Misclassified Mud Engineers Sue Pioneer and Miller & Associates for Unpaid OT

Pioneer, a leading oil and gas exploration and production company which employs hundreds of Mud Engineers through companies like Miller & Associates, has been sued for unpaid wages. A collective action was filed on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 by Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP alongside Bruckner Burch PLLC on behalf of day rate mud engineers and/or drilling fluid engineers (“Mud Engineers”). This lawsuit seeks to recover overtime compensation for all similarly situated Mud Engineers who have worked on behalf of Pioneer and Miller & Associates in the United States.

Mud Engineers consistently worked more than 40 hours per workweek for these companies without overtime pay. Instead of getting paid overtime as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), Pioneer and Miller & Associates improperly classified these similarly situated Mud Engineers as independent contractors and paid them a daily rate with no overtime compensation. This classification, however, seems highly questionable considering these companies have direct control over Mud Engineers’ day-to- day activities. In this regard, Mud Engineers receive daily instructions and job assignments from Pioneer supervisors as well as have all their reports reviewed by them. Also, Miller & Associates as well as Pioneer provide Mud Engineers with the necessary equipment such as protective gear and uniforms required to do their jobs. Millers & Associates would fully control their work schedule based on Pioneer’s business needs causing Mud Engineers to be wholly economically dependent on these companies. Mud Engineers do not incur operating expenses like rent, payroll, marketing, and insurance. Despite having substantial custody and control over Mud Engineers and being their employer, Pioneer and Millers & Associates misclassified them as independent contractors to avoid paying overtime compensation.

This action is brought on behalf of similarly situated current and former Mud Engineers who elect to opt-in to this action to remedy violations of the wage-and-hour provisions of the FLSA by Pioneer and Millers & Associates that has deprived similarly situated employees of their lawfully earned wages. If you would like more information about this specific matter, feel free to reach us at (212) 300-0375. Additionally, if you work in the oil and gas industry and feel you may be experiencing similar violations at your place of work, you can call us for a free and confidential consultation or view helpful information regarding your rights on our website.

You can also view the filed complaint here.