Oklahoma Workers Compensation Law Upheld by Supreme Court

Oklahoma City - The Oklahoma Supreme court has upheld the state new state law on workers compensation.  Senate Bill 1062 passed earlier in 2013 was challenged by the Firefighters union and 2 members of the Oklahoma congress.  

The OIBC (Oklahoma Injury Benefit Coalition) considers this a victory for alternative workers compensation, often called "The Option", or the "Oklahoma Option", in the state of Oklahoma.   

There is a caveat that individual suits can still be filed on individual parts of the law but the bill as a whole will remain in force.  

Oklahoma companies can file applications with the Department of Insurance and begin to look for options.   If they do not, they will automatically be in the new Administrative system for any injuries after 2/1/14.   Contacting your independent insurance agent familiar with such coverage is the best possible route to evaluate your options.  

Christopher Moxley

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Chris Moxley

Chris began his career at a Norman insurance agency in 1988 serving as a Branch Manager for 3 years. He joined Professional Insurors in 1995 as a Producer and became Vice-President in 2004, where he overseas human resources and agency operations & technology as well as continuing to manage his client accounts and grow the business. The Agency works with a variety of accounts and Chris specializes in Workers Compensation Risk Management and Insurance. He has worked in Insurance for over 20 years and besides Workers Compensation he has specialized training and experience in the fields of Construction Risk Management and Risk Transfer, Property Management, & Manufacturing.

New Oklahoma Workers Comp Law Challenged

Sentate Bill 1062, Scheduled to go into effect 2/1/2014 has been challenged by Rep Emily Virgin, D-Norman, Sen. Harry Coates, R-Seminole, and the Professional firefighters association.  The lawsuit claims the bill is unconstitutional.  The hearing could be before the middle of November and will be defended by the Oklahoma Attorney General's office.

Currently 8 of the 9 justices on the State Supreme court were appointed by past Democratic Governors and they have overturned workers comp and tort reforms in the past.  

The court could overturn the entire law and send it back to the legislature or overturn parts of the law they deem unconstitutional.   

Since 12.7 percent of the latest workers compensation rate decrease of 14.6 percent, set to go into place 1/1/2014 was because of Senate bill 1062, this could cause rates to increase or rate decrease to be revised.  

This could be the only challenge to the entire bill, but challenges to individual parts could challenged later. 

We will keep you update as things progresses. 

Comment

Chris Moxley

Chris began his career at a Norman insurance agency in 1988 serving as a Branch Manager for 3 years. He joined Professional Insurors in 1995 as a Producer and became Vice-President in 2004, where he overseas human resources and agency operations & technology as well as continuing to manage his client accounts and grow the business. The Agency works with a variety of accounts and Chris specializes in Workers Compensation Risk Management and Insurance. He has worked in Insurance for over 20 years and besides Workers Compensation he has specialized training and experience in the fields of Construction Risk Management and Risk Transfer, Property Management, & Manufacturing.