Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, hydrofracking, or hydrofracturing, is a technique employed by natural gas and oil companies to extract natural gas and oil. Fracking is an alternative to the conventional method of drilling for oil and gas. There are over 300,000 fracking wells in the United States that pump approximately 4.3 million barrels of oil per day. However, in recent years, fracking has come under scrutiny due to health concerns and increased earthquake risk caused by the wastewater produced during the fracking process.
Unfortunately, workers in the fracking industry are often subjected to safety and health risks, such as silica chemical exposure that may lead to what workers call “frack hack.” In addition to the health risks fracking workers take, fracking companies often pay their workers improperly. Fracking workers often do not criticize how they are paid because their pay structures have been established in the oil and gas industry for years.
Fracking workers, and workers in the oil and gas industry in general, are often required to work over 100 hours per week. However, fracking companies often fail to pay their workers overtime compensation, and when they do pay overtime compensation, the rate of pay may be miscalculated. Fracking workers are entitled to overtime, which should be calculated at time and one half their hourly rate. For example, fracking companies may pay its workers in the following incorrect ways:
Additionally, many workers in jobs related to the fracking industry may have been subjected to pay violations. For example, CDL Drivers, Mechanics, and Laborers at Waste Management companies who handle or transport fracking waste are often improperly compensated. Recruiters at staffing agencies who recruit workers for fracking jobs are often subjected to misclassification or other overtime violations.
Fracking jobs that often are not paid correctly include:
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), workers must be paid overtime when working over 40 hours per week. Workers in the fracking industry are frequently required to work well beyond 40 hours per week, as such these workers have protections under the law. While companies are free to require workers to work over 40 hours, the law requires them to pay workers overtime compensation at time and one half their regular rate of pay for every hour worked above 40 per week.
If you are a current or former employee in the fracking industry and are unsure about your pay structure, please call the experienced employment attorneys at Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP, for a free phone consultation. Our attorneys will address your concerns and discuss whether you have a wage claim. You can reach our attorneys at (212) 300-0375, and you can visit our website fslawfirm.com for more information.
Historically, fracking has been a big industry in New York (NY) and Pennsylvania (PA) due to the states’ position on the Marcellus Shale and the Utica Shale. In 2015, Governor Cuomo announced a complete ban on fracking in New York State. However, if you held a fracking job in New York previously, you may still be eligible to bring a claim. Since the law limits the time you have to bring your claim, contact us immediately for a free consultation.
Previously, fracking had opened up many jobs for workers in both Pennsylvania and New York. Currently, certain Pennsylvania counties are especially saturated with drilling operations, and fracking jobs, such as, Washington, Bradford, Susquehanna, Greene, Lycoming, Tioga, Butler, Fayette, Westmoreland, Wyoming, and Armstrong.
Fracking companies use deep injection sites to dispose of waste water produced during the fracking process. Deep injection sites are located in Pennsylvania’s Erie County, Warren County, Beaver County, Clearfield County, and Somerset County. Fracking waste disposal sites in New York State are located in Allegany, Chemung, Steuben, Seneca, Niagara and Onondaga counties.
Often fracking waste produced at Pennsylvania drilling sites is transported to these New York State sites for disposal. Current and former employees for companies related to the fracking industry, who have questions about their pay should contact Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP, (212) 300-0375.
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