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Oklahoma introduces numerous bills to overhaul comp system

Posted On: Feb. 7, 2023 1:47 PM CST

workers compensation

Oklahoma lawmakers are once again attempting to revise the state’s workers compensation law.

Legislators introduced one bill Monday and four on Tuesday that would make changes to the current comp statute.

One measure, Senate Bill 739, would dissolve the Workers’ Compensation Court of Existing Claims on July 1, 2027, or when the number of claims that arose before Feb. 1, 2014, the time of the court’s creation, is reduced to 5,000.

Senate Bill 31, known as the “Uniform Worker Classification Act,” is designed to better differentiate employees from independent contractors in comp.

Those classified as independent contractors would be required to sign written contracts with companies that would explicitly state, among other things, that the individual would not be provided with either workers comp benefits or unemployment compensation.

Senate Bill 411 relates to occupational disease and cumulative trauma, amending current law to state that the date of injury for cumulative trauma claims shall be the last date of injurious exposure prior to the filing date of the worker’s first notice of claim for compensation.

Another measure, Senate Bill 333, adds first responders to those who are exempt from a mental injury or illness compensability limitation that says mental injuries are not compensable unless caused by a physical injury to the employee.    

The bill also changes who administers the Volunteer Firefighter Group Insurance Pool from CompSource Mutual Insurance Company to the state Office of Management and Enterprise Services.  

Finally, Senate Bill 703 would modify requirements for payments from the state’s Multiple Injury Trust Fund, which is used for the costs of administering the state’s workers comp law.

Oklahoma lawmakers have previously attempted to overhaul the comp system in other ways.