Oklahoma Tosses Key Part of Anti-family Workers' Comp Bill

Greg Boles
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Partner at The Boles Firm | Experience Matters

    I previously wrote about a Texas lawyer named Bill Minick who is doing his very best to gut workers' compensation laws nationwide.  

    He succeeded in getting the Republican-controlled legislature in Oklahoma to overhaul the Workers' Compensation Act there to give employers the option to "opt out" of traditional workers' compensation laws if they offered another set of “similar” benefits. Over 60 companies took advantage of this provision, creating in-house workers’ compensation systems that are completely controlled by employers.  

    As I noted in my blog, these "in-house" workers' compensation systems are like having the fox guard the hen house.  

    All decisions made by the plan administrator in these systems are essentially final and can be reversed on appeal only if there is some type of legal error, which is extremely difficult to prove.  In other words, the decision of a workers' compensation claims adjuster has the same force and effect as a decision of a judge after trial.  

    The Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Commission just tossed this part of the law out.  Many other lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of this statute remain pending.  The Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation system remains at risk as well-House Bill 1800 is a Draconian attack on workers, their families and doctors. and in a previous post, I urged people to write their representatives to register their opposition.

    The slick lawyer-corporate lapdog making a living gutting workers’ compensation laws pretends he's doing God's work. In reality, he’s doing everything he can to squeeze money from down on their luck American families. 

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