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Oklahoma Wage and Hour Investigations: What you need to know

Oklahoma's commissioner of labor (or his or her authorized representative) has the authority to investigate a verified complaint from an employee (or a former employee) that an employer (or a former employer) did not pay the required minimum wage. The commissioner may administer oaths, require sworn statements, and issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and wage-related records (OK Stat. Tit. 40 Sec. 197.7).
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An employer is guilty of a misdemeanor for:
• Failing to pay the appropriate minimum wage (OK Stat. Tit. 40 Sec. 197.13);
• Violating wage payment provisions (OK Stat. Tit. 40 Sec. 165.8); or
• Willfully paying lower wages to female employees than to male employees solely on the basis of gender (OK Stat. Tit. 40 Sec. 198.2).
The following penalties apply.
Minimum wage. Violation of minimum wage provisions is punishable by a fine of up to $500, imprisonment, or both (OK Stat. Tit. 40 Sec. 197.13). A court may order the employer to pay double the amount of unpaid wages, costs, and reasonable attorney's fees (OK Stat. Tit. 40 Sec. 197.9).
Wage payments. The commissioner may assess a $500 fine when an employer violates wage payment provisions two or more times within 6 months (OK Stat. Tit. 40 Sec. 165.2a). A court may order an employer to pay unpaid wages, damages, costs, and reasonable attorney's fees (OK Stat. Tit. 40 Sec. 165.9).
Discriminatory wages. An employer that willfully pays lower wages to female employees solely on the basis of gender may be fined between $25 and $100 (OK Stat. Tit. 40 Sec. 198.2).

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