Roseville, MN (WorkersCompensation.com) – An investigation into a company that provides school bus operations revealed that the company hasn’t carried workers’ compensation insurance for years, news reports say.
Pride Transportation, in Minneapolis, came under scrutiny when one of its buses went missing for several hours with elementary school children on board. Following that incident KTSP 5 Eyewitness News’ investigation into the company found that buses operated with safety issues, such as bad brakes and broken emergency doors.
Now, the television station says, the company has been operating without workers’ compensation insurance.
Toward the end of January, KTSP reports, a man rear-ended a bus. That bus’s driver, Annette Wilson, asked Pride if the company’s workers’ compensation plan would cover her injuries.
“He said ‘How about I offer you $1,000?’” Wilson said according to KTSP.
According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, Pride Transportation only recently purchased workers’ compensation insurance, on Feb. 6, after Wilson contacted KTSP. Since 2015, the company has only had workers’ compensation coverage from August 30, 2016 until August 30, 2017.
The company could face fines for each day it was without workers’ compensation insurance.
Officials with DLI could not confirm whether or not Pride was under investigation, but said the department does investigate whenever it receives a complaint about a company.
Nancy Leppink, DLI Commissioner, said the department does its best to monitor companies.
“When we find an employer who’s not complied with the workers’ compensation laws, very often they have not complied with other laws like occupational safety and health, unemployment insurance, minimum wage and overtime,” she said, according to KTSP. “Therefore, that’s a significant issue. It also creates an unleveled playing field for the good employers who are following the rules.”