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Oklahoma: Retaliatory Discharge Statute is Constitutionally OK in Spite of Lack of Access to Jury

May 30, 2019 (1 min read)

Under Oklahoma’s retaliatory discharge statute, 85A O.S.Supp. 2013 § 7, a worker who claims that he or she was fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim must seek relief from the state’s Workers’ Compensation Commission; he or she may not maintain a civil action in tort against the employer. That statute which, among other things, does not provide for a hearing before a jury of the worker's peers, is constitutional, according to a recent ruling of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma. Noting that a wrongful termination claim did not exist prior to its creation by statute, the high court held there was no constitutionally guaranteed right to have the claim heard by a jury.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Southon v. Oklahoma Tire Recyclers, LLC, 2019 OK 37, 2019 Okla. LEXIS 37 (May 21, 2019)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 104.07

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see