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FMLA: Oklahoma

FMLA requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Susan A. P. Woodhouse, Littler

Summary

  • Oklahoma does not have a state family and medical leave law applicable to private employers. See Family and Medical Leave.
  • Employers with one or more employees must treat disabilities caused by pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, childbirth or related medical conditions the same as they treat disabilities caused by other medical conditions, for job-related purposes. See Pregnancy Disability Leave.
  • Other types of leave may be available to Oklahoma employees - some required by federal, state or local law, and some provided by company policy, as well as several sources of income replacement. See Interaction of Leave Laws.

Family and Medical Leave

Oklahoma does not have a state family and medical leave law applicable to private employers. However, an Oklahoma employer with 50 or more employees is likely required to adhere to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Same-Sex Marriage

The Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment requires a state to do the following:

  • License a marriage between two people of the same sex; and
  • Recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state.

Obergefell v. Hodges, +2015 U.S. LEXIS 4250 (U.S. June 26, 2015).

Same-sex marriage is legal nationwide, and couples lawfully married in any state, including Oklahoma, are entitled to FMLA spousal leave benefits.

In addition, an Oklahoma employer should be careful if it seeks to confirm an employee's same-sex spousal relationship (for purposes of the FMLA) to ensure it does not discriminate in any way. While the FMLA allows an employer to confirm a family relationship, the employer's practices to confirm such relationships should be the same for employees in same-sex marriages as those in opposite-sex marriages (e.g., if an employer does not ask heterosexual employees for marriage licenses it should be careful about asking homosexual employees for such documentation).

Apart from FMLA considerations, employers with employees residing in Oklahoma should look at existing policies that provide for leave based on spousal relationships, such as bereavement leave or military leave. Policy language (such as how a spouse is defined) may need to be revised.

Pregnancy Disability Leave

Employers with one or more employees must treat disabilities caused by pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, childbirth or related medical conditions the same as they treat disabilities caused by other medical conditions, for job-related purposes.

Employment policies and practices involving such matters as the start and duration of leave, the availability of extensions, benefits and reinstatement, must be applied to disability due to pregnancy or childbirth on the same terms and conditions as they are applied to temporary disabilities.

+Okla. Stat. tit. 25 § 1301; +Okla. Admin. Code § 335:15-3-9.

Interaction of Leave Laws

Other types of leave may be available to Oklahoma employees - some required by federal, state or local law, and some provided by company policy, as well as several sources of income replacement. See Other Leaves: Oklahoma. While some of these laws can run at the same time, others cannot.

Remain alert to the various types of leave available and take care to track an employee's leave of absence, including:

  • The date the leave begins;
  • The type of leave; and
  • The expected return date.

Future Developments

There are no developments to report at this time. Continue to check XpertHR regularly for the latest information on this and other topics.