New Scrutiny for Oklahoma Workers’ Comp System

Today’s post was shared by Workers Compensation and comes from

Three years after passage of sweeping legislation that revamped Oklahoma’s workers’ compensation system, courts are scrapping significant parts of the law in decisions that say the regulations violate the state constitution and do not provide adequate protection to workers.

The new regulations were touted by the Republican-controlled Oklahoma Legislature as a way to reduce the cost of workers’ compensation insurance for employers and improve health outcomes for injured workers by moving the workers’ compensation system from an adversarial court-based system to an administrative one.

But since the new law went into effect on Feb. 1, 2014, 38 provisions have been found unconstitutional, invalid or inoperable. And while dozens more challenges remain pending before state trial and appeals courts, including the Oklahoma Supreme Court, a new research report on the cost and efficacy of workers’ compensation systems in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., says that while the cost of workers’ compensation insurance in Oklahoma has declined since the new law went into effect, the cost is still high compared to other states and the level of benefits to injured workers has plummeted.

The report by the National Academy of Social Insurance, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization made up of the nation’s leading experts on social insurance, states that between 2010 and 2014, total workers’ compensation benefits paid per $100 of covered wages…

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