This bill by state Rep. Lewis Moore, R-Arcadia, would authorize employers who meet certain qualifications to opt out of the state workers' compensation system and adopt their own benefit plans for injured workers. The plans would have to meet certain standards and would be overseen by the state insurance commissioner.
This bill, also by Rep. Moore, among other things, would:
• Cap the length of time an employer could be required to make permanent partial disability payments at 520 weeks.
• Exempt employers from having to pay compensation to workers injured while voluntarily failing to use a safety devises furnished for their protection.
• Cut an injured workers' compensation by up to half if the injury or death was caused, in whole or in part, by the employee's failure to obey any state or federal law enacted for the protection of employees or the public.
State Rep. Mike Jackson, R-Enid, has proposed a law that would exempt employers from having to pay benefits for a worker who tests positive for alcohol, illegal drugs or illegally used chemicals following an accident. The employer also would not have to pay if the injured employee refuses to take a drug or alcohol test. Under current law, employers are exempt from paying in cases where illegal drugs, chemicals or alcohol are deemed the “major cause” of the accident.
Randy Ellis, Staff Writer