A nationwide campaign led by some of the country’s biggest companies to allow employers to “opt-out” of workers’ compensation insurance was dealt a major blow recently after the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled these plans are unconstitutional. This was after the legislature three years ago granted employers in that state the ability to “opt-out” of the state’s workers’ compensation system and create their own plans.
This led to a situation where the companies were allowed to set the terms dictating things like:
- Which injuries would be covered;
- Which doctors injured workers were allowed to see;
- How workers would be compensated;
- How disputes for workers’ compensation benefits would be handled.
As you can imagine, this was a system clearly designed to give employers the upper hand in these proceedings. It’s no wonder the measure was backed fervently by the gas industry, the oil industry and major retailers like Lowe’s, Hobby Lobby and Walmart. Continue reading