Unemployment for Employers

OESC exists to help build a robust and thriving business community for employers of all kinds. We’re here to attract, inspire, and support businesses big and small. Explore the following resources available to all of our valued employers. Here you can also get answers to questions about Benefit Wage Charges and other UI tax information.

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Let’s Get Back to Work Oklahoma! Click here for information on re-opening Oklahoma.

Benefit Wage Charges related to COVID-19 Waived. Learn more.

Help stop fraud. Report fraud by using the online Unemployment Fraud form found here.

Fraud Prevention for Businesses. Learn more.

Unemployment Insurance Tax

As a for-profit business operating in Oklahoma, you are required to pay Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax. This button will take you to our EZ Tax Portal.

Employee Separation

You must provide information regarding the separation of employees to OESC so a determination can be made regarding claims.

Mass Claims for Layoffs

If you have 25 or more employees affected, you must file a mass claim with the OESC.

Benefit Wage Charges

Learn more about Benefit Wage Charges, how they are calculated and your grounds to protest a charge

Validate or Protest Claims

If you’ve received an OES-502 and wish to protest, or need to validate a Benefit Wage Charge, click here

If your small business has employees working in Oklahoma, you’ll need to pay Oklahoma unemployment insurance (UI) tax. The UI tax funds unemployment compensation programs for eligible employees. In Oklahoma, state UI tax is just one of several taxes that employers must pay. Other important employer taxes, not covered here, include federal UI tax, and state and federal withholding taxes.

As a for-profit employer in Oklahoma, you generally are liable for state UI taxes if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • you pay $1,500 in wages in a calendar quarter
  • you employ one or more employees for any portion of a week for any 20 weeks in a calendar year, or
  • you acquire substantially all of another business that is liable for UI taxes.

These are effectively the same rules that apply for liability under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA). Different rules, not covered here, apply to agricultural (farm) workers, domestic (in-home) workers, and employees of some (but not all) non-profit organizations.

You must file your reports online. Use the EZ Tax Express website. You can pay online using Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or print out a remittance voucher and pay by check.

Read our Employer's Guide to Unemployment

If you suspect fraud, please report it by using the online Unemployment Fraud form at https://my.ok.gov/Forms/Report%20Unemployment%20Fraud.

If workers refuse to return to work while drawing unemployment, please report to [email protected]tate.ok.us

Learn about the Paycheck Protection Program

Unemployment FAQs for Employers

COVID-19 For Employers     Contact Information     Covid-19 General UI Tax Information    

Will benefit wage charges be waived during this pandemic?

Yes, pursuant to the natural disaster provision of 40 O.S. §3-106.1, all benefit wage charges to experience-rated employers for allowed claims of unemployment that are directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic shall be waived. An attempt will be made to prevent charges from going out on COVID-19 claims, but if an employer does receive a benefit wage charge on a COVID-19 claim, the employer should timely protest the charge and give information about the nature of the claim. Reimbursing charges to reimbursing employers shall not be waived and must be paid timely. Click here to view the OESC Executive Order waiving benefit wage charges directly related to COVID-19 unemployment insurance claims.

Will COVID-19 affect my ability to pay UI tax?

No. Tax payments should be submitted online through the EzTaxExpress Portal at https://eztaxexpress.oesc.state.ok.us, either credit card or ACH Debit. No cash payment will be accepted when we are closed to the public.

Will COVID-19 affect my ability to file UI quarterly reports?

No. All reports are to be submitted online through the EzTaxExpress Portal at https://eztaxexpress.oesc.state.ok.us.

How will my tax rates be affected if staff are sent home?

Oklahoma has just passed a law that will stop charges to contributing employers only, for claims that are directly related to COVID-19 until the end of 2020. However, employers will most likely see a rate increase in the annual rate calculations for 2021 as a result of COVID-19.

I have to close my business due to COVID-19. What has to be done for my employees to file a claim?

If you are closing permanently: Claims are taken online. Individuals may access the online application by going to OESC Service Center. If assistance is needed in filing claimants must call 1-800-555-1554.

If you are closing temporarily: There are two options in this case, depending on the size of your business. The easiest method would be to have employees file online at the address above. When filing, they would need to provide a return to work date within eight weeks of the last day worked. Another option is for your business to submit a mass claim.

Do my employees have to look for other work while the business is closed?

No, work search requirements have been temporarily waived for all unemployment insurance recipients.

I have to close my business permanently due to COVID-19, do I need to report this to the OESC?

Yes. To do this submit a termination form (OES-24) online through the EzTaxExpress portal at https://eztaxexpress.oesc.state.ok.us.

Can we temporarily change our mailing address since our building is closed?

Yes. But you must remember to change the address back once the building is reopened. You can update your mailing address through our tax portal at https://eztaxexpress.oesc.state.ok.us

What if I have more questions?
  • If you have questions about new hire reporting, call the OKDHS - Oklahoma Employer Services Center Information Number 1-866-553-2368 or OKC Metro Area 405-522-5550 or via E-mail to [email protected]
  • Questions regarding income assignments or other matters relating to Child Support should be directed to the Department of Human Services, Child Support Enforcement Division, at PO Box 53552, Oklahoma City, OK 73152, or call 405-522-5871.

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Do we as employers pay for unemployment? If so would it be in our favor to continue letting people work the normal hours so we don’t have to continue paying when people are not working?

Yes, employer FUTA and SUTA taxes are collected from employers and used to pay for unemployment benefits. Oklahoma has waived the benefit wage charge for claims filed as a result of COVID-19 in an effort to lighten the financial burden placed on employers due to the pandemic. 

How much can our employees work and still receive unemployment benefits?

It depends on the employee’s weekly benefit amount on unemployment and their earnings. All earnings must be reported during the week they are earned. We deduct only earnings over $100 from the weekly benefit amount. So if someone earns more than their weekly benefit amount plus $100, they will be ineligible for benefits due to excessive earnings. As an example, if an individual earned $150 we would deduct $50 from their benefit amount. Individuals who work 32 or more hours, regardless of earnings, are considered full-time employed and ineligible for benefits.