Paula Burkes
Business Reporter

A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes
has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Boston. Since February 2001, she’s worked as a business writer for The Oklahoman state newspaper, specializing in personal finance and workplace enterprise stories that have far-reaching effects for readers’ lives. Paula and her teenage daughter, Jessica, live in Edmond, Okla.

  • Q&A with Sasha Beling

    BY PAULA BURKES | Updated: Sat, Oct 24, 2015

    Sasha Beling, an intellectual property attorney with McAfee & Taft, discusses new Food and Drug Administration rule concerning restaurant menu labeling and what it means.

  • Q&A with Gaylan R. Towle of Dolese

    BY PAULA BURKES | Updated: Thu, Oct 22, 2015

    Dolese vehicle cameras improve training, safety

  • Business Q&A with Jennifer Anderson

    BY PAULA BURKES | Updated: Wed, Oct 21, 2015

    Express Employment Professionals' Jennifer Anderson answers questions about the company's Job Genius program.

  • Sick, or just sick of work?

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer | Published: Tue, Oct 20, 2015

    In the past year, 38 percent of U.S. employees have called into work sick when they weren’t, up from 28 percent last year.

  • Q&A with Leonard Court

    BY PAULA BURKES | Updated: Tue, Oct 20, 2015

    The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor is increasing the total of investigations it is conducting. Certain industries, notably the energy industry, are being targeted in addition to the investigations that result from complaints by employees.

  • Mind Your Own Business: 38% of us lie about 'sick days'

    Paula Burkes | Updated: Tue, Oct 20, 2015

    In the past year, 38 percent of U.S. employees have called into work sick when they weren't, up from 28 percent last year. That's according to an online Aug. 12-Sept. 2 survey by Harris Poll for Chicago-based CareerBuilder. Respondents included 3,321 full-time adult private employees and 2,326 hiring and human resources managers. Most employees who fibbed about being sick said they had doctor's appointments, 27 percent; just didn't feel like going to work, also 27 percent; or needed to relax, 26 percent. But, 21 percent said they needed to catch up on sleep, while 12 percent blamed bad weather. Employers, meanwhile, said many workers took calling in sick to new levels.

  • Mind Your Own Business: Accident victim thanks strangers for life-giving blood

    Paula Burkes | Updated: Sun, Oct 18, 2015

      Nearly killed in a motorcycle accident five years ago, Willis Washington has 19 blood donors to thank for his second chance at life. Washington got to meet and thank three of them in person Thursday night at the Oklahoma Blood Institute’s annual appreciation banquet at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. It was a powerful, heartrending sight: Willis, a 44-year-old black man who since his accident uses a wheelchair, was joined on stage by three white strangers: John Barnett, William Ross and Karen Foster; all several years his senior. Blood donation is a marvelous, almost mythical, thing. Donors and recipients span all ethnic backgrounds, hometowns, ages and economic levels.

  • Executive Q&A: Tulsa University grad enjoys recruiting candidates, matching them up with opportunities

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer | Published: Sun, Oct 18, 2015

    James Kelley, partner and executive vice president of The Rowland Group in Tulsa, has more than a few success stories.

  • Q&A with Kitt Letcher

    BY PAULA BURKES | Updated: Sat, Oct 17, 2015

    Q&A with Kitt Letcher

  • Benefit plans for retirees must be clear, understandable

    BY PAULA BURKES | Updated: Fri, Oct 16, 2015

    Employers should try to ensure the language in their welfare benefit plans is clear and precise regarding all benefits the employer intends to provide. It also should be written so that employees can understand the benefits.

  • Q&A with Vance Winningham

    BY PAULA BURKES | Updated: Thu, Oct 15, 2015

    U.S. immigration law caps H-1B temporary visa/work permits at 80,000 plus 1,400 for Chilean nationals and 5,400 visas for Singapore nationals. Oklahoma's largest shortage is in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs.

  • Q&A with Dr.Tom Friedemann

    BY PAULA BURKES | Updated: Tue, Oct 13, 2015

    CareerTech's latest focus on curriculum stresses the necessity of of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education to keep Oklahoma’s economy growing.

  • Mind Your Own Business: FMLA absences rising, analysis shows

    Paula Burkes | Updated: Mon, Oct 12, 2015

      Self-employed kitchen designer Jennifer Miller of Edmond didn’t relish having open-heart surgery in May. But the timing of her heart-valve repair, four-night hospitalization and subsequent recovery worked out, she said. Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Miller’s partner of 20 years and spouse of one year, Dena Bleeker, took six weeks’ unpaid leave from her job as a registered nurse in quality administration to care for her, Miller said. “It was a nice benefit,” she said. According to analysis released late last month, 10.7 percent of the U.S. workforce is on FMLA leave at any given time. Chicago-based ComPsych® Corporation reports 63.

  • Executive Q&A: Oklahoma City CEO tries to be a good global neighbor in needy regions

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer | Published: Sun, Oct 11, 2015

    Executive Q&A: Kate Schecter is the CEO of World Neighbors, an Oklahoma City-based nonprofit international development organization.

  • Liability shift could be costly for businesses without chip system

    BY PAULA BURKES | Updated: Fri, Oct 9, 2015

    Lysbeth L. George, an associate at Crowe & Dunlevy and member of the firm’s Banking & Financial Institutions practice group, talks about the new chip system credit cards being introduced and the impact the changeover may have on businesses.

  • Q&A with Leah-Anne Janway: Act will help keep mid-size employers from sharp increases in health insurance costs

    By PAULA BURKES BUSINESS WRITER | Updated: Fri, Oct 9, 2015

    Leah-Anne Janway, president of the Oklahoma City chapter of the National Association of Health Underwriters, talks about how the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employers, or PACE Act, will affect employers.

  • Business Q&A with Melissa McDuffey

    BY PAULA BURKES | Updated: Thu, Oct 8, 2015

    The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division determined that Halliburton had incorrectly categorized 1,016 employees as “exempt” from overtime.

  • While the iPhone offers 'Jetsons' features, beware of identity theft

    BY PAULA BURKES | Published: Wed, Oct 7, 2015

    Some apps may be able to access your phone and email contacts, call logs, Internet data, calendar data, data about the device’s location and the device’s unique IDs.

  • Q&A with Courtney K. Warmington

    BY PAULA BURKES | Updated: Tue, Oct 6, 2015

    Terminating employees is arguably one of the riskiest employment decisions that an employer can make. Conversely, not terminating an employee is also one of the riskiest decisions an employer can make.

  • Mind Your Own Business: Like George Jetson, I'm now at higher risk for identity theft

    Paula Burkes | Updated: Mon, Oct 5, 2015

    I recently joined a fraternity of sorts in which more than a quarter of the world’s population already belongs. I got an iPhone. IPhones were introduced in the United States on June 29, 2007 -- about the time I broke down and got my first standard-issue cell phone. Gifted a 5S iPhone 10 days ago, I finally have stepped into modern day and --  though I know I’m a greater target for identity theft (more on that later) -- “Hooba-Dooba” am I glad I did. Hooba-dooba is the famous catchphrase of George Jetson, a fictional character from the The Jetsons cartoon from my childhood. George resides with his family in the Skypad Apartments in Orbit City, with robot servants, moving sidewalks