Department of Labor: Oklahoma employees receive thousands in unpaid wages

OKLAHOMA CITY – Officials say they have awarded Oklahoma employees thousands more in unpaid wages and benefits this fiscal year compared to last year.

The Oklahoma Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division awarded Oklahoma employees $839,909 in unpaid wages and benefits, plus an additional $88,400 in liquidated damages.

Officials say it is a significant increase from wages awarded in the previous fiscal year, which was approximately $500,000.

Experts say the increase is due to claims brought against struggling healthcare providers and municipal hospitals. A majority of the wages were for employees’ final paychecks and were often too small to attract the attention of attorneys.

“The Oklahoma Department of Labor is committed to ensuring the rights of unpaid workers. Many members of the workforce might not have the resources to go through the court system,” said Labor Commissioner Leslie Osborn. “People work hard with the expectation of being paid a fair wage in a timely manner. Our priority is recovering wages for people that are owed wages for time worked.”

Oklahoma employees who believe they have not been fully compensated for their work, or were paid lower wages based solely on their gender, are encouraged to call the division at (405) 521-6100 or complete a form online.

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