Legislature revamps workers comp in Oklahoma

Tuesday, October 23rd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A bill passed Tuesday by the Oklahoma Legislature revamps the workers' compensation system and provides new funding for the Multiple Injury Trust Fund.

Among other things, the bill:

_ eliminates workers' compensation and unemployment benefits for employees who test positive for alcohol, illegal drugs or ``illegally used'' chemicals.

_ provides a 100 percent tax credit or tax refund for businesses that is equal to the amount of increased workers' compensation insurance premiums or awards.

_ allows for employers not covered by Certified Workplace Medical Plans to select the doctor in work comp cases. About 85 percent of employers do not have such plans. Workers have the right of appeal.

_ increases the maximum amount that can be paid for temporary disability by 10 percent over two years.

_ authorizes a $500 fine if employers fail to pay travel expenses of injured workers within 25 business days of court order.

_ reduces the amount of time a worker may reopen a case for change of condition from 300 weeks to 208 weeks.

_ changes funding for the Multiple Injury Trust Fund to allow for varying assessments on insurance premiums ranging up to 6 percent.