Oil and gas workers of a major Canadian based energy company have settled a lawsuit for overtime claims in Colorado. The Canadian company, Ensign Energy service, was accused of wrongfully classifying these oil and gas workers as salaried employees. Even though the company can pay these types of workers a salary, their job duties must keep them exempt them from receiving overtime pay. In this situation, the oil and gas workers were being paid a salary, but their job duties were argued as not meeting the exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Their duties during the fracking process was to measure while drilling on wells north and east of Denver and were allegedly eligible to receive overtime wages when working over 40 hours per week .
The workers were awarded nearly $2 million after about a year in a settlement once a federal judge in Denver approved the agreement. Of about 60 workers eligible to participate within the three year statute, about half chose to opt into the collective action lawsuit and will be receiving their portion of the pay from the settlement. The FLSA is clear in requiring employers to pay eligible employees at least time and one half their normal rate of pay when working over 40 hours in a 7 day work week.
Oil and gas workers are often paid either a salary or are classified as an independent contractor. Both are common tactics used by companies to possibly willfully cut costs and avoid paying overtime. Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP consistently fights for the rights of workers like those in the oil and gas industry who often work tirelessly consecutive weeks in a row. If you or a loved one is unsure about being paid properly for hours worked, please do not hesitate to call our firm for a free phone consultation at (212) 300-0375. Fitapelli & Schaffer has notable experience successfully recovering unpaid wages for employees in many different industries. For more information about our practice please visit our website.