Guide to Oklahoma Overtime Laws
According to OK overtime laws, most employees are entitled to additional compensation for working a longer than normal work week. However, not all employees are covered by Oklahoma overtime laws, and many employers misunderstand when they are required to pay employees overtime wages. This guide will give you a basic overview of OK overtime laws, as well as listing some common violations of these laws. If you need more information, you may want to contact the state's wage and hours department or a labor and employment attorney in your area.
Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employees
There are many misunderstandings about who qualifies for overtime under Oklahoma overtime laws. While many employers believe that all salaried employees are exempted from OK overtime laws, this is not the case. Both salaried and hourly employees are required to be paid overtime unless their job duties qualify them as exempt.
Currently, outside sales people, as well as workers who are bona fide administrative, executive, or professional employees spending at least 80% of their time on exempt job duties do not have to be paid overtime according to Oklahoma overtime laws. Most other employees are considered non-exempt, and must be paid overtime wages.
When Should Overtime Be Paid?
According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), overtime must be paid when any non-exempt employee works more than 40 hours in a single seven-day period. This applies only to hours work in excess of 40 per week, not hours worked in excess of 8 per day. Technically, this means that an employer could have an employee work 40 hours in a row without paying any overtime, as long as the worker did not work other hours in the same week.
How Much Is Overtime?
According to OK overtime laws, overtime wages must be one and a half times the worker's average hourly rate of pay. For minimum wage workers making $7.25 an hour, this means that the minimum overtime wage required by Oklahoma overtime laws is $10.88 per hour. Double time is sometimes given as a benefit for holiday, weekend, or extended overtime hours according to union contracts or employee agreements, but is not required by any OK overtime laws.
Common Violations of Oklahoma Overtime Laws
It is a violation of OK overtime laws for an employer to avoid overtime by giving “comp time” to employees instead. Comp time is allowed for public sector workers only, but private sector employers attempting to give time off in lieu of overtime may be sued for back wages. It is also a violation of Oklahoma overtime laws for an employer to average hours worked over multiple weeks in order to avoid paying overtime.
If you suspect your employer of violating OK overtime laws, you may want to talk to a labor and employment attorney. Often, an initial consultation with these lawyers will be free, and can give you a much better idea of your legal options and what you could expect from filing a complaint or civil suit against your employer.
If you are a worker in Oklahoma, you are probably (but not definitely) covered by OK overtime laws. Understanding these sometimes complex labor laws and who qualifies for overtime pay is important if you want to protect your rights as an employee. This guide will explain the basics of Oklahoma overtime laws so that you can get an idea of whether your employer is currently following the law. If you suspect your employer of violations of OK overtime laws, you may want to talk to the Commissioner of Wage and Hours or to an employment lawyer.
Who is Eligible for Overtime?
Eligibility under Oklahoma overtime laws only applies to certain types of employees. Several different categories of employees are exempt from all OK overtime laws and do not need to be paid any additional wages for working any number of hours in a week. According to Oklahoma overtime laws, all employees whose job duties are primarily administrative, executive, or professional do not need to be compensated with overtime pay.
Additionally, commissioned outside salespeople are considered exempt from OK overtime laws. Contrary to popular belief, not all salaried employees are ineligible for overtime in Oklahoma overtime laws. As long as a salaried employee's job duties are not in one of the exempt categories, he or she is still entitled to be paid overtime.
What Hours are Eligible for Overtime?
According to OK overtime laws, non-exempt employees must be paid overtime for all hours worked in excess of 40 per week. Overtime pay is not required by Oklahoma overtime laws for hours worked in excess of any particular number in one day—for example, an employer could have you work a 24 hour shift without paying overtime if you worked no more than 16 additional hours in the week. Holiday and weekend work does not have to be paid as overtime according to OK overtime laws, but many employment contracts allow for overtime pay in these situations. If your employee agreement requires additional overtime compensation beyond what is specified in Oklahoma overtime laws, your employer is required to abide by it.
How Much Must Be Paid?
All non-exempt workers must be paid one and one half times their average wage per hour for the pay period according to OK overtime laws. Oklahoma overtime laws make no mention of double time for employees, regardless of the number of hours they have worked.
Common Violations of Oklahoma Overtime Laws
Employers are not allowed to let employees bank “comp time” rather than paying overtime. This practice is in violation of OK overtime laws, and if your employer has avoided overtime in this way the Commissioner of Wage and Hours may be able to get your back wages restored. Employers are also forbidden by Oklahoma overtime laws from averaging an employee's hours over two weeks to avoid overtime (for instance, averaging a 60 hour work week and a 20 hour work week in one pay period).