Employment Laws: What are Employment Laws in Oklahoma?
If you are working in the state of Oklahoma, it is essential for you to know the federal and state laws that govern your working principles. As far as minimum wage is concerned, Oklahoma follows federal law. However, state laws provide greater protection to working employees than federal law in Oklahoma regarding health care coverage.
An employer in Oklahoma, in addition to following federal and state law, has to follow municipal laws about the employer-employee relationship. This article will give you all the necessary information you would require to know regarding employment laws in Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma Anti-Discrimination Act (OADA)
The Oklahoma Anti-Discrimination Act (OADA) is an act which prohibits employers in discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, and genetic information. This act also prohibits employers from harassing their employees. Employers in Oklahoma who have at least 15 employees are subject to these laws, and for the law prohibiting age discrimination, employers with at least 20 employees must adhere to the law.
In addition to the above laws, Oklahoma laws also prohibit discrimination regarding job listings, hiring decision, interviews, layoffs, promotion, compensation, and termination. Also, Oklahoma laws prevent discrimination on the grounds of an employee’s use of tobacco when he or she is not on duty.
Equal pay in Oklahoma
In jobs of comparable work, Oklahoma laws prevent employers from paying females lesser than males relating to skill and responsibility with an exception only based on the merit system and seniority system.
Wage and labor in Oklahoma
Regarding minimum wage, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the minimum wage and working hours that employers must adhere to. Employers are guided by law to pay the highest minimum wage to employees which is $7.25 an hour in Oklahoma. However, if as an employee, you earn tips, your employer can pay you lesser than the minimum wage as long as you earn $7.25 an hour.
Certain employees such as farm workers, domestic servants, salespersons, and transportation employees are exempt from state minimum wage requirements. The law is also not applicable to minors who are aged less than 18 and have not yet graduated from high school or a vocational training program.
Child labor in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, minors who are aged under 18 are prohibited from working in hazardous jobs like working in underground mines or places that sell liquor.
Leave laws in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, benefits such as paid leave, sick leave, holidays and paid time off (PTO) are discretionary. However, unpaid leaves can be issued by employers such as:
Military leave- under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and Oklahoma law, employers should allow their employees to take leave from work in case of federal or state military duty.
Family and medical leave- the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that requires employers who have a workforce of at least 50 members to issue employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off every year in the case of illness or caregiving issues.
Voting leave- employees in Oklahoma are subject to take off at least 2 hours from work for casting their votes.
Jury duty- employees in Oklahoma are guided by law to take leave for jury duty.
Compensation and safety laws in Oklahoma
The Occupational Safety and Health Act, which is a federal law, requires employers in Oklahoma to provide a safe workplace and a non-hazardous working environment.
If employees feel that their employees have committed safety violations, then they have the right to request an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection.
Leaving a job in Oklahoma
Employees in Oklahoma can leave their job at their own will. However, employees cannot be fired for the reason of discrimination.