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Are You One of the Top Five Misclassified Oilfield Jobs?

By   |  Oil & Gas  |  No Comments  |  Posted on July 12, 2017  


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 212,000 workers employed in the oil and gas industry. These employees are part of a growing field that is known for its hard labor and long hours. Unfortunately, many of these workers are denied payment that federal law entitles them to.

All workers who do not meet specific criteria must be paid an overtime rate of 1.5 times their normal pay if they work more than 40 hours in one week. However, some employs are misclassified in positions that mark them as exempt from this overtime pay. The Fair Labor Standards Act clearly defines what is considered exempt, and simply labeling a worker as exempt does not mean they are not owed overtime wages. One of the most commonly cited exemptions includes administrative roles and supervisory positions. However, if an employee performs the same, repetitive task every day, they are not considered supervisors, no matter their job title, and they must be paid overtime. Many oilfield workers in the U.S. are routinely denied the overtime pay that they are due through misclassification of their roles.

The top 5 Misclassified Oilfield Jobs / positions most likely to suffer oilfield misclassification are:

Drillers: Measuring-While-Drilling (MWD) Drillers, Logging-While-Drilling (LWD) Drillers, and other directional drillers monitor the drilling progress of a site, ensuring that drilling is proceeding in the correct direction. They are often classified as “exempt” from overtime pay, but their daily tasks do not legally fall under the FLSA’s exemptions.

Operators: Crane operators, grease operators, solids operators, coil tubing operators work to control the flow, filtering, and processing of the oil and gas refined at drill sites. Even if these workers are paid on a daily basis, they usually qualify for overtime pay.

Sand coordinators maintain and provide the sand used in fracking and other drilling procedures, and these essential employees are typically entitled to overtime wages.

Engineers: Field engineers, along with mud engineers and others, perform a range of essential roles in an oilfield, from maintaining machinery to monitoring progress. Depending on their role, they may be considered supervisory, but many are mistakenly labeled as such when they do not qualify, and are being denied the overtime pay that they are due.

Technicians: Fluid technicians, mud logging technicians, and other technicians help ensure that machines are properly monitored and performing properly, providing an essential service, but they frequently do not receive their proper compensation for overtime hours.

Seeking Unpaid Overtime Wages with the Help of an Attorney

If you are one of these commonly misclassified oilfield jobs, you could be denied the overtime pay that federal law entitles you to. Even if you have recently changed job titles or been granted overtime pay, you may be entitled to the back wages that you’ve earned. The attorneys of Josephson Dunlap LLP can review your situation and help you determine if you should seek out the wages that you are owed. Contact us today.

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