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Injured Oklahoma workers challenge 'opt-out' provision of 2013 workers' compensation law

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Two workers who were injured on the job have filed a legal challenge over changes to Oklahoma's workers' compensation laws that were approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2013.

The constitutional challenge was filed Friday, and the plaintiffs are asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to take up the case.

The plaintiffs contend a portion of the law is unconstitutional that allows employers with their own workers' compensation benefits plan to "opt out" of the new administrative workers' compensation system. They claim it denies injured workers due process of law.

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak is named as the defendant because his office is charged with reviewing opt-out plans to determine if they appropriately protect injured workers.

The plaintiffs work for two of the 33 companies with approved opt-out plans.

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