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Dog Sled and Glacier tours fined $1.5 million!

Las Vegas, Nevada
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Dog Sled and Glacier tours fined $1.5 million!

among other things they were "knowingly misclassifying employees to evade workers’ compensation premiums"

adn.com/2011/08/05/2002467/tour-operator-fin…

more details here - www.labor.state.ak.us/news/2011/news11-42.pdf

I think this is the company involved

http://www.alaskadogsled.com/

Greater Sydney...
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1. Re: Dog Sled and Glacier tours fined $1.5 million!

Thank you for linking that johnnylawless.

I work in law where I am a specialist in NSW workers' compensation acting on behalf of injured workers. I detest uninsured employers, and the "independent contractor" issue is one that is very big here as well, and not just for uninsured employers, but in many areas such as construction, pest control, transport etc.

I must say though that the penalties listed in the government press release are very severe compared to NSW. Here they get penalised double the premium they have avoided, could be fined up to $500,000, or six months imprisonment or both, and recovery of the cost of any claims made during the period uninsured.

Greater Sydney...
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2. Re: Dog Sled and Glacier tours fined $1.5 million!

In case anyone questions that this may not be travel related, I have given further deliberation to the issue, which goes far beyond workers' compensation, and the following points come to mind:

- If the operator claims the person conducting the excursion is an "independent contractor", who then provides public liability insurance to cover any injury caused by negligence of the operator/"contractor"?

- The insurer of the operator would try to shift liability back to the "contractor" who most probably would not have any cover in place.

- The alleged "contractor" would be operating under the control of the operator, and could try to shift the liability back onto the operator if only following the instructions of the operator.

- The whole thing would be a real legal s/fight IMO with no clear parameters.

Just a few additional thoughts. And that is without going into the issue of "waivers", many of which that I have seen are not worth the paper they are written on if it comes down to provable evidence of negligence.

This should NOT be considered to represent legal advice as I am not qualified to comment on the laws of Alaska or USA.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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3. Re: Dog Sled and Glacier tours fined $1.5 million!

I'm with Frommy on the other related potential issues and risks to the traveling public. Thank you for bringing this to our attention Johnny.

It is one thing to have an "oops" and get into compliance. The fact that this went on for six seasons and the employer continued to disregard and then failed to "stop work" is significant.

Good that enforcement through the AK Workers Comp board stayed the course.

Paxson, Alaska
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4. Re: Dog Sled and Glacier tours fined $1.5 million!

I have no dog in this specific fight - I do not know even who it is who runs these trips. I do see that their corporate address is in Scottsdale, AZ, which I find unpleasantly amusing.

I will say unequivocally, however, what has been the result of the staggering number of statutes that deal with employer/employee relations in the specific industry we are in, that of Alaskan hospitality:

What have those rules/laws/regulations/statues done to - and for - employees here? The answer is absolutely clear: they have made sure there never, ever have been any employees here. My wife and I do all the work; no one ever gets the opportunity to gain experience or income here, and the growth opportunities otherwise present in our spectacular setup are thereupon diminished.

One very carefully can argue either side of whether one, ten or one hundred employees MIGHT have been able to provide this business more revenue in than costs out, but, based on the fifteen years of my having been here, one cannot but acknowledge that there have been many, many jobs that have not come into existence very specifically because of extant statues.

And that, my friends, is a very, very big shame.

Audubon Bakewell

Denali Highway Cabins

Paxson, AK

5. Re: Dog Sled and Glacier tours fined $1.5 million!

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