Shell Oil Co. And Motiva Enterprises Must “Shell” Out Over $4 Million Dollars For Unpaid Overtime: Are You Being Fairly Compensated For All Time Worked?

Shell Oil Co. and Motiva Enterprises LLC, agreed to pay $4,470,764 in back pay to current and former chemical and refinery employees. This agreement came after an investigation by the United States Department of Labor. Investigators found that both companies violated provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Specifics of the Investigation

The Wage and Hour division of the Department of Labor investigated eight Shell and Motiva facilities. The facilities investigated were located in Alabama, California, Louisiana, Texas, and Washington. The investigation revealed that both Shell and Motiva violated the FLSA by not paying employees for mandatory pre-shift meetings. In addition, investigators found that the companies did not properly record the time spent at these pre-shift meetings. Employers must pay employees for all time worked. Since the companies did not compensate workers for attending these pre-shift meetings, which employees were required to attend, the employees were not paid for all time worked, which violates the FLSA.

Shell is ranked number twelve on The World’s Most In-Demand Employers: 2014 list. Even esteemed large employers can subject employees to wage theft. Workers have sued various oilfield companies claiming FLSA violations. B.P., FracTech, Moody International, Baker Hughes, Schlumberger, ENGlobal and WellsCo are some of the companies that workers have sued. The FLSA seeks to protect employees from wage theft and allows for recovery of up to double the unpaid overtime wages

The Department of Labor’s website states that, “[a]ll employees of certain enterprises having workers engaged in interstate commerce, producing goods for interstate commerce, or handling, selling, or otherwise working on goods or materials that have been moved in or produced for such commerce by any person, are covered by the FLSA.” The FLSA is a federal law that establishes minimum wage and overtime pay standards. This law applies to all nonexempt employees, regardless of the state in which they work. While some states have their own overtime pay laws that offer greater rights to employees, the federal law sets the minimum legal requirements.

Nonexempt Employees

A nonexempt employee is an employee whose job duties and responsibilities do not fall under one of the specific exemptions from overtime pay provided by law. Such nonexempt employees include almost all hourly paid workers, most day rate or piece rate workers and even some salaried workers. All employers must classify workers as either exempt or nonexempt. Typically, exempt employees are supervisory, executive, professional or outside sales employees. Check with your human resources department if you are unsure about the employment classification of your position. Employers covered under the FLSA must comply with the all provisions of the act.

If you have experienced wage theft then you, as an employee, need an attorney that can navigate this complex area of the law. If you answer NO to any of the following questions you may have an overtime wage claim under the FLSA:

  • Are you being compensated at least one and one-half times your regular pay rate for working more than forty hours per week?
  • Are you being paid for all of the hours that your employer requires you to work?

If you have questions regarding wage laws, contact one of our experienced wage and hour attorneys today. This is a complex area of the law. You need someone who can advocate for your interests and get results. At we have extensive experience representing employees in various wage and hour disputes. Call us today at 866-559-0400 to get a free and confidential consultation.

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