Overtime Pay Laws for Gas and Oil Jobs
Field Operators, Field Specialists, Closed Loop Operators, Pipeline Inspectors & Service Supervisors
Over the past several years, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against oilfield service companies, their subcontractors and staffing agencies, by workers seeking to recover unpaid back overtime pay. These claims have focused primarily on workers who were paid a day-rate or hourly with straight time for overtime – although certain salaried workers will also have valid claims. Claims for unpaid overtime are still being investigated on behalf of these and similar workers throughout the oilfield services industry. The following are a few of the oil and gas industry jobs that are being investigated for potential wage and hour law violations:
Oilfield and gas technical services workers are often required to work well over 40 hours a week, frequently over 100 hours per week, but are not paid overtime compensation as required by federal labor laws for this mandatory overtime work. While The Fair Labor Standards Act does not prohibit the energy service companies from forcing their employees to work large amounts of overtime, it does require that they pay overtime to non-exempt hourly, day rate and salaried employees who work more than 40 hours per week at a rate equal to one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay. Being forced to work long hours can also result in worker fatigue and an increase in serious injuries to oilfield employees.
One issue involved in some of these cases is whether the day-rate method of paying employees met the standards required by federal labor law. Where employees’ wages are reduced when the employee worked less than a full day, courts have found that an employer did not have a valid day-rate plan and therefore their failure to pay employees for time worked beyond forty hours per week violated the wage and hour laws. In the lawsuit filed against ENGlobal, the plaintiffs assert violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by failing to pay its field service workers, who are paid using a day rate system, overtime when they work more than 40 hours in a week. While an employer is permitted to pay non-exempt employees on day rate basis, it must still pay such employees overtime compensation pay for hours worked in excess of 40 per week.
Many drilling related employees impacted by these industry wide compensation pay practices work in the major U.S. shale gas plays, namely, Barnett Shale (Texas), Fayetteville Shale (Arkansas), Bakken Shale (Montana, North Dakota and Montana), Haynesville Shale (North Louisiana, North Texas, and South Arkansas), Marcellous Shale (Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, and Ohio), Woodford Shale (Oklahoma), Cotton Valley (North Texas and North Louisiana), Eagle Ford Shale (South Texas from Laredo to Houston), Niobrara Shale (Denver – Julesburg Basin in North Colorado, South Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas), Utica Shale (North New York State), and Piceance-Uinta (North Utah and North Colorado).
If you are a current or former oil and gas worker and believe that you may have a wage laws claim or would like to get more information, please call us at 1-866-559-0400, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or submit your information using our convenient Case Evaluation form for a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL review of your circumstances.