Oklahoma Labor Laws

Labor Laws in Oklahoma

As an employer or employee in Oklahoma, it’s crucial to have a good understanding of the labor laws that govern your state. These laws cover various aspects of employment, including minimum wage, overtime requirements, breaks, and discrimination. With so many different rules and regulations to navigate, it can be challenging to know what’s required of you. In this blog post, we will provide you with an overview of the most important Oklahoma labor laws that you need to be aware of. We’ll cover everything from the state’s minimum wage to the rules around employment discrimination, so you can stay informed and comply with the law. Whether you’re an employer or an employee, this guide will help you navigate the often-complex landscape of Oklahoma labor laws.

Introduction to Oklahoma labor laws

Oklahoma labor laws are a set of regulations that govern the employer-employee relationship in the state of Oklahoma. These laws are designed to protect the rights of both employees and employers and ensure a fair and equitable working environment.

As an employer in Oklahoma, it is important to be aware of these laws and ensure that your business complies with them. Failure to comply with labor laws can result in legal action, fines, and other penalties. On the other hand, employees should also be aware of their rights under these laws and seek legal assistance if they believe their rights are being violated.

Some of the key areas covered by Oklahoma labor laws include minimum wage, overtime pay, rest and meal breaks, discrimination and harassment, workers’ compensation, and child labor. It is important to note that these laws are subject to change and it is the responsibility of employers and employees to stay up to date with any changes.

Oklahoma Labor Law Breaks

Regarding rest periods for workers 16 years of age and older, Oklahoma falls back on federal law. Only if it lasts less than 20 minutes must a meal break be paid if an employer wishes to offer one. As long as the employee is entirely relieved of all obligations, breaks longer than 30 minutes are considered meal intervals and do not require payment. For employees under the age of 16, at least 30 minutes for every five hours worked and an hour for every eight hours worked.

Overtime pay and exemptions

Overtime pay and exemptions can be a complex area of Oklahoma labor law, and it’s important to understand your rights and obligations as an employer.

In Oklahoma, employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of one and a half times their regular rate of pay. This applies to hourly and salaried employees who are not exempt from overtime pay under federal or state law.

However, there are exemptions for certain types of workers, such as executive, administrative, and professional employees. These exemptions are based on the employee’s job duties and salary level, and they must meet specific criteria to be considered exempt.

It’s important to note that just because an employee is salaried, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are exempt from overtime pay. If their job duties do not meet the criteria for exemption, they are still entitled to overtime pay.

To ensure compliance with Oklahoma labor laws, it’s important to review your employees’ job duties and salaries to determine if they are entitled to overtime pay. You may also want to seek the advice of an experienced employment attorney to ensure you are in compliance with federal and state labor laws. By understanding your obligations as an employer, you can avoid costly legal disputes and ensure a fair and lawful workplace for your employees.

Oklahoma Minimum Wage

As the federal minimum wage increased in 2009, Oklahoma increased its minimum wage to seven dollars and twenty-five cents — the federal minimum — from six dollars and fifty-five cents. Over three years the federal minimum wage had increased steadily to compensate for the increase in food prices, taxes, mortgage rates, and other personal financial expenses.

Over this time period, Oklahoma raised its minimum wage by two dollars and ten cents. When the federal minimum wage was increased all states were required to raise their minimums or exceed the minimum. Some states even are a dollar or more above the federal minimum, such as Washington and Oregon. Unlike other states that raise their rates each year, despite the federal requirement to do so, Oklahoma does not raise its rates unless required.

The minimum wage requirement states that an individual must be paid this wage or more and no less, according to law. The only instance where employees may be paid less is when they are tipped regularly. Under this law, if an employee acquires more than thirty dollars in tips a month, he or she can be paid as little as two or three dollars an hour. Also under this law, an employee is not required to share his or her tips with a salary-paid manager. When tips are acquired en mass, the employees are required to split the earnings at the end of the shift.

Personal Leave

Rather than create its own law for family and medical leave, Oklahoma instead uses the federal law of the Family and Medical Leave Act. This 1993 act allows employees to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave without the risk of termination. An employee cannot be terminated for needing to take family or medical leave. However, an individual on leave will not be exempt from termination if the business or company where he or she is employed is terminating individuals due to financial reasons.

Maternity leave is covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act and includes caring for a newborn and bonding with newly adopted children. Paternity leave can also be an option in some cases. These twelve weeks are offered each year and cannot be spread out over several months’ time.

An employer has the right to hire a temporary employee to replace the individual on leave but is then required by law to terminate that employee when the full-time employee returns. Employees on leave are not required to take the entire twelve weeks of leave, such as for maternity leave, but employers also have the right to disallow an employee to return early. An employer can also deny an individual’s request to work part-time before the twelve weeks are complete.


Oklahoma uses federal laws in regard to vacation time. Under federal law, if a company or business states in written form that vacation time is to be provided, the company or business must honor the agreement. An employer has the right to change company or business policy whenever he or she desires and may do so without employee consent. However, if this benefit is eliminated, a majority of the time employees with be notified in advance.

Discrimination and harassment laws in Oklahoma

Discrimination and harassment laws are in place to protect employees from being subjected to any form of discrimination or harassment in the workplace. In Oklahoma, these laws are enforced by the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission (OHRC), which is responsible for investigating and resolving complaints related to discrimination or harassment in the workplace.

Under Oklahoma state law, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information. Additionally, Oklahoma law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who have filed a complaint regarding discrimination or harassment.

Harassment can take many forms, including physical, verbal, or visual conduct that creates a hostile work environment or interferes with an employee’s job performance. Examples of harassment can include unwanted sexual advances, derogatory remarks, or offensive images or materials.

Workplace safety regulations and workers’ compensation

Workplace safety regulations are put in place to ensure that employees are protected from any potential hazards that may arise in the workplace. As an employer, it’s important to ensure that you comply with all workplace safety regulations to avoid any potential lawsuits or fines.

To comply with these regulations, you should provide appropriate training to your employees on how to safely perform their job duties and ensure that they are provided with the necessary safety equipment and gear. Additionally, it’s important to conduct regular safety audits to identify any potential hazards in the workplace and take necessary steps to address them.

Workers’ compensation is also an important aspect of workplace safety regulations. Employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance to employees to cover any medical expenses or lost wages if they are injured on the job.

To ensure that you comply with workers’ compensation regulations, you should make sure that you have the appropriate insurance coverage and that you have a process in place to report and handle workplace injuries. This includes providing your employees with information on how to report a workplace injury and how to file a workers’ compensation claim.

Employee privacy rights in Oklahoma

When it comes to employment, privacy rights are a fundamental part of an employee’s rights in Oklahoma. Employees have the right to privacy in the workplace, which includes personal information, medical records, and personal activities. Employers must take measures to protect employee information and should not disclose any personal information without the employee’s consent.

Employees also have the right to keep their personal lives separate from their work lives. Employers should avoid prying into an employee’s personal life unless it directly impacts their work. For example, if an employee’s social media activity is impacting their work performance, then the employer may have the right to take action.

It’s important for employers to understand these privacy rights and ensure that they are not infringing on their employees’ privacy in any way. This includes being transparent about any surveillance or monitoring that takes place in the workplace and obtaining consent from employees before using their personal information for any purpose.

Unemployment Insurance in Oklahoma

Unemployment insurance is an essential part of any labor law framework, and Oklahoma is no exception. This program is designed to provide temporary financial assistance to workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. It’s important to note that this program is not a welfare program, but rather an insurance program that is funded by employers in the state of Oklahoma.

In order to qualify for unemployment benefits, workers must meet certain eligibility requirements, including having earned a minimum amount of wages during a specific period of time. Additionally, workers must be able and available to work and actively seek employment.

If an employee is laid off or terminated from their job, they should file a claim for unemployment benefits with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) as soon as possible. The amount of benefits that an individual is eligible to receive is based on their earnings during a specific period prior to becoming unemployed.

How to file a wage and hour complaint in Oklahoma

As an employee in Oklahoma, it is important to know your rights when it comes to wage and hour laws. If you believe that your employer has violated labor laws such as minimum wage, overtime pay, or time off, you have the right to file a complaint.

To file a wage and hour complaint in Oklahoma, you can contact the Oklahoma Department of Labor. The department will review your complaint and investigate your employer if necessary.

You can file a complaint by phone, mail, or online. When filing your complaint, make sure to provide as much information as possible, including specific details about the violation and your employer.

The Oklahoma Department of Labor offers protection to employees who file complaints against their employers. This means that your employer cannot retaliate against you for filing a complaint.