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September 19, 2016

Oklahoma Option: What Happens Now?

Summary:

The court provided some guidance for a possible legislative fix to the Oklahoma Option -- and its results are compelling.

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The Oklahoma Supreme Court’s split decision to strike down the Oklahoma Option to workers’ compensation in Vasquez v. Dillard’s is based entirely on Oklahoma’s unique constitution. The court chose not to consider the facts of Ms. Vasquez’ claim. For more information on that claim, see this letter from an experienced Oklahoma workers’ compensation attorney.

See also: What Happened on the Oklahoma Option?  

The Association for Responsible Alternatives to Workers’ Compensation (ARAWC) issued “Oklahoma Option Performance Report,” showing that, despite the new court ruling, the Oklahoma Option has achieved all of its original objectives:

  • Competition
  • Employer Cost Savings
  • Fewer Employee Disputes
  • Better Benefits For Most Employees

This aggregate performance data is straightforward and impressive.

Path Forward

The court provided some guidance for a possible legislative fix to the Oklahoma Option. If employers and legislators in Oklahoma and other states find ARAWC’s Option performance report compelling, the pursuit of new Option laws will continue. The results of this two-year experiment in Oklahoma appear to be concrete confirmation that the meaningful successes achieved through the Texas alternative to workers’ compensation can be exported to other states.

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About the Author

Bill Minick is the president of PartnerSource, a consulting firm that has helped deliver better benefits and improved outcomes for tens of thousands of injured workers and billions of dollars in economic development through “options” to workers’ compensation over the past 20 years.

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