Schlumberger Tech Corp., one of world’s largest oilfield services, has been accused of failing to pay its oilfield workers the proper wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). A class action lawsuit filed this past Tuesday in Pennsylvania federal court alleges that this subsidiary of Schlumberger Ltd. owes its “Measurement While Drilling” employees wages after not paying them overtime when working over 40 hours per week.
These Measurement While Drilling employees were required to work 12 hours per day, 7 days per week, sometimes for consecutive weeks at a time. Their primary job duties, which are grounded in manual labor, included operating oilfield machinery, collecting/relaying data, and reporting their daily activities to field supervisors for analysis. Currently, Measurement While Drilling employees are paid a base salary plus a day rate. However, the lawsuit alleges that due to the nature of their work and the fact that these positions didn’t require a college education or formal training, they should not be considered exempt from receiving overtime pay. Pursuant to the FLSA, non-exempt employees should be paid time and a half their regular hourly rate for every hour exceeding a 40 hour workweek. The lawsuit is looking to recover back pay, liquidated damages and attorney’s fees.
Unfortunately, companies within the oil industry frequently require their salaried workers to work long hours without overtime pay. Since it is such a common practice, many employees do not even question if they are being paid correctly. If you or anyone you know works in the oilfield industry and has questions or concerns about pay structure, it is important to call an employment lawyer. Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP offers a free phone consultation with one of our experienced attorneys who will help navigate you through your situation. Please call (212) 300 – 0375 or visit fslawfirm.com for more information.