Texas Overtime Laws: Water and Overtime Pay – Run Short in Texas Drilling Hot Spots

All those drill sites running 24/7 in the Permian Basin demand a lot of water…and overtime hours. Both of these are a serious problem confronting the oil and gas industry players engaged in hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”).

The water supply problem is illustrated by the story of Barnhart, Texas located in the Permian Basin, a hot bed of drilling activity, whose main city water well ran dry. Hydrofracking, which uses over one million gallons of water per well, and the influx of new residents working in the oil and gas business are the cause.

The “shortage” of overtime pay is illustrated by the slew of recent lawsuits filed against companies involved in almost every aspect of the drilling and fracking process seeking to recover millions of dollars in unpaid back overtime for Texas oilfield workers, including general laborers, top drive technicians, mud loggers, rig monitors, inspectors, operators, tankermen and others. In many cases, these claims involve the longstanding but often illegal pay schemes in which workers are paid a set day rate with no additional pay for overtime or the same hourly rate (straight time) for hours worked past 40 per week.

Because these schemes have been around for so long, workers tend to think that it must be legal – realizing too late that they have been short-changed. For workers in Texas, the statute of limitations under Texas overtime laws for filing overtime pay claims is 2 years (under some circumstances 3 years). However, this does not mean that one can wait until the last minute to file a claim because the time limit is actually a look back period that goes back in time (2 or 3 years) from the date a lawsuit is filed.

Because of the strict time limits imposed by both Texas overtime laws and Federal law, 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 under the federal or Texas overtime laws, contact the overtime pay experts at The Lore Law Firm for a free and confidential review. Call 1-866-559-0400, email mlore@overtime-flsa.com or submit your information using our convenient Case Evaluation form for a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL review of your circumstances, because time is money.

Fill out our quick case evaluation form for a free and confidential review of your situation.