Remote work has completely transformed the hiring landscape. Now employers have the freedom to hire employees, regardless of physical location. Employees have the freedom to work from home—or move out of state—whenever they need. However, once your business starts hiring out of state employees in Oklahoma, employment laws and tax requirements can get complicated.
Complying with Oklahoma’s standards is crucial: if your company is found in violation, you could be subject to fines and penalties. Your company must establish an Oklahoma economic nexus, register your business with the state and follow all state-specific employment standards.
When you hire out of state employees, your talent pool is bigger. Unfortunately, the hours of research and paperwork it takes to hire in a new state can discourage companies from hiring remotely. SixFifty has developed multistate employer registration tools to simplify the process.
Here’s what to expect when you hire an employee in Oklahoma.
Scenario 1: Employee works from home in another state
Employers and employees are no longer tethered to the same physical location. This gives employees the freedom to pursue housing in another state, to care for aging parents, to be closer to family and more. However, if your employee moves to Oklahoma, Oklahoma state laws will apply to their employment with you. Even if the company is headquartered in Maine, you must comply with Oklahoma’s employment laws for any employees working in-state.
Scenario 2: Hiring out-of-state employees in Oklahoma
Alternatively, you may wish to expand your talent search across the country. Just like the first scenario, employees are protected by the laws in their state. If you hire a new out-of-state employee in Oklahoma, their state laws will apply. Employers are responsible for researching and complying with all state-specific rules when hiring out-of-state. Otherwise, they’re subject to fines and penalties.
Multistate Employer Registration Factors to Consider
As an employer, there are many state-specific issues you must address when hiring in Oklahoma. Complying with each state regulation and law will help your company avoid hefty fines from the Department of Labor. Because employment laws can differ significantly in each state, it’s crucial you do the appropriate legwork.
SixFifty has identified five core areas of focus. Our multistate employment tools make it easy for employers to onboard new, out of state employees, even if they’ve never done so before.
1. Oklahoma Employment Registration
Establishing an economic nexus in Oklahoma is the first step to bringing your employee on board. This involves registering to do business in the state, reporting the new hire to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission and register for or update your unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation policies.
- Obtain a registered agent
- Register to do business in Oklahoma
- Report new hire to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission
- Register for unemployment insurance
- Report unemployment insurance account to payroll provider
- Obtain workers’ compensation coverage or update the policy
2. Oklahoma Tax Registration
Next, you must address your tax obligations. Doing business in Oklahoma subjects your company and employee to Oklahoma state taxes. Your company must register within the state for an income tax withholding account, complete and file the employee forms and register for a sales tax license.
- Register for income tax withholding account
- Obtain the completed state income tax withholding form from the employee
- Register for a sales tax license or permit
3. Oklahoma Employment Policies
Oklahoma has three state-specific policies which must be included in your policy: two are types of leave, and the last deals with meal and rest breaks for minors. These policies must be added to your employee handbook. You should also review the handbook to ensure your existing policies don’t conflict.
- Review employee handbook for compliance
- Update policies or add new leave policies as needed
4. Oklahoma Employment Implications
Oklahoma’s employment laws may vary from your home state’s, including the minimum wage ($7.25 for employers with 10 or more employees or who have $100,000 or more in gross sales). You must review the wage and your payroll policies, comply with any applicable overtime rules, and evaluate insurance coverage for new Oklahoma employees.
- Ensure non-compete provisions comply with Oklahoma law
- Confirm the employee is paid at least the minimum wage
- Review the applicable overtime laws
- Confirm the payroll practices meet the payment frequency standards in Oklahoma
- Consider whether insurance extends coverage to employees in Oklahoma
- Consider COVID-19 laws that affect the employee
5. Oklahoma Signage
Finally, Oklahoma requires employers to post four different types of employment signage. While the state hasn’t decreed how to do this for exclusively remote employees, generally, federal guidelines allow for uploading the signs on a website, in an easily accessible web folder or on company intranet.
- Post or distribute required signage
Simplify Multistate Compliance with SixFifty
The process of maintaining compliance can be complex and extremely nuanced for companies unfamiliar with Oklahoma employment laws and standards. It’s why SixFifty has compiled an extremely useful tool for businesses hiring out-of-state employees in Oklahoma. To simplify the process of hiring out-of-state employees in Oklahoma or supporting remote employees on-the-move, check out our 50 State Hiring Kit.
Written by Meili Bell
Meili Bell is the Content Manager at SixFifty. She spends her workdays writing, editing, project managing and reading about the intersection of law and technology. Meili comes to SixFifty from Gifted Music School, a nonprofit music school for the most dedicated young musicians in the region, where she was program director of the school’s flagship program for the last ten...
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