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.

  • Misclassification of contractors affects worker protection, taxes

    Published: Thu, Aug 6, 2015

    The misclassification of independent contractors affects worker protection, taxes

  • Oklahoma offers waiver of penalties in voluntary tax compliance initiative

    Published: Wed, Aug 5, 2015

    The state of Oklahoma, through HB 2236, is offering taxpayers an opportunity to file delinquent tax returns and receive a waiver from penalties, interest and collections fees on eligible taxes.

  • Relevant mission statements can keep businesses on course

    BY PAULA BURKES | Updated: Tue, Aug 4, 2015

    Edmond business coach Tim Hast discusses what makes a relevant mission statement.

  • BBB issues warning about travel websites that promise too much

    BY PAULA BURKES | Updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015

    The Better Business Bureau's Kitt Letcher cautions consumers about travel websites.

  • Q&A with Tanya S. Bryant

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer | Updated: Thu, Jul 30, 2015

    Attorney takes look at prof's gender discrimination lawsuit Q: A college professor in Oklahoma has filed a gender discrimination case. What are the details? A: In 2004, Dr. Tudor began working for Southeastern Oklahoma State University as a tenure track assistant professor. When hired, Dr. Tudor presented as a male and went by a traditionally male name. In 2007, Dr. Tudor advised Southeastern that she planned to transition from male to female and that she would present as a woman during that academic year. Dr. Tudor began to present as a woman at work by wearing women’s clothing, styling her hair in a feminine manner, and going by the name Rachel. The lawsuit filed by the government alleges that Southeastern

  • Let's right our restrooms for all

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer | Updated: Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    Many so-called handicapped-equipped restrooms aren’t actually usable.

  • Rolling down car windows can foster fuel efficiency

    Published: Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    Hudiburg's Brad Smicklas discusses summer fuel efficiency.

  • Q&A with Tara A. LaClair

    Updated: Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    The U.S. Supreme Court's decision largely protects issuers of registration statements by holding that statements of opinion aren’t actionable simply because they turn out to be incorrect.

  • Mind Your Own Business: The cost of dying

    Paula Burkes | Updated: Mon, Jul 27, 2015

    My brother Jeff had a sudden fatal heart attack while he and his wife were watching TV a little more than a week ago. After he was pronounced dead at the hospital, the staff wanted to know right then and there: What funeral home? I was glad I'd written about funeral expenses and remembered the name of one of the few independent shops remaining. So many have been bought up by large corporate chains. Jeff was only 55; 14 months younger than my twin sister and I. His death was a reminder that any of us can die at any time and we all should know what we want -- and don't want. My brother wanted to be cremated. He probably didn't want a big service, but we had one anyway at his family's parish. Funerals, after

  • Executive Q&A: Alva native says research, timing, led him to design nation's historic disability policy

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer  | Published: Sun, Jul 26, 2015

    Lex Frieden, a native of Alva, Oklahoma, and graduate of the University of Tulsa, is regarded as the chief architect of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was signed into law on July 26, 1990, and he is the founder and leader of the independent living movement by people with disabilities in the U.S.

  • Faces of ADA

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer, | Published: Sun, Jul 26, 2015

    ‘Our range needs to be much greater’ Pam Henry, Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame inductee and one of the first female television news reporters in the Oklahoma City market, credits her disability with steering her to the career she so loved. Henry, who had polio and wore leg braces in her childhood, traveled nationwide with her mother in 1959 as the 8-year-old last Poster Child for the March of Dimes. Renowned journalists Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite were among the countless celebrities she met over the year-long campaign. Henry jokes that she delivered her first report at Cronkite’s news desk, using a crutch as a pointer to do a weather update on the map behind him.

  • OU-based project wants meaningful work for disabled Oklahomans

    Paula Burkes Business Writer | Published: Sun, Jul 26, 2015

    Meaningful, well-paid jobs. That’s what the staff of a University of Oklahoma- based outreach project wants for unemployed Oklahomans with disabilities.

  • Program gives students real on-the-job training

    Paula Burkes Business Writer | Updated: Sat, Jul 25, 2015

    iJobs, an internship program, gives special education students experience in the workforce.

  • Americans with Disabilities Act falls short in employment opportunities, observers say

    Paula Burkes Business Writer  | Published: Sun, Jul 26, 2015

    Among the 56.7 million Americans with disabilities, unemployment is nearly 13 percent — or more than double the rate for able-bodied individuals, according to a 2014 Labor Department report. Of the 594,400 disabled Oklahomans — or one in six — only 35.8 percent of those 18 to 64 work, compared with 75.2 percent of their able-bodied counterparts, according to a 2014 study by the Durham, N.H.-based Institute on Disability.

  • Business Q&A: Americans with Disabilities Act cites only dogs as service animals

    BY PAULA BURKES | Updated: Fri, Jul 24, 2015

    Federal law has a narrow definition of what animals can be considered service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

  • Disabled OKC architect worked to incorporate ADA into projects

    BY PAULA BURKES | Updated: Thu, Jul 23, 2015

    Jack R. Morgan, an Oklahoma City architect talks about the Americans with Disabilities Act. He is disabled and sees the act quite differently than many architects.

  • EEOC files lawsuit against UPS on religious discrimination claims

    BY PAULA BURKES | Updated: Wed, Jul 22, 2015

    Oklahoma City-based firm McAfee and Taft lawyer Nathan Whatley discusses EEOC case filed on the behalf of workers who allege religious discrimination based on their beards, long hair.

  • Let's respect the civil rights of our nation's largest minority

    Paula Burkes Business Writer   | Updated: Wed, Jul 22, 2015

    Whether its avoiding use of wheelchair-accessible restroom stalls or carefully choosing words to describe people, advocates say being respectful to people with disabilities makes all the difference.

  • Proliferation of mobile devices complicates overtime pay issues

    BY PAULA BURKES | Updated: Tue, Jul 21, 2015

    Cori H. Loomis of Christensen Law Group discusses the consequences of employees' use of technology outside of work.

  • Executive Q&A: No obstacle too high for lifelong disability advocate now helping others in Oklahoma

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer | Updated: Mon, Jul 20, 2015

    The son of Spanish-speaking farmhands, Joe Cordova, chief of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, overcame much more than inherited blindness to build a career in helping disabled individuals work and live independently.