Legislators Propose Workers Comp Changes In Oklahoma

During this session, the Oklahoma Legislature has been flooded with more than 30 proposed workers’ compensation bills, many aimed at reducing employers’ obligations under the workers’ compensation statute. The overarching intent of the laws from the start has been to compensate workers for work-related injuries without focusing on who was at fault.

Many of these proposed workers comp bills would usher in dramatic changes to the workers’ compensation system. For example, some bills call for the creation of a three-member commission appointed by the governor to replace the Workers’ Compensation Court. Another would allow employers who meet certain qualifications to opt out of state workers’ compensation in favor of their own benefit plans. Yet another proposes a cap on the length of time an employer must pay permanent partial disability payments and exempts employers when an injured worker did not use a provided safety device.

The application of relevant workers’ compensation laws is also determined by the courts, since they interpret and apply enacted statutes. In City of Norman v. Mark Helm, the court ruled that despite testimony regarding physical changes to the brain as a result of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the condition is still considered a mental injury. It is therefore not a compensable injury under the Oklahoma workers’ compensation statute — a worker who suffers a mental injury without proving it was accompanied by a physical injury is ineligible for workers’ compensation.

Any of these legal changes may affect the way your workers’ compensation claim is handled. If you have been injured on the job and your workers' comp benefit changes, contact a knowledgeable Oklahoma workers’ compensation attorney to protect your rights.

Posted in Workers Compensation 

Tagged , ,

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Stipe, Harper, Laizure, Uselton, Belote, Maxcey & Thetford | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Stipe, Harper, Laizure, Uselton, Belote, Maxcey & Thetford on:

Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.