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Okla. House passes comp bills increasing punishments

Posted On: Mar. 11, 2020 12:59 PM CST


Oklahoma lawmakers passed bills on Tuesday that would make an injured worker’s failure to report a material change in income a felony and place liability for cumulative trauma injuries on former employers.

H.B. 3841, which passed unanimously in the state’s House of Representatives, would make an injured workers’ failure to report a material change in income to the state a felony.

Under the bill, workers receiving temporary total disability benefits who neglect to notify a material income change to the employer, insurer or third-party administrator may be convicted of a felony punishable by imprisonment, a fine, or both.

S.B. 1818, which passed 36-9 in the state’s Senate, modifies the state’s list of non-compensable incidents to include injuries that result from idiopathic injuries.

The bill also adds language making a worker’s former employer — and that company’s insurer — liable for cumulative trauma injuries if the worker was last exposed to the trauma at the former workplace during a period of at least 90 days or more.

If signed into law, the bills would take effect Nov. 1, 2020.