Tulsa's Dept of Labor office to close its doors

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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 3/26/2013 5:51 pm Published: 3/26/2013 3:24 pm

The Tulsa office of the Oklahoma Department of Labor is closing its doors.
State Labor Commissioner Mark Costello met with the Tulsa staff Tuesday to discuss their options. The decision affects more than 10 employees.

Jerry Meadows is a local accountant and we found him waiting for a hearing to start at the Tulsa office.

"If issues come up with employees and we have to file a complaint over wages or over workman's comp issues then we have to come down to meetings here to discuss what those problems are,” says Meadows.

Jerry tells FOX23 a lot of companies here in Tulsa have these types of hearings, so he’s concerned he will now have to drive to Oklahoma City for them.

"That's two hours to Oklahoma City at a minimum depending on traffic, and here it was just like 10 or 15 minutes to get down here,” he says.

The Department of Labor handles everything from Workman’s Comp to employee safety and allows people to file for certain licensing. Due to funding cuts that could add up to 25%, state agencies are now having to work with much less.

Tulsa’s Department of Labor employees now have the option of taking part in a voluntary buyout, moving to Oklahoma City or resigning.

"They were offered a voluntary buyout with a $5,000 lump sum payment and 18 months of their employee health insurance, and they were also offered their longevity for the next year which is the employee bonus,” says Stacy Boner, Finance Director for the Ok Department of Labor.

The agency did a survey and only about 7 customers per week walked in the door.

As for rumors that the agency was closing its Tulsa office due to mismanagement of funds, it says that’s incorrect information.

"That's not true. This administration is smaller than the previous two administrations and so are the salaries,” says Boner.

People in Tulsa needing to do business with the Oklahoma Department of Labor can go to Oklahoma City or do it online. The Tulsa office will officially close its doors on May 31st and the extended online services will begin in June.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Mayor Maynot - 3/26/2013 7:50 PM
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Does that mean that they'll move vocational rehab to OK city too.

Mayor Maynot - 3/26/2013 7:27 PM
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Drive all the way to OK City ? Before government was as big as it is today there was a circuit judge. The circuit judge has a new handle today he's a video court judge. Try not to sweat this bull report.
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