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Oklahoma workers comp opt-out legislation moves forward

Oklahoma workers comp opt-out legislation moves forward

OKLAHOMA CITY—Oklahoma legislators have voted in favor of two bills that would allow certain companies to exempt themselves from the state's workers compensation system.

The Oklahoma House passed H.B. 2155 on a 70-22 vote Tuesday, while the state's Senate passed S.B. 1378 on a 27-17 vote on Wednesday.

The two bills effectively would let employers opt out of Oklahoma's workers comp system by meeting several criteria, such as adopting a benefit plan that would pay for medical, disability and death benefits resulting from work-related injuries.

The legislation aims to “provide more efficient management of…claims, to help provide employees with better managed medical care and to assist (Oklahoma) in the attraction and retention of new employers,” according to the House bill.

The Oklahoma Senate and House have exchanged the bills for further consideration.

Oklahoma would become the second state to adopt an alternative workers comp system if the bills are signed into law.

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