DR Well Site Services, LLC Case Summary

Case Summary: A lawsuit to recover unpaid overtime wages has been filed by Solids Control Technicians employed by DR Well Site Services. These technicians were typically scheduled to work 84 (or more) hours per week. The claims are based on DR’s practice of hiring Solids Control Technicians as independent contractors and use of a day-rate pay scheme that did not include overtime compensation for hours worked in excess of 40 per week. The lawsuit, brought pursuant to both federal wage laws and the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA), asserts that the company controlled all aspects of technician’s daily jobs, required them to complete specific paper work and comply with strict policies and procedures. Given the degree of control maintained over the manner, means and methods of work being done, the workers assert that they were misclassified as independent contractors when they should have been classified as non-exempt employees – and paid overtime. One of the primary factors that distinguishes a true independent contractor from an employee is the amount of control and the right to control the details of how a job gets done. True independent contractors are not covered by the overtime laws that protect employees – meaning they are not legally entitled to overtime pay. Avoiding the legal requirement to pay time and a-half for all overtime hours is what provides the main economic incentive for companies to misclassify employees as independent contractors. Additional motivation is provided by not having to provide independent contractors with benefits and/or pay employer side payroll taxes. Not having to pay overtime, benefits and payroll taxes saves a company a tremendous amount of money, often allowing it to undercut and gain an unfair advantage over competitors who comply with the law and properly classify workers as employees. The lawsuit is on file in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania as a class / collective action. Damages sought include back unpaid overtime wages, prejudgment interest, double damages on federal law claims and attorneys’ fees.
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