Classification as Independent Contractor While Working in the Oilfield
Overtime pay is not a bonus. It is required by federal law, as dictated in the Fair Labor Standards Act, and this document explains that all must workers must be paid at a rate of 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for any hours more then 40 that are worked in one week. There are a few exemptions to this requirement, but they are carefully listed in the FLSA. An employee’s classification as independent contractor greatly affects his or her rights.
However, many workers in the oil and gas industry are denied the overtime pay that they are rightfully due, with employers citing their status as an independent contractor or a salaried worker as a basis for exemption. Misunderstandings and intentional violations of overtime laws keep many workers from receiving thousands of dollars in overtime payment.
The truth is that the majority of oilfield workers are eligible for overtime pay. Being categorized as a contract worker or paid on a salaried basis does not automatically exclude a worker from overtime, and it is important to demand this pay if you are qualified for it. The U.S. Department of Labor provides an easy-to-read guide to the FLSA’s exemptions, but these exemptions are based on the worker’s job duties, not how they are classified or compensated.
Oilfield jobs with a classification as independent contractor and denied overtime payment can include:
- Coil Tubing Operators
- Crane Operators
- Field Engineers
- Fluid Technicians
- Grease Operators
- LWD Drillers
- Mud Engineers
- Mud Logging Technicians
- MWD Drillers
- Sand Coordinators
- Solids Operators
Seeking Overtime Back Wages with the Help of an Attorney
If you are labeled as an independent contractor or a salaried employee at an oilfield and are denied overtime pay, you could be eligible to seek out your rightful wages. If your employer has denied you what you are legally due, the attorneys of Josephson Dunlap LLP can help you hold them accountable.