Oklahoma House Kills Workers’ Comp Opt Out Bill


Oklahoma City, OK (WorkersCompensation.com) - An Oklahoma bill that would have allowed employers to opt out of workers' compensation in that state failed to win support in a state House vote Wednesday night. House Bill 2155 failed to win approval, with the House voting 50-42 against it. The Oklahoma Senate had already approved the measure.

The bill would have allowed qualified employers to offer alternative workers' compensation insurance, as long as the benefits to employees were similar or better than the state's plan. This proposal has often been compared to an opt out program in the neighboring state of Texas, which has been in effect for many years,

Rep. Fred Jordan may bring the bill up again for reconsideration, using a parliamentary procedure, but its prospects for passing are considered poor at this point. Some legislators do not believe a change is necessary, largely because lawmakers passed comprehensive changes to the system last year.

HB 2155 supporters believe it would have given employers greater flexibility and cost control while still providing benefits comparable to those in the state workers' compensation system. Opponents feared it would give injured workers fewer benefits as a result.

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