Oklahoma Cities and Minimum Wage: State Says No Way

Delivering a blow to municipal authority, the State of Oklahoma took preemptive emergency action to prevent Oklahoma cities and counties from establishing their own minimum wage levels or employee vacation and sick leave allowances.

Citing an “overriding state interest…necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety”, Oklahoma passed Senate Bill 1023, which clearly states:

“…no municipality or other political subdivision of this state shall establish a mandatory minimum number of vacation or sick leave days, whether paid or unpaid, or a minimum wage rate which an employer would be required to pay or grant employees.”

Republican Governor Mary Fallin signed the Bill into law citing the move as one way to forestall President Obama’s efforts to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

“Oklahoma doesn’t need the Obama Administration’s advice on how to build a strong economy. We have a 5 percent unemployment rate and, since 2011, the third highest per capita personal income increase in the nation. We are focused on continuing to successfully create and retain jobs that pay above the minimum wage.”

The law, effective July 1, 2014, does not affect municipal employees’ allowable number of vacation or sick leave days.