2016 Colorado Revised Statutes
Title 8 - Labor and Industry
Labor Ii - Workers' Compensation and Related Provisions
Article 43 - Procedure
Part 3 - Review Procedures
§ 8-43-304. Violations - penalty - offset for benefits obtained through fraud - rules
(1) Any employer or insurer, or any officer or agent of either, or any employee, or any other person who violates any provision of articles 40 to 47 of this title, or does any act prohibited thereby, or fails or refuses to perform any duty lawfully enjoined within the time prescribed by the director or panel, for which no penalty has been specifically provided, or fails, neglects, or refuses to obey any lawful order made by the director or panel or any judgment or decree made by any court as provided by said articles shall be subject to such order being reduced to judgment by a court of competent jurisdiction and shall also be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars per day for each such offense, to be apportioned, in whole or part, at the discretion of the director or administrative law judge, between the aggrieved party and the workers' compensation cash fund created in section 8-44-112 (7) (a); except that the amount apportioned to the aggrieved party shall be a minimum of fifty percent of any penalty assessed.
(1.5) (a) (I) An insurer who knowingly or repeatedly violates any provision of articles 40 to 47 of this title shall be subject to a fine as determined by the director. If necessary, the director may conduct a hearing or may refer the matter to the office of administrative courts for the entry of findings of fact. The director shall promulgate rules that specify, with respect to an insurer's willful or repeated violations that are subject to this subsection (1.5):
(A) The circumstances pursuant to which the director may issue an order imposing a fine; and
(B) Criteria for determining the amount of the fine.
(II) If the division determines, as part of a compliance audit of an insurer or self-insured pool, that an injury or occupational disease was not reported to the division within the time specified in sections 8-43-101 and 8-43-103 because the insurer or self-insured pool did not have notice or knowledge of the injury, occupational disease, or fatality within a period of time that would allow the information to be reported to the division within the time specified in sections 8-43-101 and 8-43-103, the director shall not impose a fine for late reporting under this subsection (1.5). The director may impose a fine under this subsection (1.5) for late reporting under sections 8-43-101 and 8-43-103 as part of findings from a compliance audit if the director finds that the late reporting constituted a knowing or repeated pattern of noncompliance with the reporting requirements of sections 8-43-101 and 8-43-103 and was not caused by the insurer or self-insured pool's lack of notice or knowledge of the injury, occupational disease, or fatality within a period of time that would allow the information to be reported to the division within the time specified in sections 8-43-101 and 8-43-103.
(b) Fines imposed pursuant to this subsection (1.5) shall be transmitted to the state treasurer, who shall credit seventy-five percent of such fines to the general fund and twenty-five percent to the workers' compensation cash fund, created in section 8-44-112.
(2) An insurer or self-insured employer may take a credit or offset of previously paid workers' compensation benefits or payments against any further workers' compensation benefits or payments due a worker when the worker admits to having obtained the previously paid benefits or payments through fraud, or a civil judgment or criminal conviction is entered against the worker for having obtained the previously paid benefits through fraud. Benefits or payments obtained through fraud by a worker shall not be included in any data used for rate-making or individual employer rating or dividend calculations by any insurer or by Pinnacol Assurance.
(3) The director and each administrative law judge shall report to the division each time a penalty is imposed pursuant to this section. Each such report shall include the amount of the penalty, the name of the administrative law judge awarding the penalty, if applicable, and the name of the offending party.
(4) In any application for hearing for any penalty pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, the applicant shall state with specificity the grounds on which the penalty is being asserted. After the date of mailing of such an application, an alleged violator shall have twenty days to cure the violation. If the violator cures the violation within such twenty-day period, and the party seeking such penalty fails to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the alleged violator knew or reasonably should have known such person was in violation, no penalty shall be assessed. The curing of the violation within the twenty-day period shall not establish that the violator knew or should have known that such person was in violation.
(5) A request for penalties shall be filed with the director or administrative law judge within one year after the date that the requesting party first knew or reasonably should have known the facts giving rise to a possible penalty.
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