Oklahoma’s workers’ compensation law has changed since Gov. Mary Fallin signed new legislation on May 6. The legislation changes the current workers’ compensation system from court-based to an administrative structure in hopes of reducing costs for businesses.
Democrats opposed the bill saying that increased savings will come at a cost to injured workers in Oklahoma. The Associated Press reported a slash of $120 million in benefits as a result of the bill.
On the other side, Republicans praise the bill by saying it will save businesses considerable amounts of money and fix an “inefficient” system.
“For decades, Oklahoma has had one of the most expensive and inefficient workers’ compensation systems in the country, a constant obstacle for business owners looking to expand operations or create more jobs,” Fallin said. “Senate Bill 1062 completely overhauls our flawed workers’ comp system, dramatically reducing the costs to businesses and freeing up private-sector resources that can be invested in jobs rather than lawsuits.”
Tulsa Regional Chamber President Mike Neal said these reforms will enable businesses to grow job opportunities and the economy as well. He also mentioned that this new bill makes the workers’ compensation system more efficient for workers injured on the job.
These reforms allow businesses to opt out of the current worker’s compensation system and provide benefits to employees through a qualified benefit plan. If businesses do not opt out, they are allowed to develop an alternative dispute resolution.
Oklahoma is one of the last three states with a court-based workers’ compensation system.
These changes affect workers even more drastically as businesses can control their compensation. If these reforms cause you to receive less compensation than you need for an on-the-job injury, then you need to speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Oklahoma.
The lawyers at Johnson & Biscone are extremely experienced in workers’ compensation law and will help represent you in your case. You don’t have to be neglected as a result of these reforms. Call us for a free consultation today at 405-232-6490.