(Maddox/Askins): Enacts the final product of the Conference
Committee on workers' compensation. Primary provisions are
- Requires employees to
prove eligibility by a "preponderance of the evidence" in
order to receive benefits under the Workers' Compensation
- Exempts an employer with
5 or fewer employees who are all related to the employer
by blood or marriage from the Workers' Compensation
- Defines "cumulative
trauma" to mean an injury resulting from employment
activities which are repetitive in nature, engaged in
over a period of time.
- Modifies definition of
"injury" or "personal injury" to include a mental injury
in the case of rape which arises out of and in the course
- Allows any party to
request mediation of a claim arising under the Workers'
Compensation Act except for claims relating to certified
workplace medical plans and the Special Indemnity Fund.
Requires mediation to be voluntary and conducted with the
consent of both parties. Mediators must be certified by
the Supreme Court of Oklahoma and may be compensated in
an amount up to a maximum rate as established by the
- Denies compensation for
injuries caused by a prank, horseplay, or similar willful
or intentional behavior. Allows post-accident alcohol or
drug testing results as admissible evidence for purposes
of determining compensability of an injury resulting
directly from the use or abuse of alcohol, drugs, or
- Requires non-emergency
treatment to be provided to an employee within 3 days of
knowledge of an injury.
- Requires the
Administrator to adopt a new fee and treatment schedule
which establishes maximum allowable reimbursement levels
for medical testimony and evaluation services.
- Allows the court to
deduct certain costs from any award of benefits to an
employee who refuses, or fails to complete in good faith,
rehabilitation services or training ordered by the court.
Costs of evaluation for vocational rehabilitation shall
be paid by the employer.
- Reduces the time an
employee may receive temporary total disability (TTD) or
temporary partial disability (TPD) from 300 weeks to 156
weeks, except for good cause shown, as determined by the
- Increases benefits for
the loss of an eye from 200 weeks to 250 weeks.
- Increases death benefits
for a surviving spouse from 50% to 70% of the average
weekly wage and from 35% to 50% for one child and from
15% to 20% for each additional child. The maximum weekly
income benefits payable for all beneficiaries are
increased from 75% to 100%.
- Creates a rebuttable
presumption that an injury is not work related unless the
employee reports the injury to the employer or receives
medical attention within 30 days of the date of the
injury. The presumption must be overcome by a
preponderance of the evidence.
- Reduces time period from
5 to 3 years to request a hearing on a claim. A claimant
who is represented by counsel may dismiss a claim any
time before final submission without an order of the
court. If the claimant is not represented by counsel,
dismissal of a claim requires an order of the court.
- Reduces penalty for a
first offense of failure to secure workers' compensation
insurance from $250 to $75 per employee if the employer
obtains insurance within 30 days after notice of the
violation. Increases penalty for a second or subsequent
offense from $500 to $1000.
- Requires physicians
providing treatment under the Workers' Compensation Act
to disclose any employee leasing arrangement between the
physician and any health care facility that is not the
physician's primary place of business.
- Provides immunity from
civil liability for any health care provider acting in
good faith and within the scope of duties as a member of
the Physician Advisory Committee.
- Directs the Physician
Advisory Committee to develop recommendations for
evaluating permanent impairment for sprain and strain
injuries if the Committee finds the current evaluation
process is in need of change.
- Requires the court to
determine liability for payment of temporary total
disability when two or more insurance carriers or
employers disagree. Requires the court to award a credit
in favor of a carrier or employer if temporary benefits
are overpaid. Allows the court to require employers and
insurance carriers to reimburse other employers and
insurance carriers in appropriate cases.
- Imposes civil penalty of
$500 for a first offense and $1000 for a second or
subsequent offense against an employer who requires an
employee to fraudulently obtain a Certificate of
(Bastin/Haney) exempts persons who are engaged in
"drive-away operations" from the definition of "employee"
under the Workers' Compensation Act. Provides definition of
"drive-away operations" as persons engaged in the business
of transporting (using certain methods) and delivering new
or used vehicles by driving. Requires persons involved in
"drive-away operations" as defined to obtain in-transit