Court Changes Cause Delays In Worker Comp Cases

Jul 4, 2014

Credit J Stephen Conn /

Hearings for thousands of injured workers will be delayed this month while the state's workers compensation system is split into two agencies— each with its own staff, offices and equipment.

Hearings scheduled in the state's workers compensation courts in Tulsa and Oklahoma City between July 21 and Aug. 1 have been postponed and will be rescheduled, according to letters from the court to attorneys.

Court Administrator Michael Harkey told the Tulsa World that he did not know how many cases were affected.

The move marks the changing of the state's Workers' Compensation Court system to an administrative system. The change is part of Governor Mary Fallin's initiative to revamp the workers compensation program that was approved by the Legislature last year.

The Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Commission handles new claims from workers' disputes with their employers. The Compensation Commission is part of the administrative branch of Oklahoma government.

The Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Court of Existing Claims will continue to process claims already filed with the court system. The Compensation Court is part of the Oklahoma court system.