It’s important to stay up to date on all of the employment laws in your state so that you can maintain compliance in your business. We did some of the hard work for you and put some of the most important Oklahoma statutes in one place so you can either learn them for the first time or give yourself a refresher. 

However, remember that our summary is not qualified legal advice, laws are always subject to change, and they can vary from municipality to municipality. 

It’s up to you to make sure you’re compliant with all laws and statutes in your area. Consult with a qualified lawyer and/or your local government agencies if you have questions or concerns. 

Here are a few Oklahoma labor laws every small business owner should know.

Resources

First, here are a few helpful links and resources for you to bookmark and refer back to:

Leave 

  • Sick Days: Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid sick leave but must comply with their own established policies if they choose to implement one. 
  • Medical Leave: Employers may be required to provide leave in accordance with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Vacation Leave: Employers are not required to provide vacation leave but must comply with their own established policies if they choose to implement one. 
    • Employers may deny the payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment, but if they establish a policy that says they will pay it out, they must comply with the contract. 
    • Employers may establish a policy that disqualifies employees from payment of accrued vacation if they fail to meet specific guidelines, such as giving two weeks notice. 
    • The amount of vacation time an employee can accrue may be capped by the employer.
    • Employers can implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy that requires employees to use their vacation time by a set date, as long as employees have reasonable time to use their vacation time. 
  • Jury Duty: Employers do not have to pay employees for time spent responding to a jury summons
    • Employers may not penalize employees for responding to a jury summons. 
    • Employers may not require employees to use any available leave for responding to a jury summons.
  • Holiday Leave: Private employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid holiday leave, but must comply with any established policies if they choose to implement them. 
  • Voting Leave: Employees are to receive 2 hours of time off to vote if they do not have 3 hours before or after their shift. 
    • If the employee provides proof that they voted, the time off must be paid. 
    • Employers can dictate when the employee takes time off to vote. 
  • Bereavement Leave: Employers are not required to provide bereavement leave, but may be required to comply with any bereavement policy they may have. 

Final Paycheck 

Employers must pay employees who have separated from their employment for any reason (including being discharged/suspended/laid off or resigning) their final paycheck by the next scheduled payday. 

Minimum Wage

  • Oklahoma sets its minimum wage to be the same as the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25. 
  • Employers who have less than 10 employees or earn less than $100,000 of business annually are exempt from complying with the minimum wage rate. 

Tipped Wages 

  • The current minimum wage for tipped employees is $3.63 and is set to be half of the standard minimum wage rate. 
  • Employers must ensure their tipped employees are also paid the standard minimum wage rate when their tips are combined with their wages. 

Child Labor 

  • Minors 14 and 15 years of age may only work within the following hours:
    • While school is in session
      • A maximum of 18 hours a week
      • A maximum of 3 hours a day 
      • Between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. 
    • While school is out of session
      • A maximum of 40 hours a week
      • A maximum of 8 hours a day
      • Between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. 
  • There are no time restrictions for minors 16 and 17 years of age. 
  • Minors 14 and 15 years of age are required to receive a 1-hour break for every 8 hours worked or a 30-minute break for every 5 hours worked. 

Meal and Rest Breaks, Overtime

  • There are no Oklahoma laws regarding overtime, so federal laws apply. 
  • Besides the aforementioned law regarding minors under the age of 16, Oklahoma has no laws regarding breaks or meal times, so the federal law applies. 
    • Under federal law, employers are not required to provide meal periods or breaks, but if they do, breaks less than 20 minutes must be paid.
    • Meal periods, usually 30 minutes or longer, do not need to be paid if the employee is free to do as they wish during the break. 

Employment Discrimination

  • Oklahoma law makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap (disability).
  • Click here to read our blog on what acceptable and unacceptable questions to ask during an interview.       

Termination

Oklahoma is an employment-at-will state, which means that without a written employee contract, employees can be terminated for any reason at any time, provided that the reason is not discriminatory and that the employer is not retaliating against the employee for a rightful action. 

Shift Scheduling

There are no laws regarding shift scheduling in Oklahoma.

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