Recent Workers’ Compensation Reform in Oklahoma

by Trent on May 30, 2013

Oklahoma workers’ compensation laws have recently changed with new legislation signed by Gov. Mary Fallin on May 6. New legislation shifts the current court-based system to an administrative structure. Businesses and government officials hope the restructure will reduce costs for businesses.

While Republicans in Oklahoma backed the legislation, Democrats were strongly opposed, arguing that possible savings for businesses will come at a cost to employees who get hurt on the job.

It’s reported that $120 million will be cut because of the new workers’ compensation reform in Oklahoma.

Fallin praised the reform saying, “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.”

Those who praise the reform say that it will make the system more efficient and cost effective for businesses, boosting the economy in the state as well. However, while it may prove to be more efficient in the beginning, employees may be left with less than sub-par care because the standard for workers’ compensation has greatly changed.

Businesses are allowed to develop their own qualified benefit plans, shifting from a universal system to a more separate system per business. Employees are now, more than ever, encouraged to learn the workers’ compensation plan at their work. If not, employees may not receive the amount they deserve for an injury or illness resulting from work.

Some possible issues with this new workers’ compensation reform are—employees reporting fewer injuries and illnesses because of pressure by businesses to save money; a misunderstanding of the workers’ comp benefit plan at any business; and a drop in benefits for workers who are injured or ill.

Employees are encouraged to learn and understand the workers’ compensation plan at their respective job so that they know the process of reporting an injury or illness and what they can receive compensation for. If issues progress, employees can also hire an attorney specializing in workers’ compensation law in Oklahoma.



Writer/Marketer at Genesis Net Development
Trent is a freelance writer/marketer for Genesis Net Development and works with clients of numerous disciplines to develop greater web presence. Trent is also studying in the field of journalism.

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