Court orders jail time for fly shop owner

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Joe Roope, Jr., the owner of Joe Roope’s Castaway Fly Shop, Inc., in Coeur d’Alene was recently ordered by the District Court to serve five days in jail for violating a court order prohibiting him from operating his business without a policy of workers’ compensation insurance in effect for his employees. The court also ordered Mr. Roope’s business to remain closed until he obtained workers’ compensation insurance.

The Idaho Industrial Commission, the state agency responsible for ensuring that Idaho employers have the required workers’ compensation insurance in effect for their employees, obtained a judgment, including an injunction, against Mr. Roope in 2011 after his workers’ compensation insurance policy lapsed for eight months. The judgment in 2011 followed two previous lapses in insurance as well as two previous injunctions against Mr. Roope, the first in 2003 and the second in 2007.

Workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory in Idaho for any employer with one or more, either full or part-time employees. The Industrial Commission is responsible for administering Idaho's workers compensation system, which is designed to ensure that all Idaho workers have insurance for work-related injuries. Penalties for failure to provide insurance can include business closure, imprisonment and fines.

The Commission's website, www.iic.idaho.gov, offers a link that allows employees or other interested persons to find out if an employer has proper workers compensation coverage. Information regarding non-compliant employers can be forwarded to the Employer Compliance Division of the Idaho Industrial Commission at 208-334-6000.

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