Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Guess It Wasn't Such A Good Idea To Buy Workers Comp "Insurance" From An Indian Named Chmliewski

Sometimes, you read about Workers Comp-related news items and just have to scratch your head and wonder at the Rube Goldberg style things that are sold as alternatives to Workers Compensation insurance.

Case in point, as Rod Serling used to say: this news item about an insurance executive named Gregory Chmielewski, who sold Workers Compensation "coverage" to California employers--"coverage" that was created by mean of an Indian tribe and a PEO arrangement.

See, the Indian tribe angle enabled the evasion of state insurance regulations, and the PEO set up enabled them to emulate a Workers Compensation vehicle that is widely used (if sometimes abused).

And surprise, surprise, the company ended up bankrupt, leaving some injured workers without coverage and the man behind the curtain going to jail for misappropriating funds.

I understand that employers are sometimes really hard-pressed to afford real, traditional Workers Comp insurance. God knows, we get calls every week from desperate employers who are being premiumed out of existence by insurance companies (fortunately, a lot of the time we can help these employers reduce those premium charges.)

But really---Workers Compensation coverage from an Indian tribe, using a PEO (you know, Professional Employer Organization, aka employee leasing.) From an Indian named Chmliewski?

Before my Dad changed our family name, it was Przyborowski, so I guess I could say I'm a member of the same tribe as a guy named Chmliewski--and let me tell you, our tribe ain't from west of the Pecos. But truth to tell, I don't want to belong to any tribe that would let a flim-flam man like this remain in good standing. Guess I'll have to raise the issue at our next Pow-Wowski.

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