Oklahoma Labor Laws

Oklahoma labor laws provide that the minimum wage in the State of Oklahoma is $7.25 an hour. If employees receive tips as part of their compensation, employers can pay the employee a lower minimum wage so long as the employee makes up for the difference in tips. A typical position in which an employee receives tip is a waiter/waitress position in a restaurant.

Such laws allow subminimum payment for up to three months for some employees under the age of 20. Non-exempt employees must be paid at least twice a month, and public employees have to be paid at least once per month.

With regard to overtime payment, employers must pay non-exempt employees 1.5 times more than the hourly rate for those working more than 40 hours/week. However, not all employees are eligible for overtime pay, particularly exempt employees, i.e. those receiving a yearly salary.

Exemptions to the Oklahoma Labor Laws

  • Farm employees
  • Feed store employees
  • Domestic works
  • Government employees
  • Volunteer employees
  • Newspaper vendors
  • Salespersons
  • Carriers under Part I of the Interstate Commerce Act
  • Part-time employees working less than 25 hours/week
  • Employees under the age of 18 who are high-school or vocational students
  • Employees under the age of 22 who are still currently in high school, college, or a vocational training program
  • Employees who are reserve force deputy sheriffs

BreaksThroughout the Day

Oklahoma labor laws require employers to provide employees under 16 years of age with a 30 minute break period when working 5 or more continuous hours. For those over the age of 16, there is no state law requiring a meal period or break; however, it is at the employer’s discretion in deciding on meal breaks. Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes must be paid. If the break lasts 30 minutes or longer, the employer need not pay its employees for the time off so long as employees can do as they please during the time off.

Extended Time Off

The State of Oklahoma has several provisions on different types of leave, including vacation, sick time, holidays, jury duty, and bereavement.

Vacation Days

Oklahoma labor laws do not require employers to give employees vacation benefits, paid or unpaid. If such vacation days are provided to employees, this information must be stated in the company’s policy, including on the company’s internal employee website, employee handbook, and employees’ contracts. However, if an employee leaves the company, it is up to the employer to determine whether or not to pay the employee for unused vacation days. Employers in Oklahoma must also implement a “use it or lose it” policy in which employees must use their days off by a certain day or risk losing those days. Some employers provide that a certain number of vacation or sick days can be carried over to the following year, with certain limits to the number of days.

Sick Days

While Oklahoma employers can choose whether to provide sick leave benefits to their employees, they may be required to provide unpaid sick leave if the conditions fall under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This federal law provides that employers with at least 50 employees provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off to employees who qualify. Such qualifications can include a serious medical condition of the employee or an immediate family member, a birth/adoption of a child, and other few qualifying circumstances. Such leave cannot affect the employee’s position with the company.

Jury Duty

Oklahoma labor laws require employers to allow employees time off for jury duty; however, paid time off is not required and employees may be forced to use vacation or sick days for such time off.

Time Off To Vote

In the State of Oklahoma, employers are required to provide employees with two hours of time off to vote. This rule applies to employees who do not have three hours before or after a shift begins or ends in order to vote. Employees must show proof of having voted after doing so.

Bereavement

It is up to the employer to determine if any time off will be provided for bereavement leave. If so, the employer can chose how many days depending on the closeness of the deceased, i.e. immediate family member vs. friend.

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