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When You Lose Your Job


When you lose your job

Losing your job causes a lot of anxiety, and it brings up a number of legal issues. For instance, you may have been fired illegally. You may not have received all of your wages, or your final paycheck may have been delayed. Even though you apply for unemployment compensation, you may not get your benefits. This pamphlet will discuss some of these issues; if you have questions, you may need to speak to an attorney.

Unemployment Compensation

When you lose your job, you may be eligible for unemployment compensation. You should apply as soon as you become unemployed because your application will not be made retroactive beyond the week in which it is filed.  You can apply through the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission online at or by phone outside OKC at (800) 555-1554 or in OKC area at (405) 525-1500, Monday through Friday (excluding holidays), 8:00am to 4:00pm. The Commission will contact your employer to determine if there is an objection to you receiving benefits. If the employer reports that you either quit your job or that you were fired because of misconduct, the Commission will decide whether you should get your benefits.

If the Commission decides against you, you  have ten days to file an appeal.  File your appeal as soon as possible because the Commissions does not allow any extensions if you miss your deadline.  If the 10th day falls on a weekend or holiday, make sure to file your appeal on the day before the weekend or holiday. The Commission will then schedule a hearing. You can have an attorney represent you at the hearing. To obtain representation, you should contact an attorney quickly.

Start your Unemployment Claim here

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Wage claims

When you lose your job, Oklahoma law requires your employer to pay your final wages within 3 days of when you would normally get paid. If you lose your job on the 20th and your next regularly scheduled payday is the 31st, you must wait until then to get your paycheck. If your employer fails to pay you on time, you can file a Wage Claim with the Oklahoma Department of Labor, but you must ask your employer first for your final wages before filing a claim.  

  • Download a Wage Claim form online here
  • Contact the Oklahoma  Department of Labor at (888) 269-5353; (405) 528-1500, OKC area; (918) 581-2400,Tulsa area. 

The Department will try to help you get your wages.   You can also sue your former employer for your back wages. If you are interested in suing, you should contact an attorney.

Download the Oklahoma Wage Claim form

Last Review and Update: Mar 20, 2020
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