Labor and wage disputes can cover a lot of ground in the work setting. Claims for non-payment of wages, overtime, vacation pay, etc., and a host of other employment benefits can come under this category of the law. Also, how an employer treats its employees, benefits and characterizes their employment can be a labor dispute. Oklahoma has a Labor Commissioner who heads up a state Labor Department. For non-payment of wages and benefits a claim can be filed with the Oklahoma Labor Department and pursued there. If the employee is successful, he/she will get a Labor Department judgment.
The tricky part can be collecting the money on a Labor Department judgment. If the employer does not pay, the Labor Department Judgment can be filed in state court and collection efforts pursued there.
Also, an increasing number of employers characterize their workers as “contractors”, but yet hold tight control over the job assignments, how and when the jobs are performed and completed. An employer may be trying to get out of paying taxes, employee benefits, overtime, vacation pay, etc., by calling a worker “contractor” instead of employee. However, if the employer controls the jobs assigned, schedule and how the jobs are completed, tools used, uniform worn, on the job, etc., that worker is likely an employee, not a “contractor” and deserves to be treated as such. An employee is entitled to overtime, benefits and decent pay. A fair labor action is typically brought in the federal courts as the worker seeks to be paid his/her actual wage and benefits due under the law.