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February 19, 2013

State Senate unveils workers’ compensation act

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Under the current judicial system, employees are often pitted against their employers in litigation proceedings characterized by dueling trial lawyers and dueling doctors.

Sen. Anthony Sykes, chair of the judiciary committee and co-author of the measure, learned first-hand about the benefits of an administrative system on a fact-finding trip to Arkansas.

“The Arkansas system is a model for states that want a system designed to help injured workers get the care they need without delay,” said Sykes, R-Moore. “Oklahoma’s small business owners care about their employees, and they know they wouldn’t be successful without them. I believe this system is the right solution for employees, and it’s good for business.”

Under SB 1062, an administrative system would be structured with three commissioners appointed by the governor, subject to Senate approval, for six-year staggered terms.

The commission will then appoint administrative law judges to hear all claims for compensation.

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