Yesterday, a processing plant in Hastings pled no contest in Adams County Court to three counts of failure to file a required report under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act. Noah’s Ark, a New Jersey-based cooperation, has been operating a plant in Hastings under the name WR Reserve. Noah’s Ark failed to report injuries to the Workers' Compensation Court to avoid increased insurance premiums. As a result, injured employees could not claim rights under the Workers' Compensation Act. Judge Michael Mead sentenced the company to fines totaling $3,000, a $1000 fine for each count.
This case illustrates the importance for employers and employees to comply with the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act. When a worker is injured at work, the injury must be reported to the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court within 10 days. Failure to timely report workplace injuries is a Class II misdemeanor for which the penalty is up to six months imprisonment or $1,000 fine or both. Injured workers may have the right to select their treating doctor. They also may be entitled to payment of their medical expenses for treatment, a portion of their average weekly wage while recuperating, and compensation for permanent injuries caused by the accident. When injuries aren't properly reported to the Workers' Compensation Court, injured workers may not receive the benefits to which they are entitled.
This case was investigated and prosecuted by the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office.