Vol. 7, Issue 9

Find Solutions & Strategies                February 29, 2016 

Workers' Comp Agency Declares Oklahoma Opt-Out Statute Unconstitutional 
In This Issue
Workers' Compensation Emerging Issues Analysis
A Note From the Editor
Workers' comp agency declares oklahoma opt-out statute unconstitutional
The Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Commission's decision may ultimately have set up a collision between ERISA preemption and the Oklahoma State Constitution

By Michael C. Duff, Assoc. Dean of Student Programs and External Relations, and Centennial Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Wyoming College of Law      

On Friday, February 26, 2016, the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Commission ("WCC") declared the Oklahoma "Injury Benefit Act"--the formal title of the Oklahoma workers' compensation "opt-out" provisions--unconstitutional. This article addresses the WCC's findings, discusses critical portions of the decision's rationale, and explains procedurally what is likely to happen next in the case.

Factual Backdrop and WCC's Decision

Jonnie Yvonne Vasquez alleged that she was injured at work in the shoe department of a Dillard's department store in September 2014, when her left shoulder and upper neck "popped" while she was...read more
here's why you shouldn't miss the wcri 32nd annual conference
Anyone familiar with the Workers Compensation Research Institute's 32-year history of providing the data and analysis that industry mavericks rely upon to understand, manage and effect real change have come to expect WCRI conferences to provide the discussion and debate of cutting edge issues and the kind of keen insight, new lessons, and key strategies that you can't get anywhere else. This year's theme is Understanding Today to Understand Tomorrow. We've asked some of the speakers for the conference, to be held March 10-11, 2016, at the Westin Copley Place in Boston, MA, to tell us...read more
Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., our Feature National Columnist, is the co-author of Larson's Workers' Compensation Law (LexisNexis). 
Georgia: Parent's Wrongful Death Action for Negligent Hiring of Convicted Felon May Proceed. Where an employee was shot and killed by a co-employee on the special employer's premises for no apparent reason--the two hardly knew each other and had no difficulties with each at work--the death did not...read more.

Indiana: Injured Worker Recovers $412,680 in Retaliatory Discharge Action. Affirming a trial court's entry of a judgment against a former employer for $412,680 in compensatory and punitive damages in a former employee's retaliatory discharge action, an Indiana appellate court held that there were issues of fact as to retaliatory discharge and invasion of privacy claims...read more.

Minnesota: Implicit Coercion Found Regarding Employee Recognition Event. An employee-recognition event sponsored by the employer was not a "voluntary recreational program" within the meaning of Minn. Stat. 176.021, subd. 9 (2014), when it took place during work hours and employees either had to attend the event or use limited vacation time...read more.

Federal: Employee's Civil Action for Damages Associated With Radioactive Dust May Proceed. Allegations that an employer knew of the risks and dangers of encountering failed radioactive fuel plates when it ordered an employee to repackage and/or continue the repackaging process, that it failed to warn the employee of the dangers, failed to...read more.
WCRI Annual Issues Conference: March 10-11, 2016, Boston, MA
national & state news


ArchivesTake a deep dive into our past eNewsletters for 2016 and prior...warning - some links to articles may not work...report any linking problems to Robin.E.Kobayashi@lexisnexis.com.