There is no shortage of work these days for the oil and gas companies involved in exploration and production in the Marcellus, Eagle Ford and Bakken shale formations. The good news is that all of this activity has created thousands of oil field jobs and had a ripple effect throughout the local economies. The bad news is that many workers who fill these jobs, that almost always demand putting in long hours, are being paid significantly less than what is required under federal and state overtime pay laws.
While a few oil field service workers are now increasingly becoming aware of their overtime pay rights, in most cases, workers do not realize that their wage and hour rights are being violated – depriving them of additional pay and unjustly enriching their employers. Increased awareness has been created by a number of overtime wage investigations and claims being brought against a variety of companies involved in the process of drilling for oil and gas, including:
- hydraulic fracturing / fracking
- coiled tubing
- well cementing
- computerized mud logging
- electronic well data acquisition
- computerized gas monitoring
- digital mud sample pictures
- well site security
One notable case involves fracking operators who claim that Calfrac Well Services didn‘t pay operators for all the hours they worked, didn‘t keep accurate time sheets and didn‘t pay overtime at time-and-a-half as required by state and federal wage laws when they worked in excess of 40 hours per week. In a prior case, The Mud logging Company was investigated for failing to pay overtime to its employees who were paid on a day rate and ultimately entered into an agreement to pay over $1,100,000.00 in back overtime wages to 233 day-rate employees. Additionally, both state and federal departments of labor have launched investigations into whether oil and gas companies routinely misclassify employees as independent contractors to avoid paying unemployment insurance, overtime and workers’ compensation premiums. Despite all of this, many in the oil and gas services industry still mistakenly believe that they can treat many employees as “independent contractors” and that oilfield workers who are paid on a day-rate are not required to be paid overtime for hours worked in excess of forty per week.
If you believe that you and your coworkers are being unfairly denied overtime compensation, contact us. There are strict time limits on bringing these claims under federal and some state laws. We can help recover your overtime pay that was paid as straight pay due to misclassification as an independent contractor or an improper day rate pay scheme. For a free confidential review of your situation, contact the Lore Law Firm now.