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Workers’ Compensation Reform is Failing the Working People

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The Oklahoman – Your Views Sunday, March 12

by Your View — Letter to the Editor 

Work comp reform failing

Jonathan Buxton (Point of View, March 8) left out some very important points in praising Oklahoma’s new workers’ compensation system. He failed to mention the reforms made Oklahoma’s compensation rate the absolute lowest in the nation. Now, a worker who makes $2,000 a week can only receive a maximum of $589.33 per week in benefits when they are off work as a result of their injury. Because of this arbitrary limit, someone hurt doing his or her job will likely lose their family home, car and everything else they own. The reformed system may save money for businesses. But it does so by causing great harm to the working people of this great state when they are at their most vulnerable.

The reform law creates economic disaster for injured workers. It also conflicts with the values and rules enshrined in our state’s constitution. That’s not just my opinion — courts at various levels have already struck down 38 provisions of the law. If the State Chamber of Oklahoma really wants what’s best for the people of Oklahoma, it will work to create a system to actually protect people when they get hurt, not one that pushes people into poverty because of an accident on the job.

Joseph C. Biscone II, Oklahoma City

Biscone is managing partner of the law firm Johnson & Biscone.

 

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