Wage & Hour Laws -- Employee

What Are the Rules on Final Paychecks in Oklahoma?

Generally, when a worker in Oklahoma quits or is fired, employers have to issue a final paycheck to them on or before the next regularly scheduled pay date. Employers must issue final paychecks by the normal means, like direct deposit or picking up a check from the workplace.

Employees in Oklahoma may also receive their final paycheck by certified mail, so long as it is postmarked by the next scheduled payday, as required by law.

What Is Included in My Final Paycheck?

Final paychecks in Oklahoma must include all wages earned in the pay period. For salaried employees, these wages may be prorated based on the number of days the employee worked.

Oklahoma considers a full-time employee someone who works 40 hours a week. Any time over this 40-hour threshold is overtime, which employers must include in the final paycheck as well. Currently, overtime pay in Oklahoma is equal to 1.5 times the normal rate of pay.

What About Vacation or Sick Pay?

Oklahoma does not have a law that requires employers to pay employees for any unused vacation time or other benefits in the final paycheck. However, Oklahoma courts will enforce any established policy or employment contract that specifies this payout is due with the final paycheck.

Can an Employer Withhold My Final Paycheck?

No, Oklahoma does not permit employers to withhold final paychecks from employees. Employers may only deduct part of an employee’s wages for authorized reasons, such as back tax payments, or with written authorization from the employee for benefits like insurance.

Genuine discrepancies over the amount of the final paycheck are typically referred to as “bona fide wage disagreements” in Oklahoma.

What Options Do I Have to Receive My Wages?

If you still do not receive your paycheck after requesting payment, you may file a Wage Claim with the Oklahoma Department of Labor. From there, the department will launch an investigation into your claim and contact your employer to try to resolve the issue outside of court.

However, sometimes an employer may not cooperate with the investigation, or you may wish to pursue your wages on your own. In this case, you may choose to find an Oklahoma employment law attorney and file a lawsuit. An attorney can help you determine if you are entitled to additional compensation beyond your paycheck, such as for damages and repayment of attorney fees.