Oklahoma State Chamber Unveils 2012 Workers' Comp Agenda

                               Oklahoma City, OK (WorkersCompensation.com) - Complex issues like taxation, workers' compensation reform and health care are among some of the top issues The State Chamber of Oklahoma will be advocating at the state Capitol this year on behalf of the organization's 2100 statewide members.

“Heading in to the 2012 legislative session, it is critical that our state leaders and lawmakers once again keep the legislative session focused on jobs and our state's economy,” said State Chamber President Fred Morgan. “Gov. Mary Fallin and legislative leaders have made tremendous strides over the last year in economic development and improving our state's business climate, but these efforts must continue this session and beyond.”

Escalating workers' compensation and health insurance costs are often mentioned as two of the top concerns of State Chamber members. As such, The State Chamber helped create the Oklahomans for Free Market Health Solutions coalition, which is working to preserve the private sector insurance market and private business roles in a state-initiated, internet-based health insurance delivery system rather than a federally-mandated exchange.

The State Chamber is also working with a coalition supporting legislation to allow Oklahoma employers to obtain alternative coverage in providing workers' compensation, as long as they provide equivalent benefits to protect their workers.

Key Points Regarding Workers' Compensation on The State Chamber's 2012 Business Agenda include:

  • Support legislation allowing Oklahoma employers to obtain alternative coverage in providing workers' compensation, as long as they provide equivalent benefits to protect their workers
  • Support legislation that allows an employer flexibility in terminating an employee who is off work due to an injury. Specifically, support legislation that would allow an employer to replace a position where the worker cannot work within one year of the date of injury
  • Support a requirement that an employee alleging retaliation in a workers' compensation case prove that the filing of the workers' compensation claim was the sole reason for termination
  • Ensure workers' compensation, or alternative coverage as allowed in Oklahoma statutes, is the exclusive remedy for any job-related injury or illness

“This legislative agenda is reflective of the needs of Oklahoma businesses to help them grow and create more jobs in our state,” said State Chamber Chairman-Elect Hastings Siegfried. “We know our state and legislative leaders are committed to growing our state's economy, and we look forward to working with them this legislative session to create a business environment that is second to none worldwide.”

To see the full State Chamber 2012 Business Agenda, click here (PDF).

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