Oklahoma Salaried Employees Laws

April 11th 2024

In Oklahoma, a set of laws and regulations outline the rights and obligations of salaried employees and their employers. The legal framework in Oklahoma addresses several aspects of the employer-employee relationship.

Salaried employees in Oklahoma are individuals who receive fixed compensation on regular schedules. The state’s structured compensation model ensures that employees receive fair wage compensation.

This article provides a comprehensive overview of the regulations in Oklahoma. Read on to learn more about the respective rights and responsibilities of employees and employers.

This article covers:

Payment of Wages for Salaried Employees in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, state labor laws govern the payment of wages for salaried employees. The state expects employers to adhere to the laws and ensure fair wage compensation. 

Salaried employees in Oklahoma must receive a salary that meets or exceeds the minimum wage of $7.25. The employer should ensure their employees’ earnings follow the minimum wage standards.

Oklahoma labor laws do not mandate a specific pay frequency for salaried employees. Employers have the flexibility to establish their paycheck schedules. Employers can have their schedules on a weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly basis. Moreover, employers need to communicate the pay frequency to their workers, and it should be consistent.

Salaried Employees’ Eligibility for Overtime in Oklahoma

Both state and federal labor laws should align with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employers have to determine the eligibility of salaried employees for overtime pay. The FLSA has established criteria to determine if employees are exempt or non-exempt.

The eligibility requirements for salaried employees for overtime pay are as follows:

  • Employees do not fall within the white-collar (Executive, administrative, professional) category or other exempt categories defined by FLSA.
  • Employees worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek.

Meanwhile, under the FLSA, salaried employees are exempt if they fall under these criteria:

  • Executive, administrative, and professional employees with a fixed weekly salary of at least $684 (or $35,568 annually).
  • Computer employees earning at least $684 a week, or $27.63 per hour.
  • Highly compensated employees with an annual income of $107,432 or more.
  • Outside sales employees.
  • Agricultural or horticultural employees.
  • Commissioned sales employees in retail or service establishments receive over half of their earnings from commissions.
  • Motor carrier employees engaged in interstate or foreign commerce.

Employers must classify their employees for overtime pay. Misclassification and neglecting overtime pay can lead to legal consequences and financial penalties.

Pay for Working Overtime for Oklahoma Salaried Employees

Oklahoma has not established a state law regarding overtime compensation. However, employers in Oklahoma must follow the federal law. According to the FLSA, any non-exempt employee should receive compensation at 1.5 times their hourly regular rate. The compensation only applies if the employee worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek.

Overtime compensation is calculated on a weekly basis. For example, if an employee worked 12 hours on a single day but did not exceed 40 hours for the week, they would not qualify for overtime pay.

Overtime pay computations are tedious. Employers can simplify the process by using a timesheet app, monitoring time and attendance, or even employing overtime compliance software. These tools help employers pay fair compensation and protect them from penalties.

Exceptions to Overtime Exemptions for Oklahoma Salaried Employees

Salaried employees have to meet a list of criteria to be classified as exempt employees, with their job duty, industry, and position determining their classification. Non-exempt salaried employees can be eligible for overtime pay, however, if certain conditions are met. The Fluctuating Workweek Method can help determine their compensation. If these conditions are met, employees are entitled to receive bonuses, commissions, and hazard pay under the provisions of FWW.

Check out Oklahoma Overtime Laws for more detailed information.

Violation of Salaried Employees Wages Payment in Oklahoma

Neglecting wage payment regulations may lead to legal consequences and fines. Some common violations employers may face include:

  • Minimum Wage Violations: If employers pay their employees less than the federal or minimum wage, it constitutes a violation.
  • Overtime Pay Violations: Failure to pay eligible employees overtime is a violation of the FLSA. Overtime pay should be at least 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay.
  • Misclassification of Employees: Incorrectly classifying employees as exempt when they should be non-exempt, or vice versa, can lead to wage violations.
  • Off-the-Clock Work: Requiring employees to work off-the-clock without compensation. All hours worked, even if they go beyond the standard workday, should be compensated.
  • Recordkeeping Violations: Failure to maintain accurate records of employees’ hours worked, wages, and other relevant information can lead to violations. Proper recordkeeping is essential for ensuring compliance with wage laws.

Employees can file complaints with the Oklahoma Department of Labor or pursue legal action for violating their rights.

Male and Female Salaried Employees in Oklahoma

Oklahoma has a state regulation regarding discrimination by type. It is unlawful to treat an applicant or employee unfavorably because of their gender. Employees should be paid the same when they perform the same job responsibilities. The pay difference may only be applicable based on the following:

  • Seniority system
  • Merit system
  • System measuring earnings by quantity or quality
  • Workplace location
  • Necessary and regular travel for an employee
  • Educational qualifications
  • Work experience
  • Training

Leave Entitlements for Salaried Employees in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, employers are required to provide certain types of leave to their employees, including annual leave, sick leave, and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) coverage.

The amount of annual leave an employee receives depends on their years of service, ranging from 15 days per year for less than 5 years of service to 25 days per year for more than 20 years.

Sick leave is mandated for full-time public employees, with 15 days available annually. However, temporary or limited-term employees are not eligible for sick leave. The FMLA allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year, applicable to public agencies, schools, and companies with 50 or more employees.

Additionally, state employees are entitled to holiday leave on declared holidays, with compensation if they are required to work. Jury duty leave is granted for employees summoned to serve, while voting leave provides up to 2 hours of paid time off for registered voters, except when there is a 3-hour voting window before or after working hours.

In Oklahoma, military leave grants paid time off for National Guard or Armed Forces reserve duty, limited to 40 work days. Permanent and probationary employees are allocated up to 10 days of paid enforced leave.

Meanwhile, donor leave is available for state employees participating in donor programs, allowing up to 5 paid work days off for bone marrow donation and 30 paid work days off for organ donation.

Private employers are not obligated to provide non-required leave (i.e., sick leave, donor leave, and holiday leave).

Break Entitlements for Salaried Employees in Oklahoma

Although Oklahoma has no mandatory breaks, employers see their value. Some employers offer break entitlements in employment contracts.

If employees take a rest period or meal break for more than 30 minutes, it does not warrant compensation. Meanwhile, breaks that are less than 30 minutes (i.e., coffee breaks) are compensable.

Employers have to guarantee that their employees are efficiently using their break entitlements. There is thus a need to track work hours or use automated systems to track time off.

Deductions from Exempt Employees’ Salary in Oklahoma

According to state regulations, employers are permitted to deduct items from their wages. Deductions include payroll taxes and, in some cases:

  • Child support – Employers must deduct child support even if this would make the employee’s wage less than the minimum wage.
  • Meals and housing – Employers can deduct these items even if it would make the employee’s wages less than the minimum wage, but there are some limitations.

The limitations on deductions include the following:

  • Employers cannot deduct some items (i.e., uniforms) if it would make wages less than the minimum wage.
  • Employees must receive meals and housing. Employers can only deduct meals and housing from employees’ wages if the items are received.

All items deducted must be beneficial for employees. If the items are mainly for the employer’s benefit, the deductions should not make the employees’ wages less than the minimum. For example, a tool or uniform that an employee can only use at work is an item that mainly benefits the employer.

Termination of Employment for Salaried Employees in Oklahoma

An at-will employment contract binds employers and employees in Oklahoma. Employers can terminate employees at their discretion, with or without cause. However, termination based on gender, ethnicity, religion, or pregnancy is unlawful. On top of that, employers should not retaliate against employees’ complaints. Employees can pursue legal action for wrongful termination.

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.