WellBenders Directional Services Owes MWD and LWD Operators Unpaid Wages
Despite working long hours filled with physical labor and logging well over 40 hours a week, many oil and gas industry employees are denied their rightfully due wages and suffer the loss of unpaid wages. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that workers are paid at a rate of 1.5 times their normal pay for any overtime hours, but some exemptions are listed. Workers may believe that this does not apply to them, but many have been misclassified by their employer and should be compensated for their extra hours worked.
WellBenders Held Accountable for Misclassified Workers
One such company that has denied its workers their rightful wages is WellBenders, a thriving company based in Houston, Texas that provides directional drilling services across the U.S. At WellBenders, workers such as MWD loggers, LWD drillers, operators, and engineers use a variety of technology to obtain geometric data and establish drilling plans for oil fields. In this capacity, many of their workers pull 90 or more hours in one week, often made up of daily shifts in excess of 12 hours. Outside of the Texas fields, WellBenders has operated in Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and a number of other states, establishing a multi-million dollar operation.
Are WellBender Operators Exempt from Overtime?
A group of operators has filed suit against WellBenders for failing to pay them their rightfully due overtime wages, as required by FLSA guidelines. Operators typically do not hold a higher education degree and they use tools, hard hats, and other equipment to perform manual labor, such as operating the MWD machinery.
According to this job description, operators are not exempt from overtime pay. They have little to no influence over their daily activities and are considered blue-collar workers, which are not exempt from overtime. Operators at WellBenders, like many other roles in oilfield positions, are compensated through a base salary and a daily field bonus. Their overtime pay should have been calculated as 1.5 times their regular rate of pay, which includes both their salary and bonus.
What Can Operators do to Recover Their Wages? Hire Lawyers For Unpaid Wages.
With WellBenders aware that operators and other workers were completing over 40 hours of work on a regular basis, they chose to disregard the federal requirement for overtime wages. Based on this action, a collective action has been brought against the company, seeking compensation for the unpaid wages. As a collective action, rather than a class action, workers must opt-in to the claim in order to receive payment. All operators employed by WellBenders during the past three years may qualify for compensation and should contact a lawyer immediately. If you have worked in this capacity, or a similar role in the oil industry, you could be owed thousands in unpaid overtime wages.