Workers Comp Matters

National Implications of Opt Out in Workers’ Compensation

February 19, 201633 min
In recent years, opt out alternatives to workers’ compensation have become increasingly popular systems for handling work-related injuries. Under an opt out program, employers are allowed to create their own system for taking care of employees that are injured on the job. To date, only Texas and Oklahoma allow employers to participate, but the list of interested states is continuing to grow. Despite the growing popularity, many are concerned that opt out programs will change the landscape of workers’ compensation for the worse and will incur unexpected costs both inside and outside the states that permit them. In this episode of Workers Comp Matters, host Alan Pierce interviews attorney, author, and historian Bob Burke about the implications of opt out programs. Together, they discuss the effects on workers, taxpayers, and even the court system as these new systems are put into place. Stay tuned, as both Alan and Bob reveal the primary movers for opt out as well as predictions for future public acceptance. Bob Burke is an attorney, author, and historian with over 30 years of experience practicing law in workers’ compensation matters. He is the former secretary of commerce and principal adviser on workers’ compensation during the administration of then-Oklahoma Governor David Boren. In 2011, he re-wrote the entire worker’s compensation law (Title 85) in Oklahoma as part of current Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin’s reform. Burke has also been a speaker for over 100 CLE Seminars. Opt Out Issues Discussed: Statute of limitations for filing a grievance Injuries excluded from coverage Workplace incidents excluded from coverage Medical procedures excluded from coverage Home health care limitations Taxpayer liability both inside and outside participating states  

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