Oklahoma Supreme Court Agrees Workers Compensation Opt Out Act is Unconstitutional

OKLAHOMA CITY- Joe Woods, vice president, state government relations for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), today issued the following statement in response to Oklahoma Supreme Court decision to rule the Opt Out Act unconstitutional.

“PCI is pleased with the Oklahoma Supreme Court decision to rule the Workers Compensation Opt Out Act unconstitutional. The Oklahoma Supreme Court’s decision is a major step for protecting workers in the state. The Oklahoma Opt Out Act allowed some employers to shift much of their responsibility for occupational injuries to injured workers and their families, government programs, charities, and ultimately taxpayers. The Opt-out plans put all power in the hands of the employer, with no independent review of the employer's decision.

Finding new and innovative ways to deliver benefits to injured workers is positive, but it should not be done at the expense of workers, or taxpayers. Innovation must be fair, balanced, and socially responsible when it replaces an existing safety net.”

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PCI promotes and protects the viability of a competitive private insurance market for the benefit of consumers and insurers. PCI is composed of nearly 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write more than $183 billion in annual premium, 35 percent of the nation's property casualty insurance. Member companies write 42 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 27 percent of the homeowners market, 32 percent of the commercial property and liability market and 34 percent of the private workers compensation market.

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