An Evanston business has become the first ever shut down in Illinois for failing to obtain workers’ compensation insurance.

An Evanston business has become the first ever shut down in Illinois for failing to obtain workers’ compensation insurance.

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission issued a news release Wednesday saying it and the City of Evanston have closed All Good Dogs Pet Care, also known as The Hungry Pup, at 941 Chicago Ave.

The business, located in the same building as the south branch of the Evanston Public Library, reportedly employs dog-walkers in six suburbs.

The agency says four people have filed workers’ compensation claims against the company. Two have been found eligible for workers’ compensation, but the employer has not paid any benefits, the agency says.

“We gave the employer every opportunity to comply with the law,” said Jan Eisbart, manager of the IWCC Insurance Compliance Division. “All they had to do was get insurance, and they have not complied. They did not respond to our letters or even appear at the hearing. They forced our hand.”

Eisbart says all employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Employers may be fined up to $500 for each day without insurance, with a minimum fine of $10,000. Corporate officers may be held personally liable and/or sent to prison.

In 2005, the legislature strengthened the law by giving the Commission the authority to issue a work-stop order on an employer that has been found to knowingly fail to carry insurance.

Anyone may check an employer’s insurance coverage on the IWCC website or call 866-352-3033.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Ugh.
    I love this store, and I make it a priority to by my dog food here because this is a locally owned and run store and I like the owner and have chosen to support them.

    I hope they get this resolved, or at least, the state and the city lets them continue to try and sustain in this economy.

    I sometimes am outraged at the barriers on the state and federal level to become a small business owner and entrepreneur. It is the American way.

    1. The “ugh” should be for employers who don’t follow the law
      The law requires that all employers carry workers compensation insurance. It is low cost. I know because I work for an entity that pays it for eight employees and I see the bills.

      The entire workers compensation insurance system provides payments to injured employees but also prevents employees from suing their employers when the employee gets injured at work.

      It is a huge benefit to employers and their bottom line. But for that system to work, all employers must pay into the system.

      I do not feel sorry for an employer who does not play by the rules to protect their injured employees and prevent lawsuits. Read the article again — the state agency that enforces the law tried to work this out.

      Anyone who runs a business knows that you need workers compensation insurance. The business person certainly had the advice of a lawyer, accountant, banker or insurance agent (or all of the above) in setting up the business. These professionals will always advise a new business person that workers compensation is an item that must be purchased.

  2. Well deserved
    The owners believed they were above it ALL. Outrage aside they had injured employees and refused to assist.

    1. Prove it
      Really, can you prove they were above it all? Or was it just ignorance on their side as a small business owner?

      All aside, I do agree, you have to play within the rules especially with compensation for injured employees.

      But to say they were above it all is somewhat harsh.

      1. While my proof is personal
        While my proof is personal here it goes –
        As a business neighbor at their previous location on Prairie – they were asked by the City to abide by the building code that govern all buildings in Evanston. Specifically, they were asked to remove an electrical fixture from a display window which dated to the 1940’s (cited as a potential fire hazard). A licensed electrician could have done this for less than $100.00. The owners balked and determined “they” did not have to do this, even though building inspectors and their findings play a key role in the business license process.

        This inspector was doing what he was hired to do. He noted a safety issue that could have had an impact on the the entire building. The owners only complied when the City prevented their license issuance.

        I suppose being the FIRST business ever shut by the State of Illinois for refusal to obtain workman’s comp insurance wasn’t enough proof.

  3. Workers’ comp a “barrier” ?
    According to the news story All Good Dogs Pet Care failed to pay workers’ comp insurance. This is part of the cost of being in business. If you can’t afford it, change your business model or start charging more for what you sell.

    Failing to pay means other businesses and individual taxpayers have to pick up the slack. This is also true for health insurance–when someone works without employment-based coverage and that person is injured or becomes ill, who pays for the care? Taxpayers through tax relief given to health care providers like hospitals and insured people though higher costs. Unfortunately many people choose to look the other way instead of accepting the fact that their cheap cleaning and lawn services are subsidized by their friends and neighbors through taxes and higher fees.

    1. Agreed
      Yupper, I am on board with that, small businesses, or any business for that matter have to abide by the regulations, particularly employee compensation insurance. A dreadful oversight on their part.

      I just did not like the poster claiming they were “above it all.”

      Lots are struggling just to keep the doors open and lights on. Who knows what their intentions were… but I do not think they intentionally tried to ignore comp insurance. I just think they were struggling so much that frankly they could not afford it. That is why we have business models.

      1. Above it all
        I’ve had previous dealings with the owners, and I’ll bet you $ that they are ignoring the stop work order and/or are complaining to anyone who listens about how it’s all just a big mistake and either the state, the insurance company, the USPS or anyone but themselves screwed up.

        Their general attitude is indignation that an employee would hold them responsible for something like a worker’s comp claim.

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