The oil and gas industry is still booming with job opportunities seen throughout the exploration and production of the Permian Basin and the Bakken, Eagle Ford and Marcellus shale formations which has positively affected local economies by creating thousands of jobs. However, the way that the majority of these workers are getting paid has left much room for improvement. It is very common throughout these industries to get paid a day rate which includes pay for all of their hours worked in a day. Although this form of structuring pay can be legal, if an employee is working over 40 hours a week they must be properly compensated for their overtime hours. Unfortunately, it has come to light that these oilfield workers are often denied their overtime pay. A common tactic used within the industry to avoid paying overtime is to pay workers by the mile, by the foot, a per diem rate, a day rate or a set salary. Many of the employees that fill these jobs routinely work long arduous hours and are unaware that they end up being paid much less than what federal and state overtime laws require.
In order to combat these alleged violations many day rate workers in the oil and gas industry have launched investigations and class action overtime lawsuits against several oil field companies. Many of the findings and results have been favorable for these hard working employees and has facilitated them becoming more aware of their rights within the industry.
When working over 40 hours in a week, oil field workers are entitled to receive overtime pay despite the industries long standing practice of not compensating workers for it. It may seem daunting to speak out against a major corporation and request that they change what they deem to be standard pay within the industry, but the law sides with the workers.
Even though overtime lawsuits in the oil field have become more prevalent across the country, many workers are still unaware that their rights are being violated under the law, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). To have a better understanding of what type of positions in the industry may be affected, please see the list below:
Many of these investigations that were launched through the Department of Labor (DOL) or lawsuits that were filed with labor law firms have had great results for these overworked and undercompensated employees. Many workers have been paid out damages to help cover their unpaid wages, more specifically their overtime pay when working over 40 hours per week. Some notable cases that have had favorable results for oil and gas workers are:
Unfortunately, it is still all too common for even the largest corporations in the industry to violate the FLSA by incorrectly classifying oil field workers as exempt from receiving overtime pay. If you are unsure about being classified correctly in this industry, it is always a good idea to consult with an employment attorney to see what wages you are actually entitled to receive. Since there a strict time limits to which you can bring your claims, it is recommended that you do so as soon as possible.
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