At The Podium
Oklahoma’s new workers’ comp administrative system and arbitration option
In their attempt to make the state’s workers’ compensation system more efficient and less expensive, the Oklahoma Legislature created a truly unique and nationally significant piece of legislation that offers employers three options for providing workers’ compensation coverage and benefits and for handling claims filed on or after February 1, 2014.
During the first half of McAfee & Taft’s EmployerLINC seminar titled “Workers’ Compensation Overhaul: What Oklahoma’s triple option means for employers,” labor and employment attorneys Roberta Fields and Sam Fulkerson assist Oklahoma employers in understanding and analyzing two of the law’s three components – the Administrative Workers’ Compensation Act, which replaces the state’s court-based system with an administration one and establishes a three-member commission to oversee the system, and the Workers’ Compensation Arbitration Act, which allows for claims and disputes to be handled through arbitration.
Specific topics include:
- Structure of the new administrative system, including the roles of the new Commission, Physicians Advisory Committee, and administrative law judges
- Clarified definitions and changes in benefits under the Administrative Workers’ Compensation Act
- The exclusive remedy rule: when it applies … and when it doesn’t
- Discrimination and retaliation claims
- The arbitration option: how to resolve disputes through binding arbitration
- How the arbitration process works
- The appeals process under both Acts