Wage And Hour Claim – OK

Filing a Wage and Hour Claim – Oklahoma

Does Oklahoma have state overtime laws that are different from federal law?

Oklahoma has no state overtime laws. Only federal law applies.

Does Oklahoma have a minimum wage that is different from federal law?

Oklahoma has adopted the federal minimum wage rate, which is currently $7.25.

Oklahoma’s minimum wage requirement does not apply to an employer otherwise covered by any federal wage and hour law, including the federal minimum wage provision. Oklahoma’s minimum wage law also does not apply to employers who employ less than ten employees, unless those employers do more than $100,000 worth of business each year. The following employees are also exempt from Oklahoma’s minimum wage law:

  • Farm and agricultural workers
  • Domestic service employees in or about private homes
  • U.S. government employees
  • Volunteers for charitable, religious or other nonprofit organizations
  • Newspaper vendors and carriers
  • Employees of carriers subject to Part I of the Interstate Commerce Act
  • Executive, administrative, or professional employees.
  • Part-time employees (less than 25 hours per week) not on permanent status
  • Employees less than 18 years old and not a high school graduate or a graduate of a vocational training program
  • Employees less than 22 years old who are regularly enrolled in a high school, college, university, or vocational training program
  • Employees of feed stores operated primarily for the benefit of farmers and ranchers
  • Employees working as reserve force deputy sheriffs.

Any employee over 18 years of age not covered in the provisions described here must be paid at least $2.00 per hour.

Employers can use tips and gratuities to reduce the minimum wage required to $3.63. An employer may also count 50% of the value of any meals or lodging provided to employees against the minimum wage.

If an employer provides uniforms for its employees, it may count the reasonable value of the uniforms against the minimum wage.

Does Oklahoma have meal and rest break requirements, unlike federal law?

Oklahoma state law does not provide meal or rest breaks for employees 16 and older. For employees under the age of 16, who may only work in agriculture or domestic service, rest breaks of one hour must be provided for every eight hours worked; if they work at least five hours but not eight, they are entitled to a ½-hour rest break.

How do I file a wage/hour or labor standards claim in Oklahoma?

If your employer owes you wages, you can file a wage claim with the Oklahoma Department of Labor. The Department of Labor is authorized to hold a hearing and, if it determines that your claim is valid, it can issue a binding order to your employer to pay. If the Department of Labor decides to take your case to court, you will receive double the wages you are owed.

What are my time deadlines?

Do not delay in contacting the Oklahoma Department of Labor to file a claim. While it is unclear what the time deadlines are, the Department will not be able to assist you if a long period of time has elapsed since your employer was supposed to pay you. As you might have other legal claims with strict time deadlines, do not wait to file your claim. You may wish to consult with an attorney before filing your claim, if possible. Yet if you are unable to find an attorney who will assist you, it is not necessary to have an attorney to file your claim with the district and federal administrative agencies.

How can I or my attorney pursue a claim in state court in Oklahoma?

Instead of filing a wage claim with the Department of Labor, you or your attorney may also file a lawsuit in any court of competent jurisdiction. If you win, the court may require your employer to pay your attorneys’ fees and costs, as well as pay you double what you are owed in unpaid wages. It is unclear under state law what the statute of limitations is for such a case, but you should not wait to bring it once you have consulted an attorney.

This material was originally prepared by attorney Joseph Jaramillo and former law clerks Keia Cole and Adam Weiss of the law firm Goldstein, Demchak Baller Borgen and Dardarian, and was updated by Professor Douglas D. Scherer, of Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. Professor Scherer also serves as the Vice President of Workplace Fairness.

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