Fracking, Earthquakes and Overtime Pay

The earth isn’t the only thing getting shaken by the companies engaged in fracking – so are workers who are deprived of their proper pay for the many hours of overtime they put in servicing and running fracking operations. Fracking activity is claimed to be linked to over 100 small quakes in Ohio. The claimed culprit is a wastewater disposal well in another fracking hot spot, Pennsylvania. While wells undergoing hydraulic fracturing are engineered to have high pressure, wastewater disposal wells are not. When the pressure gets too high in disposal wells, the rock can move causing earthquakes. Workers who put in long hours doing hard work in the oil and gas fields also quake when they come to the realization that they have been illegally denied significant amounts of overtime pay. Their anger and frustration really peaks when they often learn that the time limit (statute of limitations) for bringing a claim to recover unpaid overtime has largely, or entirely, passed. Under federal law, the statute of limitations for overtime pay claims is 2 years (potentially 3). Ignorance, confusion or misinformation is not a legal excuse. Even though pay practices such as straight time for overtime and payment of a day-rate with no overtime have been common for decades in the energy services industry, and until lately have gone largely unquestioned, things are changing. In recent years a number of overtime pay lawsuits have been brought on behalf of a variety of oil and gas workers, including top drive technicians, mud loggers, inspectors, operators, tankermen and others to recoup what is often tens of thousands of dollars in back overtime (individual recoveries of $10,000-$20,000 are not uncommon). These lawsuits and the participation of workers in these cases has helped to inform and raise awareness among the employees of oil and gas service companies. Once they have some understanding of their right to receive overtime pay, employees are equipped to question the often unlawful pay schemes in which they are paid a day rate or straight time for overtime and then do something about it. Because of the strict time limits that apply to claims to recover unpaid overtime, procrastination can be costly. Do not rely on your boss or Human Resources for this critical information. If you have any doubts as to your entitlement to overtime, contact the overtime pay experts at The Lore Law Firm for a free and confidential review. Call 1-866-559-0400, email [email protected] or submit your information using our convenient Case Evaluation form for a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL review of your circumstances, because time is money.
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