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Workers comp commission lays off 16 workers

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma's Workers Compensation Commission has laid off 16 employees as the organization transitions from a court-based system to an administrative one.

Commission Executive Director Rick Farmer confirmed the layoffs Wednesday but declined to identify the employees. Wednesday's layoffs bring the total number of staff from 74 to 58.

In 2013, the Legislature approved sweeping changes to Oklahoma's workers comp system, splitting the agency into two separate entities during the transition - one to handle the existing court claims and another to handle new claims under the administrative system.

The Court of Existing Claims now has about 22,000 cases, while the Workers' Compensation Commission has about 800.

Gov. Mary Fallin says the move from a judicial system to an administrative system was meant to produce a more efficient, less costly organization.

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