This article was published September 6, 2015, as a banner headline on the Sunday newspaper.
It is a travesty and an embarrassment to the worker of Oklahoma that a state agency is negotiating with employers regarding fines which are to be imposed for failure to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
It is a misdemeanor not to carry workers’ compensation insurance and that is never enforced. In addition, when an employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, the employee has no immediate remedy for medical care.
Rather, the employee may go to District Court and sue that employer in negligence; however, no quick remedy of medical care inures to the employee while this is going on.
The records revealed that the Commission sent out 68 enforcement notices proposing fines of nearly 10.8 million dollars since February of 2014 to employers who did not carry workers’ compensation insurance.
The Commission only collected $534,000 of those penalties. In other words, the majority of employers ignored the notices (and got away with it!) and their employees went uncovered for their injuries.
This is all on the mantra that we are “pro-business.” Yes, indeed, Oklahoma legislators love jobs but hate workers!
How long will the workers in Oklahoma sit still for this nonsense? Perhaps a gunshot fired from the “bow of the ship” occurred when Cyndi Munson, a Democrat, defeated Republican favorite, Chip Carter, in the Nichols Hills/Quail Creek elections.
There is no way Cyndi Munson was supposed to win that election based on Oklahomans votes in the past. What happened? The people of Oklahoma are finally seeing the folly of the Republican mantra “pro-business.” It is nonsense and it is devastating to the workers of this state.
Who are the workers of this state? Every one of you reading this article are considered “workers” under the workers’ compensation law, owners and employees alike.
What can you do about it? When you go to the polls and vote, do not vote for a “pro-business” candidate. They spell nothing but trouble for the worker. Look for the candidate who supports working Oklahomans. That is where your money and your vote should go.
– Joe Biscone,
Attorney for injured workers