Guide to Oklahoma Employee Rights
This article will provide a basic overview of Oklahoma employee rights. It’s important to know your rights as a worker so that you will know if your rights were violated. The rights provided under both federal and state laws are afforded to Oklahoma employees. You may want to consult with a labor attorney and employment attorney for more in-depth information.
The state of Oklahoma entitles most employees to the federal minimum wage. Maids/housekeepers and agricultural laborers are exempt from Oklahoma employee rights, but the vast majority of workers are entitled to a wage of at least $7.25 hour. Employees who make most of their money on tips are only entitled to $3.63 an hour in our state, half of what non-tipped employees make.
Oklahoma employee rights do not include any rights pertaining to personnel file access. Note though that in some states, employees do have a right to view their personnel file, including information about compensation and promotions. Oklahoma employees can only access their personnel files if they have an employment agreement or a union contract that specifies this right.
Employee Breaks in our state do not include rights for any type of rest or meal breaks, either paid or unpaid. Only employees under the age of 16 years old must be given a 30-minute (unpaid) meal break if they work a shift of six hours or longer.
Bathroom breaks and breastfeeding breaks are the only breaks employees are required to receive. For disabled OK employees, you are entitled to sufficient bathroom breaks. This takes it into consideration if you have a medical condition that causes you to need more frequent trips to the bathroom than most other employees.
Discrimination and Harassment protection for Oklahoma employees includes the right not to be discriminated against or harassed for your sex, religion, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, or if you are disabled. The Equal Opportunity Commission may be able to give you legal advice about how to stand up for your Oklahoma employee rights if you are discriminated against at work or during the hiring process.
However, there are situations where employers within the state of Oklahoma may still discriminate against an employee without the employee necessarily having any recourse. For example, currently, Oklahoma employee rights do not include any anti-discrimination rights based on sexual orientation or preference. And discrimination can be hard to prove. Employees should document all occurrences and obtain a knowledgeable attorney to pursue a discrimination case.
Time Off for employees, unless they have union contracts, or employee agreements specify these rights, have no sick or vacation time that is mandated by Oklahoma employee rights. Employers are required to provide up to six weeks of unpaid leave for medical issues according to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), but sick and vacation time is considered optional benefits that are given at the employer’s discretion. As mentioned at the start of this article, it pays to know and understand your rights as a worker. You can always consult with us, your Oklahoma City workers compensation lawyers.