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Last updated on: May 23rd, 2022

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.


Oklahoma labor laws require employers to provide employees under the age of sixteen (16) a 30-minute rest period when scheduled to work more than 5 consecutive hours. Moreover, employers must provide employees under sixteen (16) years of age a one (1) hour cumulative rest period for each eight (8) consecutive hours worked. Okla. Stat. Title 40, Section 75.


Oklahoma does not have any laws requiring an employer to provide a meal period or breaks to employees sixteen (16) years of age or older, thus the federal rule applies. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal (lunch) period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than twenty (20) minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually thirty (30) minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period.


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 an 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.

Special Leave

Unpaid Leave
Employees may be eligible to take unpaid, job-protected, leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Please refer to the main United States page for further details on this Federal law.
Jury Duty Leave
Employers must provide unpaid leave to employees who are summoned for jury duty. Employers may not terminate, remove or
otherwise subject employees to any adverse employment actions as a result of jury service. Employees may not be required to use
vacation or sick leave for time spent completing jury service.
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 paid 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.
Effective April 21, 2021, Oklahoma has amended the Oklahoma Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, which provides employment protections to workers serving in the state’s military forces. The law covers all employers
and employees.
The Act provides that a worker who must leave employment due to service in the state military forces is entitled to reemployment rights and benefits when the employer had advance wrote or verbal notice of the absence unless precluded by military necessity or the notice would be impossible or unreasonable; the absence does not exceed five years, with exceptions; and the worker reports back to the employer upon return. The Act sets forth various time periods during which the returning employee must notify the employer, depending on the length and nature of the employee’s absence.
Donor Leave
State employees are allowed 30 days paid leave for organ donation. (74§840-2.20B).
Disclaimer: The material provided above is for informational purposes only and is subject to change. We endeavor to keep all material up-to-date and correct but make no representations about the information's completeness, accuracy, or reliability. Laws vary by jurisdiction and are subject to change and interpretation based on individual factors that may differ between organizations. The material is not meant to constitute legal advice and we suggest you seek the advice of legal counsel in connection with any of the information presented.