Weatherford Misclassified and Underpaid Directional Drillers

By   |  Oil & Gas  |  No Comments  |  Posted on November 14, 2014  

Weatherford International operates as one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world. With operations in over 100 countries, the company employs over 60,000 people, with its operational office located in Houston, Texas. Among these workers are hundreds of directional drillers, including Logging While Drilling (LWD) and Measurement While Drilling (MWD) employees. These roles include long workweeks, often keeping drillers for 84 hours in one week. Many of these workers have been paid on the basis of a salary and a day rate for years, and they have been consistently denied overtime wages on the grounds that they are exempt.

Overtime Pay is Required for Many Employees

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, all employees must be compensated at a rate of 1.5 times their normal pay per hour if they perform more than 40 hours of work in one week. Very limited exemptions apply, including those in a managerial position. However, to be classified as an exempt position, certain aspects of the job must exist. Specifically, a worker must have a certain amount of influence over their daily activities. For instance, the supervisor of a department store will get to decide how to run the store and what his tasks are for the day. This kind of independence is grounds for exemption under the FLSA.

However, directional drillers generally do not have control over their daily tasks. When working for companies such as Weatherford, they physically and manually operate equipment to drill unusual or horizontal wells, but they must do this in strict adherence to a well plan, which is provided by an Operator, “Company Man”, or other supervisor. The routine, daily actions and required adherence to guidelines given by their supervisors denotes that directional drillers do not meet the FLSA’s requirements for exemption to overtime wages.

Directional Drillers Claims Against Weatherford International

A collective action claim for unpaid overtime wages has already been filed with the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas to regain the payment that is due to the many directional drillers employed by Weatherford. If the claim is successful, the company may be held responsible for thousands of dollars in unpaid overtime wages that are owed to its directional drillers. As a collective action complaint, directional drillers who have been denied overtime payment by Weatherford can choose to opt-in to the claim, agreeing that they wish to be part of the suit.

Any current and former directional drillers employed by Weatherford during the past 3 years may qualify for compensation and should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. The attorneys of Josephson Dunlap LLP have helped workers employed in oilfields across America to seek compensation for the unpaid overtime wages that they are rightfully due, and they can help you seek out your rightful payment.

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