How Oil and Gas Companies Try to Avoid Paying Overtime
Workers from across the country trust us, because we know their rights. If they feel that they are not being paid fairly in compliance with overtime laws, we may be able to recoup up to double their unpaid overtime wages. Cases continue to pop up across the country as employees are misclassified as independent contractors. When workers are treated as independent contractors, they often will receive “straight time” wages for every hour they work over 40 per week or a fixed “day rate” regardless of how many hours they work. Federal laws and regulations state that for every hour worked over 40, most employees should be paid time and a half. If you are being misclassified, we will represent you and bring your wages back.
The money that misclassified workers are deprived of can in some cases be astronomical. Many cases will feature an entire group or class of workers who were being paid unfairly. Recently, Oilfield Drilling Equipment & Rig Co. Inc. was investigated by the United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. The department found that the Houston based oilfield company was misclassifying 139 oil field workers as independent contractors. These employees were being denied the fair overtime compensation they legally deserved. Oilfield Drilling Equipment & Rig Co. then agreed to pay $137,788 in back wages. In another oil and gas industry case, The Mud logging Company of Houston agreed to pay over $1.1 million in back overtime wages to 233 employees, trainees, and nonexempt unit managers who had been paid a day rate without an overtime premium for all hours worked over 40 in a single workweek. Despite numerous cases, the mistaken belief that oilfield workers who are paid on a day-rate are not required to be paid overtime is still common in the oil and gas service industry – and costs energy industry workers millions of dollars in hard earned overtime pay.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division brought this case to light, but there are many more similar cases yet to be uncovered. If you believe that you or your coworkers are being paid unfairly, contact us. We can help recoup your overtime pay that was paid as straight pay due to misclassifications of employees as independent contractors. The Fair Labor Standards Act protects you in many ways. We fully understand the Act and will protect you from Oil and Gas companies trying to take advantage of their workers. For a free confidential review of your situation, contact our firm now.