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Oklahoma Leave Laws & Holidays

Paid Time Off (PTO), Vacation, Sick Leave, Maternity Leave, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Military Leave, and Voting Leave

Table Of Contents

Last updated on January 11, 2024.

Paid Time Off (PTO) in Oklahoma

Vacation Leave Quota 

Oklahoma law doesn’t demand vacation days.  

Private employers in Oklahoma are not required to provide paid or unpaid vacation.    

However, if an employer chooses to offer vacation leave to its employees, paid or unpaid, it must comply with appropriate state law, established company policy, and the employment contract. 

Accruals 

The accrual system is not compulsory in Oklahoma, but it is widely used by companies.    

Employers are generally free to design their vacation accrual system, such as daily, weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly increments. It is usually based on the pay period. The most common pay period in Oklahoma is semi-monthly (officially permitted payday). 

Employers can cap (limit) the amount of vacation time employees can accrue, as long as employees are notified about this. 

Roll Over (Carry Over, Brought Forward) 

A Use-It-or-Lose-It policy is allowed.       

A “use-it-or-lose-it” employee vacation policy requires an employee to lose any unused vacation time after a specific date, such as the end of the year.     

This policy is not prohibited, but employees must be notified about it. 

Statutory Provisions Addressing Vacation Pay 

Vacation pay is considered wages

If employers provide paid vacation time, they must abide by the provisions of their employment policy or agreement.  

Vacation time that has been earned is regarded as wages when a company has an established policy or a history of paying its employees for such time. 

Payment of Accrued, Unused Vacation on Termination 

The law doesn’t demand this, so employers must provide departing employees with vacation pay only if their company policy or employment contract specifically requires this

An employer may legally establish a policy or contract that denies employees payment for accumulated vacation time upon their departure from the company. 

If an employer’s established policy or employment agreement is silent on the matter, the employer is not obligated to pay accumulated vacation time upon an employee’s departure from the company. 

Sick Leave in Oklahoma

Federal Laws – Leave Quota 

Federal law requires 12 weeks of unpaid sick leave.     

The standard federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to Oklahoma (as it is in all the states in the U.S.A). The leave is job-protected.  

Employees qualify for FMLA benefits only if: 

  • they have been employed for at least 12 months (at least 25 hours per week) or 1,250 hours in the previous year 
  • they work in a location where at least 50 people are employed by the company (in a 75-mile radius)        

The FMLA entitles qualified employees to take up to 12 weeks off for: 

  • personal medical reasons – illness or injury 
  • to care for a close family member (child, spouse, or parent) suffering from a severe illness 
  • maternity or paternity leave.    

Employers are free to propose additional sick leave benefits that are better than the minimum federal requirement.      

Check out our article on FMLA to learn more. 

Oklahoma State Laws 

There aren’t any additional state laws that require sick leave.    

Oklahoma doesn’t mandate an employer to offer employees either paid or unpaid sick days. However, if employers decide to offer sick days, they must stick to the provisions outlined in their established company policy or employment agreement. 

Payout 

Sick leave in Oklahoma is unpaid. 

Maternity, Paternity, FMLA in Oklahoma

Federal Law 

12 weeks of unpaid maternity/paternity leave is provided by FMLA.       

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that allows eligible workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for family or medical reasons, including maternity or paternity leave. Unless otherwise authorized by the employer, an employee must take this leave continuously. More information about FMLA eligibility can be found above, under the section Sick Leave in Oklahoma: Federal Laws – Leave Quota.    

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is one more federal law that protects pregnant women. According to the PDA, discrimination against pregnant people is prohibited in all areas of employment: hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, fringe benefits, training, leave, and health insurance.    

Additional State Laws in Oklahoma 

There are no additional laws providing days off for maternity/paternity leave. 

The Oklahoma Anti-Discrimination Act  

This law prohibits discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sex, including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. It applies to all employers and ensures that employees with pregnancy-related disabilities are treated equally with others with similar abilities or limitations. 

Payout 

Maternity and paternity leave in Oklahoma are unpaid. 

Bereavement Leave in Oklahoma (Funeral Leave)

An employer is not required to provide bereavement leave.      

An employer is not legally required to provide any paid or unpaid bereavement leave, or any time off to attend an immediate family member’s funeral. However, most employers do provide at least 2 days, so if an employer decides to provide bereavement leave, they must follow the bereavement policy or practice they have in place. 

Payout 

Bereavement leave in Oklahoma is unpaid. 

Jury Duty Leave in Oklahoma

Employers must provide employees unpaid time off for jury duty

Employers are required to provide employees with unpaid, job-protected leave to report to jury selection or jury duty. Notice requirements do apply, so employees may have to show their employer their jury summons (within a reasonable period of time after receiving it) to be given the necessary leave. 

An employer is not allowed to force its employees to use any other type of leave (vacation time, sick leave, etc.) to cover leave taken for jury duty. 

An employer may not fire, threaten to fire, penalize, or punish the employee in any way due to their jury service. 

Payout 

The employer pays:

Employers in Oklahoma are not required to pay employees for jury duty leave. 

The court pays:         

Employees who serve as jurors in Oklahoma are paid $20.00 a day (though juror pay is only a token amount).   

Military Leave in Oklahoma

Federal law 

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is a federal law that applies to employers of all sizes and types in the U.S. USERRA protects employees called to active duty in the U.S. military, including the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves, and National Guard. USERRA provides reinstatement rights, protection from discrimination, the right to continue group health care benefits for up to 24 months during their leave, and up to 5 years of unpaid leave for military service (with exceptions to this 5-year limit). 

Oklahoma State Law 

Apart from USERRA, Oklahoma provides the following protection for military members: 

Oklahoma National Guard members who are called to state active duty or full-time National Guard duty have the same reemployment rights and benefits protected by USERRA. They must also be given time off to participate in National Guard drills, training, encampments, ceremonies, exercises, and other obligations. An employer may not terminate or discriminate against employees for their membership in the National Guard or armed forces or prevent them from performing military service. They must be granted reinstatement rights without loss of their status or seniority after their leave. 

Payout 

Military leave is unpaid, but an employer may choose to compensate an employee for the difference between their normal pay and military pay. 

Voting Leave in Oklahoma

2 hours of paid time off for voting leave, but only if an employee doesn’t have enough time in their non-working hours. 

An employer is obligated to give their workers 2 hours of time off during polling hours for voting purposes. If a worker lives far enough from the voting location that it takes more than two hours to get there and cast their vote, then they should be given enough time to do so. 

An employer must provide this leave only if employees don’t have three consecutive hours before or after their shift (while voting polls are open).  

Employees are required to notify their employer orally or in writing of their intention to be absent one day before Election Day. 

An employer can choose the right time when employees leave work to vote. 

Payout 

Voting leave is paid by an employer, but an employee must provide proof that they voted. 

Oklahoma State Holidays in 2024

Oklahoma law doesn’t require private employers to provide employees with paid or unpaid holiday leave.   

Private employers in Oklahoma don’t have to provide paid or unpaid leave for holidays, like almost all states in the U.S.A. Private employers can require all employees to work on holidays. However, the majority of employers in Oklahoma do provide at least several paid holidays.      

Oklahoma officially observes 11 state holidays.

A complete list of holidays celebrated in Oklahoma in 2024:
Holiday Observed in 2024 General Date
New Year’s Day 2024 Monday, January 1 January 1
Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, January 15 3rd Monday in January
Presidents’ Day Monday, February 19 3rd Monday in February
Memorial Day Monday, May 27 Last Monday in May
Independence Day Thursday, July 4 July 4
Labor Day Monday, September 2 1st Monday in September
Veterans Day Monday, November 11 November 11
Thanksgiving Day Thursday, November 28 4th Thursday of November
Thanksgiving Friday Friday, November 29 Day after Thanksgiving
Christmas Eve Tuesday, Dec. 24 December 24
Christmas Day Wednesday, Dec. 25 December 25
2025
Holiday Observed in 2025 General Date
New Year’s Day 2025 Wed., Jan 1, 2025 January 1
Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, January 15 3rd Monday in January

Sources

  1. Oklahoma Employee Rights, https://oklaw.org/issues/work/employee-rights-1
  2. Oklahoma Payroll and Benefits Guide, https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/united-states-oklahoma/
  3. Leave Laws by State and Municipality: 50-State Charts, https://www.xperthr.com/fifty-state-charts/leave-laws-by-state-and-municipality/20973/

Check out our Leave Laws page to learn more about laws in various countries.

All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.

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