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Oklahoma Supreme Court weighs constitutionality of comp opt-out plan

December 11, 2013 - 3:01pm

The fate of Oklahoma's alternative workers compensation system, which was just signed into law in May, is in the hands of the state's Supreme Court right now.

The high court heard arguments Tuesday to consider whether Oklahoma's workers comp "opt-out" law is constitutional, according to the Oklahoman newspaper. Opponents of the law reportedly argued that injured workers would receive unfair treatment from companies that leave the traditional workers comp system.

It's unclear when a decision is expected in the Oklahoma case, according to the Associated Press.

Oklahoma allows qualified employers to opt out of the state comp system by establishing an alternative plan that pays benefits similar to workers comp, regardless of whether an employee, employer or third party causes an occupational injury. Texas is the only other state that allows employers not to purchase traditional workers comp insurance, though insiders have told Business Insurance that more states are considering similar laws.

It seems certain that those states will closely watch how the Oklahoma case plays out before they may decide to craft their own alternative comp plans.