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Oklahoma Overtime Laws

Oklahoma Overtime Laws

Oklahoma Overtime Laws: Understanding Your Rights and Obligations

Working overtime can be stressful and demanding, especially for employees who are not fairly compensated. In Oklahoma, there are specific overtime laws that protect the rights of workers and ensure that they receive the pay they are entitled to. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the current Oklahoma overtime laws, including recent updates and practical tips for employees and employers.

What is Overtime?

Overtime refers to the extra hours or time worked beyond the regular working hours of an employee. Most states in the US and the federal government have established overtime laws to protect the rights of employees and regulate the working conditions in various industries. In Oklahoma, overtime is calculated based on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which sets the standards for minimum wage, overtime pay, child labor, and employment recordkeeping. The FLSA is a federal law that applies to most employers and employees in the private and public sectors, including state and local government agencies.

How Does Overtime Work in Oklahoma?

The current minimum wage in Oklahoma is $7.25 per hour, which is the same as the federal minimum wage. However, employees who work more than 40 hours a week are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of 1.5 times their regular wage. This means that if an employee’s hourly rate is $10, their overtime rate would be $15 per hour. Overtime is calculated based on the number of hours worked in a workweek, which is any consecutive seven-day period established by the employer. The workweek does not necessarily need to coincide with the calendar week or be the same for all employees.

Who is Eligible for Overtime in Oklahoma?

Most employees in Oklahoma are covered by the FLSA and are entitled to overtime pay. However, some employees are exempt from overtime under certain conditions. The most common exemptions are for executive, administrative, and professional employees who meet specific job duties and salary requirements. To qualify for the exemption, the employee must:

– Be paid a salary of at least $684 per week (as of January 1, 2020)
– Be primarily engaged in management, supervisory, or administrative tasks that require discretion and independent judgment
– Have a job that is directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer
– Exercise significant authority or responsibility in the performance of their duties

Other categories of exempt employees include outside salespeople, certain computer-related professionals, and certain commissioned employees in retail and service establishments. It is essential to note that the exemptions are not based on job titles alone but on actual job duties and responsibilities. Employers who misclassify employees as exempt may be subject to legal action and penalties.

Are There Any Changes to the Overtime Laws in Oklahoma?

In 2016, the federal Department of Labor (DOL) announced its final rule to raise the salary threshold for the white-collar exemptions from $455 per week to $913 per week. This means that employees who earn less than $47,476 annually would be eligible for overtime pay, regardless of their job duties. The rule was set to take effect on December 1, 2016, but was blocked by a federal judge in Texas. The case was later appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which overturned the rule in 2017. The DOL then issued a new proposed rule in March 2019 to update and revise the salary threshold but has not yet finalized the rule.

How Can Employees Protect Their Overtime Rights?

Employees who believe that their employer has violated their overtime rights have several options for legal recourse. The first step is to communicate with the employer and try to resolve the issue amicably. Employers may be unaware of the overtime laws or may make honest mistakes in calculating overtime pay. If the issue is not resolved, the employee can file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the DOL. The WHD is responsible for enforcing the federal overtime laws and can investigate and take legal action against employers who violate the laws. Employees who file a complaint are protected under the whistleblower provisions of the FLSA and must be free from retaliation by the employer.

Another option for employees is to file a lawsuit against the employer for violating their overtime rights. The DOL does not represent individuals in private legal actions, but employees can seek the advice of attorneys who specialize in employment law. In Oklahoma, employees have three years to file a lawsuit for unpaid overtime, and the damages may include the amount of unpaid wages, liquidated damages (double the amount of unpaid wages), attorney’s fees, and court costs.

How Can Employers Comply with Overtime Laws?

Employers are responsible for complying with the overtime laws and ensuring that their employees are fairly compensated. Some practical tips for employers include:

– Familiarize themselves with the overtime laws and regulations and keep updated on any changes
– Establish clear policies and procedures for overtime pay and communicate them to employees
– Keep accurate records of employee hours worked and pay rates, including overtime hours and pay
– Train managers and supervisors on the overtime laws and how to avoid misclassification of exempt employees
– Monitor the hours worked by employees and adjust the schedules or workload as necessary to avoid excessive overtime
– Seek legal advice from employment law attorneys to ensure compliance with the laws and regulations


Oklahoma overtime laws are designed to protect the rights of employees and ensure that they receive fair compensation for their work. The laws apply to most employers and employees and are regulated by the FLSA. Employees who work more than 40 hours a week are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of 1.5 times their regular wage. Employers who misclassify employees as exempt or violate the overtime laws may be subject to legal action and penalties. By understanding and complying with the overtime laws, both employees and employers can create a fair and productive working environment.

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).