Labor laws prohibit unfair labor practices of employers and unions. These laws balance the bargaining power between employers and employees and grant employees the right to unionize.
The labor law attorneys at Lawter and Associates, PLLC represent unions and their members, conducting labor arbitration and negotiations, and fighting for the rights of union members. Click here to see the unions we currently represent.
If your employer is engaging in unfair labor practices, or if you need assistance in negotiation and arbitration, contact the Oklahoma labor attorneys at Lawter & Associates, PLLC for a free consultation.
Q: Who oversees employment laws and regulations?
A: The United States Department of Labor (DOL) protects and promotes the welfare of workers and those seeking employment through a variety of Federal laws and standards, such as those guaranteeing minimum wage and overtime pay, freedom from employment discrimination, safe working conditions, and unemployment insurance. The DOL enforces laws including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). Additional state laws govern fair working conditions in Oklahoma.
Q: What is the Fair Labor Standards Act?
A: Under the FLSA, workers are guaranteed minimum wage and overtime pay. Additionally, the FLSA establishes recordkeeping and child labor standards. As of July 24, 2008, minimum wage is $6.55 per hour and as of July 24, 2009 minimum wage is $7.25. Employees are to be paid overtime at a rate of at least one and one-half times their regular pay rate (“time and a half”) if they work more than 40 hours in a workweek.
Q: What are the laws regarding disciplining or firing an employee?
A: Oklahoma is one of many states practicing the Doctrine of Employment at Will. This means that an employer can fire an employee for any reason which is not illegal or in violation of public policy. It is unlawful for your employer to terminate you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, retaining an attorney or testifying in any workers’ compensation hearings. For more information, see our section on wrongful termination.
Q: What is employment discrimination?
A: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) oversees a number of laws and agencies which forbid discrimination in the workplace. It is illegal to discriminate against a group or individual in any area of employment, including hiring and firing of employees, compensation, transfer, promotion, recruitment, fringe benefits, and use of company facilities. Discriminatory practices include harassment or employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or age. Additionally, an employer may not retaliate against an individual who files a charge of discrimination or participates in an investigation of alleged discriminatory practices.
Q: What can I do if I believe my employer has unfair labor practices or is in violation of state or Federal labor laws?
A: Contact the Oklahoma Department of Labor (ODOL), local EEOC office, or the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) for more information and to check relevant laws. If a union is involved, contact the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Contact the labor law attorneys at Lawter & Associates, PLLC for help with union arbitration and negotiation and to fight for your individual rights.