unlawfully collected a combined total of more than $130,000 in benefits.
“It is our public responsibility, as a government agency, to be proactive in combating fraud, both among benefit recipients and businesses,” said Director of Labor and Training Charles J. Fogarty. “We believe that one of the most productive ways to combat fraud is to educate businesses on how to report fraud when it occurs and to prevent it from happening in the first place.”
Fogarty explained that the department sought and recently received a $1.1 million federal grant to improve fraud prevention through community outreach; other activities funded by the grant include programs for expediting the wage verification process and for using federal tax offsets to recoup benefit overpayments.
Seats are still available for the first workshop, “Preventing Unemployment Insurance Fraud,” which will be held at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3 at Showcase Cinemas, 400 Bald Hill Rd., Warwick. During this workshop, unemployment insurance experts plan to discuss the problems of working and collecting, to review recent efforts to improve fraud detection, and to highlight the importance of employer assistance in combating UI fraud. Staffers will also review legislative changes to the taxable wage that take effect January 1st.
To register online for this workshop, which has been scheduled at an off-site location to accommodate anticipated employer demand, employers should visit the RI Department of Labor and Training web site, www.dlt.ri.gov, and click on the “Free Employer Workshops” link.On Tuesday, Nov. 15, the department will host “Preventing Workers’ Compensation and Temporary Disability Insurance Fraud,” a workshop designed to explain methods used to identify fraud and explore the process of documenting and reporting fraud. On Monday, Nov. 21, the department will host a “Preventing Worker Misclassification” workshop, designed to help businesses understand the appropriate and inappropriate use of 1099 forms and independent contractor designations. During this workshop, subject experts will explore the distinctions between the definitions of employer and employees, review proper record-keeping, and explain the penalties for worker misclassification. Both the Nov. 15th and Nov. 21st workshops, which will be held at the Department of Labor and Training’s offices in Cranston, are currently at capacity; however, the department is compiling waiting lists for both events, and, if interest warrants, may repeat these workshops at a later date.
ABOUT DLT: The RI Department of Labor and Training offers employment services, educational services and economic opportunity to both individuals and employers. DLT protects Rhode Island’s workforce by enforcing labor laws, prevailing wage rates and workplace health and safety standards. The department also provides temporary income support to unemployed and temporarily disabled workers. For more information on the programs and services available to all Rhode Islanders, please call the RI Department of Labor and Training at (401) 462-8000 or visit the web site at www.dlt.ri.gov.