2014 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 85A. Administrative Workers' Compensation System
§85A-19. Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Commission.
A. There is hereby created the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Commission, an executive agency of the State of Oklahoma, which shall have the exclusive responsibility and duty to carry out the provisions of this act, except as otherwise provided.
B. The Commission shall consist of three (3) full-time commissioners, each of whom must have been involved in the workers' compensation field for at least three (3) years, appointed by the Governor: one of whom is chosen from a slate of three selected by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, with all three confirmed by the Senate. The term of each appointee shall be six (6) years to administer the provisions of this act. The Governor may request a subsequent slate of nominees from the Speaker of the House of Representatives if a suitable nominee is not found. Any or all of the commissioners may be reappointed for additional six-year terms upon reconfirmation by the Senate. However, the initial commissioners shall serve staggered terms of two (2), four (4), and six (6) years, respectively, as determined by the Governor. If the Legislature is not in session at the time of appointment, the appointment shall be subject to confirmation by the Senate upon convening of the next regular session of the Legislature. Membership on the Commission shall be a full-time position and no commissioner shall have any other employment, unless authorized or excused by law. Each commissioner shall receive a salary equal to that paid to a district judge of this state; provided however, the commissioners shall not receive any increase in salary as a result of the provisions of Section 1 of this resolution.
C. The Commission shall have the authority to adopt reasonable rules within its respective areas of responsibility including the rules of procedure for administrative hearings, after notice and public hearing, for effecting the purposes of this act, in accordance with the Oklahoma Administrative Procedures Act. All rules, upon adoption, shall be published and be made available to the public and, if not inconsistent with the law, shall be binding in the administration of this act.
D. The principal office of the Commission shall be situated in the City of Oklahoma City in quarters assigned by the Office of Management and Enterprise Services. The Commission shall maintain and keep open, during reasonable business hours, the office in Oklahoma City, for the transaction of business, at which office its official records and papers shall be kept. The Commission or any commissioner may hold hearings in any city of this state.
E. The Governor shall appoint one of the commissioners to be chair of the Commission. In addition to other duties, the chair of the Commission shall have the following powers and duties:
1. To organize, direct and develop the administrative work of the administrative law judges, including but not limited to docketing, clerical, technical and financial work and establishment of hours of operation;
2. To employ administrative staff for the Commission, within budgetary limitation; and
3. Such other duties and responsibilities authorized by law or as the Commission may prescribe.
F. All appeals or disputes arising from actions of the Commission shall be governed by provisions of this act and the Commission shall not be subject to the provisions of the Oklahoma Administrative Procedures Act, except as provided in this act.
G. When any commissioner of the Commission is disqualified for any reason to hear and participate in the determination of any matter pending before the Commission, the Governor shall appoint a qualified person to hear and participate in the decision on the particular matter. The special commissioner so appointed shall have all authority and responsibility with respect to the particular matter before the Commission as if the person were a regular commissioner of the Commission but shall have no authority or responsibility with respect to any other matter before the Commission. A person appointed as a special commissioner of the Commission under the provisions of this subsection shall be entitled to receive a per diem equal to the annual salary of the commissioners prorated for the number of days he or she serves in the capacity of a special commissioner of the Commission. Furthermore, when a vacancy on the Commission occurs or is certain to occur, the position shall be filled pursuant to the provisions of this section.
Added by Laws 2013, c. 208, § 19. Amended by Laws 2014, H.J.R. No. 1096, § 4, eff. July 1, 2014.
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