Overtime violations are on the rise in the oil patch. The Department of Labor has announced that it has launched an “enforcement initiative” on Marcellus Shale contractors that will last for several years. The Marcellus Shale is an oil and gas formation located in New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and West Virginia.
Common violations in the oilfields include:
- Employees being misclassified as independent contractors (and being told they are not entitled to overtime pay based on their incorrect classification);
- Workers being forced to work “off the clock” for traveling between job sites, or for safety meetings or training;
- Day rate pay arrangements that do not satisfy DOL regulations;
- Employees being told they are not due overtime because they are “exempt” (most oilfield workers are not exempt under the FLSA);
- Short-haul, intrastate truckers being paid on a “per load” basis, without additional compensation for 40+ hours;
- Paying “straight time” (i.e. the same hourly rate regardless of the number of hours worked).
The DOL has not announced that it has any similar enforcement initiatives in any of the Texas oil patches, such as the Haynesville Shale (East Texas, including Marshall and Carthage), the Barnett Shale (North Texas, including Fort Worth, Cleburne and Aledo), the Eagle Ford Shale (South Texas, including Victoria, Karnes City, and Beeville) or the Permian Basin (West Texas, including Midland, Odessa, Kermit, Pecos and Andrews). However, private law firms, including the Law Firm of Josh Borsellino, are available to assist oilfield workers with questions about unpaid overtime and can file suit to recover overtime pay.
If you work (or within the past three years have worked) for a driller, oilfield services contractor or other oilfield supply chain company in any of the Texas oil patches, know your legal rights regarding overtime pay – call the Law Firm of Josh Borsellino for a free consultation.
About the Author: I represent individuals in a variety of matters, including employment claims for lost wages. While my office is located in Fort Worth, I am admitted to practice in every state and federal court in Texas, and I am able handle unpaid overtime cases in Midland, Odessa, Pecos, Monahans, Pecos, Big Spring, Lubbock, Tyler, Marshall, Carthage, Fort Worth, Arlington, Grand Prairie, Denton, Alvarado, Burleson, Cleburne, Houston, Waco, Austin, San Antonio, and across Texas. If you believe you may be owed unpaid overtime, call me at 432.242.7118 or 817.908.9861 or fill out my contact form for a free evaluation.