The Norman Transcript

State/Region

September 19, 2013

Workers’ comp. law challenged

OKLAHOMA CITY — Two Oklahoma lawmakers and a firefighters’ organization are challenging the constitutionality of Oklahoma’s new workers’ compensation law.

The lawsuit was filed with the Oklahoma Supreme Court Tuesday by Sen. Harry Coates, of Seminole, Rep. Emily Virgin, of Norman, and the Professional Firefighters of Oklahoma.

Legislation to overhaul the state’s workers’ compensation system was signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin in May. It was a top priority for Republican leaders who said the state’s current system is a detriment to business and industry in the state.

Among other things, the law changes Oklahoma’s court-based system to an administrative one.

Supporters said the change will dramatically reduce workers’ compensation costs to businesses. Opponents said cost savings will come at the expense of injured workers.

A hearing is set for Oct. 16.

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