Oklahoma Minimum Wage: Minimum Wage in Oklahoma for 2024

April 15, 2024

Oklahoma minimum wage discussions are heating up, and you must stay informed. Are you prepared for the changes that might be coming? This blog post will provide a clear and detailed overview of the current minimum wage in Oklahoma, the potential increases on the horizon, and how these changes could impact your business operations. Will your business be ready?

What is the Minimum Wage in Oklahoma?

As of now, the minimum wage in Oklahoma remains at $7.25 per hour, identical to the federal minimum wage. This rate has been static since the federal adjustment on July 24, 2009, which increased it from $6.55 to $7.25 per hour. Oklahoma does not set a separate state minimum wage but adheres to the federal standard established under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

There's a notable development on the horizon, however. Advocates for wage increases have propelled State Question 832, aiming to elevate the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2029. This initiative also proposes adjustments based on the cost of living starting in 2030, following the Consumer Price Index. The movement has gained momentum, with supporters needing to gather over 92,263 signatures by mid-July to see this measure on the ballot.

Who Qualifies for Minimum Wage?

All employees aged 18 and older in Oklahoma are entitled to the minimum wage. The law covers employers with ten or more full-time employees at any single location or with annual gross sales exceeding $100,000, regardless of employee count. 

Conversely, smaller businesses with fewer than ten employees and gross sales under $100,000 must pay their workers at least $2.00 per hour. Knowing which bracket your business falls into is essential to ensure compliance and plan your financials accordingly.

Oklahoma Minimum Wage Exemptions

Not all workers qualify for the state minimum wage. Here are some key exemptions:

  • Farm employees involved in cultivating, raising, or harvesting

  • Domestic service workers in private homes

  • U.S. government employees

  • Volunteers for charitable, religious, or nonprofit organizations

  • Newspaper vendors and carriers

  • Employees of interstate commerce-regulated carriers

  • Certain professionals, such as executives, administrators, or outside salesmen

  • Part-time employees working fewer than 25 hours per week

  • Workers under 18 who have not graduated from high school or enrolled in vocational training

  • Employees at feedstores primarily serving farmers and ranchers

  • Reserve force deputy sheriffs

Additionally, any employment covered by the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act is exempt from state minimum wage laws.

Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees in Oklahoma

Understanding the wage structure for tipped employees is crucial for restaurant owners. In Oklahoma, the rules vary based on your business size and annual sales. If you operate a location with fewer than ten full-time employees and less than $100,000 in gross annual sales, the minimum cash wage is $2.00 per hour. 

For larger businesses or those making more than $100,000, you can apply a tip credit of up to 50% of the standard minimum wage, allowing you to pay a direct cash wage of at least $3.62 per hour. The maximum tip credit allowed is $5.12, setting the minimum cash wage at $2.13 per hour after tips. 

This structure is designed to balance wage costs with income from tips, ensuring that every employee earns at least the full minimum wage when tips and direct wages are combined.

How Tip Credit Works

Tip credit is a provision that allows you to count a portion of the tips your employees receive towards meeting the minimum wage requirement. This means if your employees earn enough in tips, you can pay them less than the minimum wage in direct wages up to a certain limit. Ensuring that the tips received plus the cash wage meets or exceeds $7.25 per hour is vital. This mechanism helps manage labor costs effectively while complying with wage laws.

Overtime Pay in Oklahoma

Oklahoma adheres to federal standards regarding overtime pay, given that the state has no specific overtime laws. For businesses under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees must receive one and a half times their regular pay rate for hours worked beyond 40 in a single workweek. This federal mandate ensures that employees are compensated fairly for their extra time, even though there is no requirement for additional pay on weekends or holidays unless these are days on which overtime hours are worked. Keeping accurate records of work hours and ensuring timely payment according to these guidelines is essential for compliance.

Who is Eligible for Overtime?

Under the FLSA, most employees in Oklahoma who work over 40 hours a week are eligible for overtime pay. This includes both full-time and part-time workers across various sectors, regardless of the day of the week the hours are worked. Certain employees may be exempt from these rules depending on their job duties and salary, such as those in executive, administrative, or professional roles typically earning a higher fixed salary.

Oklahoma State Minimum Wage vs Federal Minimum Wage

In Oklahoma, the federal minimum wage law under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) dictates wage standards since the state does not have its own specific minimum wage legislation. 

In the United States, when both federal and state wage laws cover an employee, they are entitled to the higher of the two. However, since Oklahoma’s minimum wage is equivalent to the federal rate of $7.25 per hour, employers must meet this pay standard at a minimum. 

It’s important for you to monitor both state and federal developments, as changes in legislation could influence which rate applies.

Oklahoma Workplace Poster Requirements

As an employer in Oklahoma, you are required to display certain labor law posters in your workplace. These posters are crucial for ensuring that you and your employees know your rights and responsibilities under the law. You must display:

  • Employee Rights Under the Fair Labor Standards Act Poster, outlining minimum wage requirements

  • Job Safety and Health: It's the Law Poster, detailing safety regulations under OSHA.

  • Employee Rights and Responsibilities Under The Family and Medical Leave Act Poster, informing about FMLA entitlements

  • Know Your Rights Poster, covering various labor standards.

  • Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision, ensuring fair pay practices.

  • Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act Notice, explaining protections for specific worker groups

  • Employee Rights for Workers with Disabilities Paid at Special Minimum Wages Poster, specific to wage standards under certain conditions

  • Employee Polygraph Protection Act Notice, regarding lie detector test restrictions

  • Your Rights Under USERRA Notice/Poster, covering rights related to military service.

  • Employee Rights Under the H-2A Program, relevant for temporary agricultural workers

Ensure these posters are up-to-date and clearly displayed to meet compliance standards and avoid potential penalties.

How Will the Minimum Wage Increase Impact My Business?

Should State Question 832 be approved, shifting to a $15 per hour minimum wage will require some adjustments in your business operations. Here’s what you might expect:

  1. Labor Costs. Naturally, your payroll expenses will climb. This change will likely lead to higher taxes and potentially increased worker’s compensation insurance premiums. Evaluating these upcoming costs now is essential to adjust your financial strategies accordingly.

  2. Pricing Strategies. Revisiting your pricing strategy will be necessary to cope with higher labor costs. You might need to increase product prices or introduce new service charges to sustain your restaurant’s profit margin. The goal is to balance cost increases while remaining competitive in the market.

  3. Employee Retention. A rise in wage levels could mean lower staff turnover, as improved pay scales generally enhance job satisfaction. This can result in retaining a more skilled and dedicated team, reducing the costs and disruptions associated with frequent hiring.

  4. Customer Expectations. If menu prices increase, customers will likely expect a corresponding rise in service quality. It’s important to ensure that any price adjustments are matched by enhancements in customer service to maintain or even grow customer loyalty.

  5. Competitive Edge. Offering competitive wages can make your business a more attractive place to work. This not only helps in hiring talented individuals but also in building a positive reputation in your industry.

How Can I Prepare My Business for Future Minimum Wage Increases?

Preparing for a possible increase in the minimum wage requires careful planning and preemptive action. Consider these five strategies:

1. Budget Review

Take a deep dive into your current financial statements. Identify areas where expenses can be trimmed or reallocated to accommodate higher wages. For instance, could you reduce overhead costs or find more cost-effective suppliers?

2. Pricing Adjustments

Consider a gradual increase in your prices to offset increased labor costs. This strategy should be communicated transparently to your customers, ensuring them that the price adjustment is necessary to maintain the quality of service and product they expect.

3. Optimize Staff Scheduling

Utilize restaurant CRM and analytics tools to optimize labor costs. By analyzing peak times and customer flow, you can schedule staff more efficiently, ensuring that you are not overstaffed during slow periods and underprepared during busy times.

4. Invest in Restaurant Technology

Modernizing your restaurant can streamline operations and reduce labor costs. Here are several technologies to consider:

These technologies can streamline operations and decrease dependence on extensive front-of-house (FOH) labor, ultimately conserving resources.

5. Training Programs

Upskilling your staff can lead to more efficient operations. Well-trained employees will likely perform better, contributing to higher productivity and improved customer service, which justifies higher wages.


As discussions around the Oklahoma minimum wage gain momentum, you must be proactive about potential changes. With the possibility of an increase, planning for future adjustments in wage structures is critical. Stay informed about developments in the minimum wage in Oklahoma to ensure compliance and adapt your business operations effectively. Whether it’s adjusting pricing strategies or enhancing staff training, taking steps now can help mitigate the impact of wage increases on your business. Remember, staying ahead in business means staying informed about changes like these.

As the minimum wage regulation evolves, so should your business strategies. At Chowbus POS, we offer a comprehensive restaurant POS system that streamlines your operations and helps cut costs significantly. Partnering with us can reduce your labor expenses and boost your growth. 

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Minimum Wage in Oklahoma

Explore our Frequently Asked Questions about the minimum wage in Oklahoma to find key information and current updates. This section addresses changes, rates for 2024, employer obligations, and work-hour regulations.

Is Oklahoma Minimum Wage Going Up?

Oklahoma's minimum wage could potentially increase if supporters successfully gather enough signatures to place State Question 832 on the ballot. This initiative proposes raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2029, with subsequent annual adjustments based on the cost of living. The current minimum wage in Oklahoma is $7.25, aligned with the federal rate. Advocates have until July 14 to collect the required 92,263 signatures following a recent Supreme Court decision allowing the petition to proceed.

What is Oklahoma Minimum Wage 2024?

Oklahoma’s minimum wage for 2024 is expected to remain at $7.25 per hour, which is the same as the federal minimum wage, unless new legislation is passed or State Question 832 is approved to raise it.

Who Pays Minimum Wage in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, employers who gross over $100,000 annually or have ten or more employees must pay the state minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. This rate aligns with the federal minimum wage and generally covers most workers within the state, with few exceptions.

What is the Maximum Hours You Can Work in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma does not have state-specific regulations limiting the number of hours an adult can work weekly. The state adheres to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which mandates that non-exempt employees receive overtime pay at 1.5 times their regular rate for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers can set and modify work schedules, including requiring overtime, without prior notice.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that this blog post serves as a general guide to understanding the current status and potential changes in the minimum wage in Oklahoma. While we strive to keep our content updated and accurate, you should consult with legal or professional advisors to ensure compliance with local regulations before making business decisions based on this information. This overview is intended to provide you with relevant insights on how shifts in the minimum wage might affect your operational and financial planning.

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