Small businesses in Cleveland looking for money in court case - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

What's the hold-up?: BWC not cashing out

In May the Ohio 8th Appellate Court said what the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation was charging businesses for insurance was almost criminal. The BWC has yet to give refunds and some business owners are getting pretty mad.   

In fact it's now been a month since an Ohio court ruled that the BWC was charging inflated rates to more than 200,000 businesses.

Giving breaks to bigger companies and charging smaller ones higher rate to make up for it. 

"It's our money, hey you lost the case. Pay us. What's the big deal," said Mike Weckter.

Mike Weckter has owned Mike's Tree Service for 40 years. In that time he's only had two claims to the BWC, the last one in 2004.
"It was a relatively minor claim and our rates went so high that I had to eliminate a good portion of my retirement savings just to keep the company afloat," added Mr. Weckter.

Weckter and other small business owners held a news conference in downtown Cleveland to ask Governor John Kasich to get involved and force the BWC to start returning money to the people the court claims they've over charged. 

"You're sitting on nine billion dollars of our money. It's about time you give us back some of it," said Stewart Unsdorfe.
The problem is the BWC disagrees with the court and is already planning an appeal to the Supreme Court. That's what BWC administrator Steve Buehrer told us last week.

"There were a number of different circumstances some of the stories that have been told on this are businesses who saw payroll increases who had accidents. The Bureau of Workers Comp works just like other insurance. Those who bring the most risk pay the highest rates," Steve Buehrer said.

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