Millions of U.S. workers in a number of industries fall victim to employers who fail to comply with federal and state wage and hour laws. Unfortunately, it is particularly common in the oilfield industry.
Oilfield jobs are flourishing across the country, but particularly in Texas and Louisiana, thanks in part to fracking. Since 2002, exploring and natural gas deposits in shale, followed by oil drilling, has created more than 1 million of the 2.7 million new jobs nationally according Moody’s Analytics. And an IHS Global Insight report predicts fracking alone will directly support 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade. Unfortunately, this also means that with the increase in oilfield work comes an increase in the abuse of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) within the industry.
To avoid paying overtime, sometimes oilfield employers will misclassify workers as salaried employees so they can work more than 40 hours without being compensated. If you work more than 40 hours per week, regardless of whether you are labeled or paid as a salaried employee, you may be eligible for overtime. Read more here.
Some oilfield companies employ Daily Rate workers who commonly work over 80 hours per week, but do not pay these workers overtime. Companies violate overtime pay laws by paying workers a flat day rate, regardless of the amount of overtime worked; or, they pay the workers “straight time” for overtime (they receive their normal hourly rate even for overtime hours). Read more here.
Misclassification as an independent contractor is another disturbing and common practice within the oilfield industry. Employers misclassify workers as independent contracts to skirt paying employees full compensation. Read more here.
Oilfield employees have certain tasks that must be performed before they can begin or finish their job, including driving to the job site, donning, doffing, and/or cleaning safety equipment or gear. Some oilfield employers try to avoid paying wages for this time, claiming that it is “off the clock” or will alter your time sheets, both of which are illegal. Read more here.
Sometimes, employers intentionally fail to compensate hourly oilfield workers for overtime worked, by improperly and illegally paying per diems and truck pay instead of wages. Read more here.
Oilfield companies knowingly underreport hours to avoid paying overtime to oilfield workers. This is illegal and oilfield workers who have fallen victim are entitled to recover an amount equal to their unpaid overtime wages for the last 2-3 years. Read more here.
Salaried/Hourly/Day Rate Oilfield Workers
If you have not been compensated for your time correctly, contact an Oilfield Claims Attorney. We can help you receive the back wages that you have already earned but not yet been paid. If your employer does not pay you to attend meetings or training or while you are traveling to and from your offshore worksite, you may be eligible for back wages.