Case Summary: An overtime pay lawsuit alleging the improper use of a day-rate pay scheme has been filed in California federal court against Chevron Corporation on behalf of a nationwide class of Well Site / Drill Site Managers. While some were classified as employees of Chevron, many of these workers were classified as independent contractors or “consultants”. All were paid according to a day-rate pay scheme that did not include additional overtime pay, at time and a-half, for hours worked in excess of 40 per week, which is mandated in federal and California overtime pay laws. As is typical for many oilfield jobs, these workers were usually scheduled to work 84 or more hours per week on a 2 week on 2 week off rotation. California day rate laws entitle these workers to receive overtime pay for their hours worked in excess of 40 per week. The case seeks to recover unpaid overtime wages on behalf of all current and former workers employed by Chevron as Well Site Manager, Drill Site Manager or similar positions over the past 3 years who: 1) were paid a set daily rate for each day worked (a day-rate) 2) worked over 40 hours per workweek 3) did not receive overtime pay for hours over 40 per week and 4) were classified as either employees, independent contractors or consultants.
The case is brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which covers employees in every U.S. state. The FLSA allows workers who have unlawfully been deprived of proper overtime pay to recover up to double their unpaid back wage along with reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in bringing the case. The statute of limitations under federal law allows for the recovery of wages during the 2 or 3 year period preceding the filing of a lawsuit. Certain states, including California and New York, provide longer statutes of limitations under their state overtime pay laws.
Although the use of a day-rate pay scheme is not prohibited by state or federal wage and hour laws, it does not relieve an employer from the obligation to pay overtime wages to “non-exempt” employees. Most workers who are paid a day-rate do not meet the legal requirements for “exempt” employees – either on the basis of their job duties and/or because they are not paid a guaranteed minimum salary. For more information and a video on how the overtime pay laws apply to day-rate workers and how overtime pay should be calculated for such workers, visit our Overtime Pay Laws for Day Rate Workers page.