Florida Statute Section 440.09(4)(a) provides that an employee shall not be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if the employee has intentionally or knowingly engaged in any of the acts described in s. 440.15 for the purpose of securing workers’ compensation benefits.
Knowingly presenting false ID to obtain employment is an act described in s. 440.15 as being prohibited. Will performing such an act prevent an employee injured on the job from receiving workers’ compensation benefits?
In Matrix Employee Leasing and FCIC/First Commercial v. Hernandez, 975 So.2d 1217 (Fla. 1st DCA 2008), Mr. Hernandez obtained employment by presenting an invalid social security card. The employer did not learn that the card was invalid until the day Mr. Hernandez was hurt on the job.
Relying on 440.15 and 440.09, the Employer/Carrier denied benefits. The claimant countered that because the invalid ID was used to obtain employment rather than secure workers’ compensation benefits, benefits should not be denied. The JCC [Judge of Compensation Claims] agreed, ordering the E/C to pay workers’ compensation benefits. The E/C appealed the JCC’s order.