Gavel to Gavel: Clock is ticking

The Journal Record
By Adam Childers
July 21, 2011

On Nov. 1, three of the most important Oklahoma employment law legislative changes to be made in many years will all simultaneously become law. Each of these modified laws are “pro-business” in their tone and intent. More importantly, each of these legislative changes should prompt you to dust off your company’s employee handbook and related policies and make substantive changes to them before this deadline passes you by and your company misses the protections afforded by each of the changes.

The first of the trio of legislative updates can be found in Oklahoma’s Standards for Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Act. As of Nov. 1, this law will undergo a dynamic face-lift. Changes will include relaxed standards for employers to conduct “for cause” testing, improved post-accident testing, a streamlining of the confirmation testing process and even the opportunity for employers to conduct their own on-site testing.

Next on the agenda for Nov. 1 will be amendments to Oklahoma’s Anti-Discrimination Act, or the OADA, to provide the exclusive remedies in Oklahoma for individuals alleging discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, creed, age, disability or genetic information.

Finally, Nov. 1 will also usher in changes to Oklahoma’s “Make My Day Law.” In the wake of the Jerome Ersland case, the Legislature has made amended this law to make it clear that the protections of the Dirty Harry-inspired law do indeed extend to the workplace.

Adam W. Childers is a director with Crowe & Dunlevy’s Labor and Employment Section in Oklahoma City. He can be reached at (405) 235-7741 or by e-mail at

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