Oklahoma Break Laws

April 11th 2024

While Oklahoma has no state law requiring employers to provide rest or meal breaks to employees aged 16 and above, it is crucial to recognize that the lack of Oklahoma break laws does not negate the importance of such breaks. Instead, employers are bound by regulations outlined in the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to provide a conducive work environment. Understanding both federal and state labor laws is essential to ensure compliance and fair treatment in the workplace.

This article provides valuable insights regarding Oklahoma break laws for both employers and employees.

This article covers:

Rest Breaks in Oklahoma

Several employers in Oklahoma provide breaks as part of their company policies or collective bargaining agreements. Most employees receive a 15-minute paid rest break for every four hours on duty. As rest breaks are considered time worked, the break period should not be counted or saved to use and extend meal breaks, clock off early, or offset against any working hours.

 Furthermore, the employer has the authority to change rest periods based on staffing or corporate needs.

Meal Breaks in Oklahoma

Employees can have a minimum of at least 30-minute unpaid lunch break for every 6 hours of work. As meal breaks are not counted as time worked, employees are relieved from all duties during the break and are encouraged to leave their desks or work areas.

Employees should record any work-related interruptions during lunch breaks and notify their supervisor as soon as they occur. This is required to correctly record the actual hours worked.

Breastfeeding Breaks in Oklahoma

In Break Time for Nursing Mothers Provision, employers must provide a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child. This provision applies until one year after the child’s birth. Along with the breastfeeding break, the employer must provide a comfortable place for the employee to express breast milk. This space should be private, out of public sight and free from the intrusion from coworkers. It should be a space other than a bathroom stall. However, if providing a breastfeeding facility would case undue hardship to the employer, they are not compelled to set one up.

Employers are not required to compensate employees for breastfeeding breaks.

Penalties for Employers in Oklahoma Who Deny Breaks to Employees

As Oklahoma break laws focus on minor employees, penalties are much steeper than for employer violations involving employees over the age of 16. Willful violations of the regulations can result in a penalty of up to $13,227 per minor employee. However, major violations that result in serious injury to a minor employee impose a maximum penalty of $60,115. Employers that persistently violate the rule may face a punishment of up to $120,230 and imprisonment.

Meanwhile, if an employer has stipulated rest and break periods in the employment contract and company policy, the employer should comply; refusing such breaks is a breach of contract.

Break Obligations for Minor Employees in Oklahoma

Under Oklahoma Child Labor Laws, employers are required to provide mandatory rest and lunch breaks. Employees aged 14 to 15 should be given a 30-minute meal break if they work more than five hours in a shift. In addition, minors are entitled to a 10-minute break for every three hours worked.

Rest Day Requirements in Oklahoma

Oklahoma has no state legislation requiring employers to provide employees with designated rest days. However, some employers or collective bargaining agreements may include rest days in employment contracts or policies. Employers and employees should review their employment contracts or industry-specific provisions to understand any requirements related to rest days.

Learn more about Oklahoma Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

This content is provided for informational purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, we cannot guarantee that it is free of errors or omissions. Users are advised to independently verify any critical information and should not solely rely on the content provided.