Cenergy International Services Sued for Unpaid Back Wages
This claim to recover unpaid back wages for overtime was filed on behalf of non-salaried oil and gas workers who had been staffed out by Cenergy to work for Shell Oil. The lead plaintiff worked as an HSE Tech and was classified by the staffing company not as an employee, but as an independent contractor or consultant by its client. He and similar workers were not paid a guaranteed salary for each week worked and were not paid overtime for their hours worked in excess of 40 per week. Rather than a salary, many of these workers were paid a day-rate or hourly, with no time and a-half premium for working overtime.
This case is another example of the wage law and wage theft issues that often arise when workers are “staffed” to other companies by staffing agencies. The trend over many years has been for companies to outsource using staffing agencies to control costs and limit liability. A consequence of this trend has been an increase in the number of wage cases brought against both the staffing company and their client alleging that both are legally liable for any misclassification of workers and failing to comply with state and or federal overtime pay laws.
For more information regarding how to tell if you are an employee or an independent contractor and what you can do if you think your job has been misclassified as exempt from the overtime pay requirements, see – factors involved in the decision to classify a worker as an independent contractor.
This case was combined with another case filed against the same employers by day-rate employees in Pennsylvania in which they not only claimed violation of the federal wage law [Fair Labor Standards Act] but also Pennsylvania state overtime law [the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act].