Some states have comprehensive family leave laws that require private employers to grant employees time off if eligible. Unfortunately, Oklahoma does not require its employers to provide such benefits.
Like any other state, if an employer does not offer a leave plan to its employees, the best option would be to consider the FMLA. The Family Medical Leave Act allows private employees to get sick leave, provided they are eligible.
For employees to become eligible, they must meet the following criteria:
- They have worked for the company for at least a year.
- They put in at least 1,250 hours of service the year before.
- They work at a place with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.
Private-sector employees can take up to 12 weeks of leave in a calendar year for qualifying exigencies such as a significant health condition. FMLA-covered employees can take advantage of these benefits in any of these circumstances:
- Bonding with a newly adopted or foster child
- Recovering from any serious health condition
- Assisting a sick family member who is not a uniformed personnel
- Assisting an injured family member who just came from military service
While on leave, private-sector employees are entitled to keep their health insurance at the same amount they do when working. They are eligible for 12 weeks of family leave. In addition to that, instead of taking an unpaid vacation, they can use their accumulated paid time off.
Employers in Oklahoma have the option to offer their workers paid sick time depending on their established policy. Accordingly, employers must abide by the provisions laid down by their sick leave and labor laws.
Employers must grant employees sick leave as part of their Standard Operating Procedures. It must be within the guidelines stated in the employment contract and policies and labor laws of the state.
Oklahoma implemented sick leave requirements comparable to the Family Medical Leave Act. This state law is not meant to contradict the federal law but rather to ensure that employees’ rights are upheld.
Like FMLA, Oklahoma sick leave laws require covered employees for sick leave. The law provides that an employee must be employed for one year and have worked at least 1,250 hours. If the circumstances are covered by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, they may be obligated to offer unpaid sick leave.
Family Medical Leave
Suppose your company does not provide personal sick leave choices in your employment contract. Federal family medical leave laws may be able to help you get the time you need.
Employers may grant sick leave to their employees provided that such employees are eligible with the provisions of FMLA. With the continuation of benefits, the covered employees are entitled to 80 hours of unpaid leave or ten days, whichever is less.
Furthermore, the Family and Medical Leave Act applies to an employee whose family member is part of a military force.
With Congress’ amendments to FMLA, it aims to protect and safeguard the families of the armed forces. The new provision requires employers to provide up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave to immediate family members. This leave allows employees to care for their family members undergoing medical treatment or injured during active duty.
It must be frustrating for parents if they are fired just because they want to take care of their child or foster child.
Parental leave is the kind of time off you take to welcome a newborn, adopted, or foster child. Additionally, it can be useful if you have to take care of a sick child.
Like the standard sick leave, employers in Oklahoma City are not required to offer sick leave benefits to their employees. Nonetheless, employers covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act must grant employees unpaid leave.
With the provisions laid down in FMLA, parents can now take advantage of its benefits. Parents can take a 12-week break to care for their children or even welcome their new adopted or foster child.
Like any other state, Oklahoma employees are not exempted from the requirements given by FMLA to be eligible for parental leave. Here are the requirements:
- Employees must have worked at least 12 weeks for the company.
- Employees must use this type of leave to take care of their children, adopted or foster children, as part of family responsibilities.
- Employees may use any remaining sick, personal, vacation, and compensatory time balances.
- The employee must be the parent or guardian of the sick child, adopted or foster child.
Some private employers in Oklahoma provide parental leave benefits to their employees, as stated in their established policy. It would be best to consider the benefits stipulated in the employment contract.
Employee Protections for Sick Leave
In the current policies of FMLA, employees in Oklahoma City are guaranteed to keep their jobs during absences. Employers must comply with labor standards. FMLA is considered a guide for employers granting sick leave to their employees.
Employees, including minimum wage earners, are entitled to continue their healthcare coverage at the same rate as when they are working while on leave. Even though FMLA leave is unpaid, employees may be allowed to use their accrued paid time off while on FMLA leave.
Oklahoma employers must understand when their employees can take sick leave. Employers must inform their employees about their FMLA rights in an employee handbook.
Employers are prohibited from exploiting an individual employee’s accrued leave to discriminate against, demote, or dismiss them. Unless an employee participates in employment infractions, these rights apply to employees who choose to use the Family Medical Leave Act.
When an employee’s leave is over, the employer must return them to their pre-leave job. The post must have the same privileges, compensation, and benefits as the previous one.
Oklahoma Sick Leave Law Provisions
Statement of Policy
Oklahoma ensures that employees are allowed to do family responsibilities while still employed. It grants sick leave to its employees to take care of their immediate family members or military servicemember family.
Retaliation against sick workers who take time off to care for family members is prohibited under FMLA-covered businesses. The FMLA provides guides for employers to establish a safe workplace. Employers are also prohibited from treating unfairly workers who report violations of leave policies to the Department of Labor.
Like any other state, employers have the right to set standards of eligibility requirements. The right of an employee to avail of sick leave is not absolute. One must be qualified to enjoy the benefits given by the employer.
An employee’s sole responsibility is to provide notice 30 days before the leave if it is foreseeable. On the other hand, if it is unforeseeable, the employee is responsible for calling their employer not later than two hours.
The employer must ensure that all employees under their supervision know its established policy. Employers must inform employees, including part-time employees and hourly workers, of federal policies and labor laws. Employers must ensure worker protections against discrimination while on leave.