In Oklahoma, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. Okla. Stat. 40-5-165.1(4); Okla. Admin. Rules 380:30-1-8.
An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment. Okla. Admin. Rules 380:30-1-5.
An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year. Okla. Admin. Rules 380:30-1-5.
An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it. Okla. Admin. Rules 380:30-1-5.
An employer is not required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter. Okla. Admin. Rules 380:30-1-5.
An employer may lawfully cap the vacation leave an employee can accrue over time, so long as the employer has properly notified its employees of the vacation policy. Okla. Admin. Rules 380:30-1-5.
An employer may lawfully implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it, so long as the employer has properly notified its employees of the vacation policy. Okla. Admin. Rules 380:30-1-5.
Oklahoma law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. OK Dept. of Labor Wage Law FAQ.
An employer in Oklahoma may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.
Oklahoma law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. OK Dept. of Labor Wage FAQ
In Oklahoma, a private employer can require an employee to work holidays. A private employer does not have to pay an employee premium pay, such as 1½ times the regular rate, for working on holidays, unless such time worked qualifies the employee for overtime under standard overtime laws. If an employer chooses to provide either paid or unpaid holiday leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.
Visit our Oklahoma State Holidays page for a list of holidays recognized and observed by the state of Oklahoma as well as information regarding state laws governing holiday leave for public employers and employees.
Jury Duty Leave
An employer is not required to pay an employee for time spent responding to a jury summons or serving on a jury.
An employer may not discharge or otherwise subject an employee to any adverse employment action who is summoned to serve as a juror and who notifies his or her employer of the summons within a reasonable period of time after receiving the summons and prior to his or her appearance for jury duty.
An employer may not require or request an employee 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.
Oklahoma law requires an employer to provide an employee two (2) hours of time off to vote (more if distance demands), if the employee does not have three (3) hours before his or her shift begins or after it ends in which to vote while polls are open.
The voting leave must be paid if the employee presents to the employer proof of voting. To be eligible for voting leave, an employee must inform his or her employer of their intention to take the leave prior to the day of the election or vote and the election must be on the day of the election or on a day which in-person absentee voting is allowed by law.
An employer may dictate when an employee takes voting leave or may adjust employee schedules so that employees have three (3) hours before or after their shift in which to vote while polls are open.
An employer that fails to provide the voting leave as required may be subject to fines not less than $50 but not more than $100.
Oklahoma law does not require employers to provide employee bereavement leave. Bereavement leave is leave that is taken by an employee due to the death of another individual, usually a close relative. Employers may choose to provide bereavement leave and may be required to comply with any bereavement policy or practice it maintains.
Family and Medical Leave
Oklahoma labor laws do not require employers to provide employees with family or medical leave.
Employers must offer family and medical leave under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Employers will be required to provide unpaid leave with the right to reinstatement if employees must manage their or a family member’s health.
Employers in the state must comply with the terms in the FMLA if their company has 50+ employees. Additionally, they must work with 50+ employees for at least 20 weeks per year.
As an employee, you could be entitled to take family medical leave, like bereavement leave Oklahoma if you meet these criteria:
- Have worked for your company for a minimum of 12 months
- Have worked at least 1250 hours the previous year
- Work at a location with 50+ employees within 75 miles
There are multiple reasons why you might require family medical leave, including:
- Caring for family members with health conditions
- Dealing with family medical emergencies
- Bonding with a new child
- Recuperating from a severe ailment
- Caring for a family member who suffered an injury during active military duty
When you opt to take family medical leave under the FMLA, you’re entitled to 12 weeks off per 12 months. This leave will renew every 12 months if you continue meeting the eligibility criteria. Also, employees caring for servicemember family members receive 26 weeks of leave per 12 months.
Upon your return to work, employers must offer employees the same (or equivalent) position they had before leaving.
Military members in Oklahoma are entitled to the same benefits that the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) offers, including:
- Employees have the right to continue group healthcare benefits for 24 months of their leave
- Upon return, employees must be reinstated to the same (or equivalent) previously held position
- Employees must receive up to five years of unpaid leave for military service (with exceptions)
There are also a couple of additional benefits for members of the Oklahoma National Guard, including:
- Employees must be able to take time off for instruction, encampment, and drills
- Employees must be able to take time off for exercises, ceremonies, maneuvers, and other drills
As with other benefits, such as bereavement leave Oklahoma, military members must notify their employers in advance of their leave. Typically, employers will have their timeframe in which employees must notify them. You might find it’s anywhere from 14 to 60 days in advance.