Committee defeats employee fairness measure

Wednesday, February 14th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A state House committee Wednesday defeated a measure calling for a public referendum on an Oklahoma law allowing employers to terminate employees without notice or cause.

The House Commerce, Industry and Labor Committee voted 8-7 against the Employee Fairness Act. The measure, by Rep. Opio Toure, D-Oklahoma City, would have submitted proposed changes to the state's employment-at-will law to a vote of the people.

Toure's measure proposed that workers who complete a 90-day probationary period receive at least 15 days prior notice of termination.

"Of course I'm disappointed by the vote," Toure said. "But I will keep on working because I believe that this is a matter of fundamental fairness."

Exemptions would be allowed if a worker committed an offense against the employer or a fellow worker or for inadequate job performance by the employee.

Toure said public employees and those covered by union contracts already have a right to prior notice prior to termination. He predicted that his measure would be approved if it were placed on the ballot.

The bill is House Joint Resolution 1031.