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Employment Laws in Oklahoma

Filed under Office & HR.

Employers in Oklahoma must conform to these state rules relating to the employment relationship.

Employer means an employer of 15 or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, or a contractor or subcontractor furnishing material or performing work for the state, or an agent of such a person.

Employer does not include an Indian tribe or a bona fide membership club not organized for profit.

Prohibited Employment Discrimination

Unless the action is based on a bona fide occupational qualification, employers are prohibited from discriminating against job applicants and employees on the basis of:

  • race
  • color
  • religion
  • sex
  • national origin
  • age (40 and over)
  • disability
  • smoking preference

Pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions. Women affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions must be treated the same for all employment-related purposes as other persons that are not affected by these conditions but are similar in their ability or inability to work.

Freedom of Conscience Act. The Freedom of Conscience Act prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee or prospective employee by refusing to reasonably accommodate the religious practice or observance of the employee or prospective employee, unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would pose an undue hardship on the employer's business.

Special rules apply in circumstances involving certain medical procedures and experiments including abortion, the destruction of human in vitro embryos or euthanasia.

Genetic information. Genetic information is protected under the state's civil rights law.

Recordkeeping Requirements

Employers that control apprenticeship or other training programs must keep all records reasonably necessary for compliance to Oklahoma Civil Rights Act, including, but not limited to:

  • a list of applicants who wish to participate in the program
  • the chronological order in which applications were received
  • a detailed description of the manner in which persons are selected to participate in the apprenticeship or other training programs

Posting Requirements

As relief or penalty for a civil rights violation, an employer may be directed to post in a conspicuous place and in advertising material notices setting forth requirements for compliance with the Civil Rights Act or other relevant information that the Commission determines necessary to explain the Act.

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