Option 1 - Administrative Workers Comp System - The Basics
This will be the default workers comp system for Oklahoma. It replaces our court based workers comp system with an administrative one (commission). It is expected to be less adversarial. Some important changes include:
- It be run by a three member commission appointed by the Governor with input from the Speaker of the House and Senate President Pro Tem. Their salaries will be about the same as a District Judge.
- The Commission will appoint Administrative Law Judges to administer the system. They will have the power to investigate or hold hearings.
- They can hear and approve compromise settlements and appoint mediators to resolve disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution.
- They will hear and determine claims with no formal rules of evidence. Medical evidence must be presented and the employee bears burden of proof based on a preponderance of the evidence. The commission may also hear challenges to arbitration agreements and file judgments.
The old system will continue for any claims filed before 2/1/14. The changes to this system alone are expected to reduce workers comp rates by about 14% according to NCCI. This part of the law is based on the Arkansas system.