Oklahoma Senate Approves Significant Overhaul to Workers' Compensation

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

by Kaylee McDaniel

OKLAHOMA CITY, April 30, 2013 – The Oklahoma Senate passed SB 1062, landmark workers’ compensation reform legislation, by a vote of 35-12 today. The bill, which was approved by the House last week by a vote of 74-24, will change Oklahoma’s current adversarial system to an administrative system, a revision that is expected to produce approximately $250 million in annual savings for Oklahoma companies.

“Under the current system, Oklahoma had the sixth most expensive system in the nation and was recently given a ‘D’ ranking for health outcomes,” Chamber President and CEO Roy H. Williams said. “Both Oklahoma companies and employees deserve a better system, which is why this vote is such a significant victory for the entire state.”

The bill is modeled after a similar system in Arkansas, which boasts one of the lowest costs for workers’ comp insurance premiums and claim costs in the nation. The landmark legislation also provides Oklahoma companies an option to opt-out of the state system and provide benefits through an internal company plan.

“Year after year, Oklahoma City businesses have told us that worker’s compensation reform was their No. 1 issue,” Williams said. “It has also been a major deterrent to companies looking to relocate in our region. This bill will finally produce the significant cost reductions for Oklahoma businesses, and it allows Oklahoma to compete with surrounding states for new jobs.”

SB 1062 will now be sent to Gov. Fallin, who is expected to sign the legislation into law.

Media: For more information, contact Kaylee McDaniel at kmcdaniel@okcchamber.com or 297-8971.