Labor Compliance Guide

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

The Fair Labor Standards Act defines the workweek as a fixed and recurring period of 168 hours comprised of seven consecutive 24-hour periods that do not need to coincide with the calendar week. It is adjustable only if the change is designed to be permanent. Each week is considered on its own for purposes of calculating overtime. The hours of two or more weeks may not be averaged.


Under state law, it is unlawful to do any servile work or to work at any trade, manufacturing, or mechanical employment on Sunday, except for works of charity or necessity and other specified exemptions. Employers have the right to schedule the minimum and maximum number of hours that employees may or may not work. Employers can change employees’ hours without notice and may require employees to work overtime.


There is no general provision in Oklahoma law for overtime pay, but most employees would qualify under federal law for payment at a rate of 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a single week.


Neither federal nor state law requires employers to provide breaks to employees age 16 or older. Mandatory break laws only apply to children under the age of 16. Breaks and lunch periods are considered benefits and remain at the discretion of the employer.


Unless the employee requests or consents to work such hours, an employer may not schedule or require an employee to work during the following rest periods:

      • The first 10 hours following the end of the previous calendar day’s work shift or on-call shift; or
      • The first 10 hours following the end of a work shift or on-call shift that spanned two calendar days.

An employer shall compensate an employee for each hour or the portion of an hour that the employee works during a rest period at 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay.


Breast Feeding Laws 

Oklahoma mothers have the right to breastfeed anywhere they have a right to be, and shall be excused from jury duty upon request. Oklahoma breastfeeding mothers may use unpaid break and meal times to breastfeed or express breast milk at work. Employers are urged to provide a private area (other than a toilet stall) for this purpose. Employers shall provide reasonable break time and a private place for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year.

Annual Leave

Vacation pay, sick pay, severance pay or other similar advantage is considered ‘wages’ only if the payment of such is:

    • Agreed upon between the employer and the employee; or
    • It is provided by the employer to his employees in an established policy.

Minimum Wage

Employers must pay employees covered by Oklahoma’s minimum wage law at least $7.25 an hour. The state minimum wage equals the federal minimum wage.


With permission from the Labor Department, employers can pay a subminimum wage to learners, apprentices, messengers, individuals whose earning capacity is impaired by age or physical or mental deficiency or students at institutions of higher learning.

Tips & Gratuities

Employers can credit tips toward the minimum wage, but tips cannot exceed 50 percent of the minimum wage when combined with the credit for meals and lodging.

Meal Breaks

Minor employees under age 16 must be permitted a one-hour cumulative rest period for every eight consecutive hours of work. Minors under age 16 must be permitted a one-half hour break period for every five consecutive hours of work.

Special Leave

Unpaid Leave
Employees may be eligible to take unpaid, job-protected, leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Please refer to main United States page for further details on this Federal law.
Jury Duty Leave
Any person who is summoned to serve as a juror and who notifies his or her employer of such summons within a reasonable period of time after receipt of a summons and prior to his or her appearance for jury duty may not be terminated, removed or otherwise subject to any adverse employment action as a result of such service.
An employee may not be required or requested to use annual, vacation, or sick leave for time spent responding to a summons for jury duty, time spent participating in the jury selection process, or time spent actually serving on a jury. Nothing in this provision shall be construed to require an employer to provide annual, vacation, or sick leave to such employees who otherwise are not entitled to such benefits under company policies.
Voting Leave

Every corporation, firm, association or individual hereinafter referred to as ’employer’ who, on election day, has a registered voter employed or in his service, shall grant the employee two (2) hours of time during the period when the election is open in which to vote, and if such employee be in the county or at such distance from the voting place that more than two (2) hours are required in which to attend such elections, then the employee shall be allowed a sufficient time in which to cast a ballot. No such employee shall be entitled to such time to vote unless the employee notifies orally or in writing an employer’s representative of the employee’s intention to be absent, on the day preceding the election day. Upon proof of voting, such employee shall not be subject to any loss of compensation or other penalties for such absence.


Such employer shall select the hours which such employees are to be allowed in which to attend such elections, and shall notify each of the employees which hours they are to have in which to vote. This shall not apply to an employee whose workday begins three (3) hours or more subsequent to the time of opening of the poll or ends three (3) hours or more prior to the time of closing the polls. The employer may change the work hours to allow such three (3) hours before the beginning of work or after the work hours.

Military Leave
All officers and employees of any employer in the private sector, who are members, either officers or enlisted, of the Reserve Components, to include the Army and Air National Guard and the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Reserves, or any other component of the Armed Forces of the United States, shall, when ordered by the proper authority to active or inactive duty or service, be entitled to a leave of absence from such private civilian employment for the period of such service without loss of status or seniority. During such leave of absence in any federal fiscal year, the employer in the private sector may elect to pay the officer or employee an amount equal to the difference between his full regular pay from the employer in the private sector and his military pay. The durational limit of protected military service as provided for in this section shall not be less than that provided by federal law.
Donor Leave
State employees are allowed 30 days paid leave for organ donation. (74§840-2.20B).

Last updated on: February 7th, 2019