By Nicole Cobler | Sept. 20, 2016
In the wake of an Oklahoma Supreme Court decision striking down part of that state’s workers’ compensation law, Texas is now the only state that lets private companies opt out of a state-run system and draw up their own plans to compensate injured workers.
Before the ruling, Oklahoma had been the only other state offering an “opt out” provision.
That leaves some Texas attorneys and labor unions questioning whether the state’s nonsubscriber option for businesses will survive, but a spokesman for the Texas Department of Insurance said changes are unlikely because there are “significant differences” between the Oklahoma and Texas law.
Still, Richard Levy, secretary-treasurer of the Teas AFL-CIO, called the Oklahoma ruling “significant” for Texas and said the group is considering if a similar argument could be used to strike down the Texas opt-out provision.
“I would imagine that a lot of people in this area are looking at their Texas Constitutions right now,” Levy said. “Certainly, we expect this to be an issue in the upcoming legislative session.”