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Oklahoma Whistleblower Laws

Each state has one or more laws known as "whistleblower" laws that protect employees from being fired or treated adversely for reporting the illegal or immoral activities of their employers to the proper authorities. Most laws protect public sector whistleblowers such as government employees and public school teachers, but some states also have laws protecting private employees. Generally, these laws make it a crime for employers to retaliate against whistleblowers who act in good faith, even if the alleged activity (such as pollution or fraud) turns out not to have occurred.

The Basics of Oklahoma Whistleblower Laws

Oklahoma has two separate statutes protecting public sector whistleblowers from retaliation -- one addressing violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and the other covering more general violations of law, policy, or the public trust. Both laws impose criminal sanctions on violators.

See the following charts to learn more about Oklahoma's whistleblower protections. See FindLaw's Whistleblowers section for more articles and resources.

Code Section 40§402, et seq.
Prohibited Employer Activity Can not discharge, discriminate, or take adverse personnel action if employee files a complaint, institutes a proceeding, or testifies regarding a violation of Occupational Safety and Health Act which causes or is likely to cause death or serious physical harm
Protection for Public or Private Employees? Public
Opportunity for Employer to Correct? Yes
Remedies File complaint with commissioner
Penalties Misdemeanor

 

Code Section 74§840-2.5
Prohibited Employer Activity No officer or employee of any state agency shall prohibit or take disciplinary action if employee disclosed public information, reports a violation of state or federal law, rule, or policy, mismanagement, gross waste of public funds, abuse of authority, or substantial and specific danger to public health and safety
Protection for Public or Private Employees? Public
Opportunity for Employer to Correct? -
Remedies Can file an appeal with Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission within 60 days of disciplinary action to get corrective action
Penalties Violator can be suspended without pay, demoted or discharged, probation for 6 months. If they knowingly or willfully violate, court will forfeit their position and hold them ineligible for appointment or employment for a minimum of 1 year and maximum of 5 years

Note: State laws are always subject to change at any moment. You may want to contact an Oklahoma employment law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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