Oklahoma Department of Labor

Oklahoma Department of Labor
Oklahoma Department of Labor
Seal of Oklahoma.svg
Great Seal of Oklahoma
Agency overview
Formed November 17, 1907
Headquarters 4001 N. Lincoln
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Employees 77 classified
19 unclassified
Annual budget $7.3 million
Minister responsible Dave Lopez, Secretary of Commerce and Tourism
Agency executive Mark Costello, Labor Commissioner
Oklahoma Department of Labor

The Oklahoma Department of Labor (ODOL) is an agency of the government of Oklahoma that is headed by the Oklahoma Labor Commissioner, a statewide elected position. ODOL is responsible for supervising the administration of all state laws relating to labor and workplace safety and gathers and publishes information about the workforce of Oklahoma.

The current Labor Commissioner is Mark Costello, a Republican who was elected to his first term in 2010.



The ODOL is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the State's minimum wage law, enforces the State's child labor laws, oversees that State's workers’ compensation insurance compliance program, regulates of private employment agencies, and investigates and mediates of unpaid wages disputes.

Additionally, the ODOL has jurisdiction for the inspection of welded steam lines, boiler and pressure vessels, elevators, amusement and water rides, and water heaters in public facilities. The Department is responsible for the certification of welders and weld-testing laboratories as well as the regulation and certification of asbestos workers. The ODOL is also the primary enforcement agency of occupational safety and health for public employees across the State.


In August 1907 delegates from the Twin-Territorial Federation of Labor, the State Farmers' Union, and the Railroad Brotherhoods met in Shawnee and formulated a list of 24 demands for the forthcoming constitutional convention. The 12th demand called for the establishment of State Department of Labor and Commerce.

Consequently, when the new state constitution was ratified by delegates to the constitutional convention in 1907 the Oklahoma Department of Labor was created. Since its inception, the Oklahoma Department of Labor has functioned continuously for more than 100 years under the direction of 18 different Commissioners and 22 governors.

Oklahoma's first Commissioner of Labor was Charles A. Daugherty, who served for two four-year terms from 1907 to 1915, under Governors C.N. Haskell and Lee Cruce. At that time, the Labor Department was located in Guthrie, as were all state agencies. The original staff consisted of five people: a commissioner; an assistant commissioner; a state factory inspector; a superintendent of the State Free Employment Bureau; and a stenographer.

Due largely to the infusion of federal funds from Wagner-Peyser and Social Security grants, the Oklahoma Employment Service and the Unemployment Compensation and Placement Division of the Oklahoma Department of Labor had grown to include more than 300 employees in 33 offices throughout the state by 1940. Federal grants accounted for 85 percent of the funds budgeted for these activities.

Then, in 1941, the 18th Legislature amended the Oklahoma Unemployment Compensation Law extensively, changing the name to the Oklahoma Security Act, and renamed administration of the Act from the Commissioner of Labor to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. By FY 1940-41, the Department of Labor had been reduce to 16 employees operating on only 11 percent of the previous year's budget.

Today the Department of Labor has an authorized staff of 112, with two offices one in Oklahoma City and one in Tulsa. The present Commissioner of Labor is Mark Costello who was elected by the people in November 2010 and took office January 2011.


As the head of the Department of Labor, the Labor Commissioner supervises, directs, and controls the following agencies Labor Divisions:

  • Commissioner of Labor
    • Deputy Commissioner
      • Administration Division - provides administrative support and handles the business functions of the Department, including responsibility for communications, finance and accounting, human resources, purchasing, research, agency legal services, legislative affairs and constituent services, information technology and data processing services, mail and reception
        • Finance Unit
        • Legal Affairs Unit
        • Information Technology Unit
      • Asbestos Abatement Division - responsible for ensuring asbestos abatement projects are accomplished safely and in accordance with the law, and also administers an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant program to manage asbestos hazards in schools
      • Employment Standards Division
        • Child Labor Unit - responsible for enforcement of Oklahoma's Child Labor statutes
        • Wage and Hour Unit - responsible for processing all wage claims under the Labor Department's jurisdiction
        • Workers' Compensation Enforcement Unit - ensures that all employers comply with the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Act by providing appropriate coverage for their employees
      • Public Employee Occupational Safety and Health Division (PEOSH) - provides consultation and enforcement services to public sector employers to protect public employees from workplace accidents and injuries.
      • Safety Pay OSHA Consultation Division - provides free, confidential, voluntary and non-punitive safety and health consultation services to private sector employers in the state
      • Safety Standards Division - regulates the installation, operation and maintenance of boilers, pressure vessels, hot water heaters and amusement rides, and also regulates welding practices
        • Licensing Unit - handles licensing for private employment agencies (where fees are paid by the employee rather than the employer), persons who conduct activities relating to asbestos, and most welders, weld test facilities and weld inspectors
      • Statistical Research Analysis Division - responsible for conducting occupational safety and health surveys in conjunction with the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics and for providing incident and research information to assist safety officials with their safety programs.


The Labor Department, with an annual budget of just over $7 million, is one of the smaller employers of the State. For fiscal year 2010, the Department was authorized 104 full time employees.[1]

Division Number of Employees
Administration 11
Asbestos Abatement 10
Regulation and Enforcement 49
Statistical Research and Licensing 5
Occupational Safety and Health 29
Total 104


  1. ^ FY 2011 State Budget, Oklahoma Office of State Finance

See also

External links

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