Four federal lawsuits have been filed against Energy First Engineering & Consulting, LLC (“Energy First”) within the past year. Each of these lawsuits alleges that Energy First violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, by misclassifying its workers as independent contractors and denying them overtime pay. Energy First is an oil and gas staffing company that provides personnel categorized as supervisors, consultants, or helpers to oil and gas companies.
Unfortunately, the lawsuits against Energy First illustrate an ongoing trend in the oil and gas industry. Many oil and gas producers and service companies are outsourcing their labor through “consulting” or “staffing” firms in an attempt to circumvent federal overtime pay laws. Consulting firms that contract with these oil and gas companies in turn hire workers as independent contractors and pay them a day rate or flat hourly rate, and do not pay their workers overtime for each hour worked above forty. In such cases, the issue is whether the workers truly are independent contractors or are instead employees, in which case they must be paid overtime unless they are otherwise exempt from overtime pay. Most field workers are not subject to any exemptions under the FLSA.
If you or a family member or friend have worked as an independent contractor or consultant for an oil and gas company within the past three years, you may have a claim for unpaid overtime, and you should consult with an experienced overtime pay attorney to discuss your legal rights. Josh Borsellino is a Texas attorney that represents workers in claims for unpaid overtime. For a free consultation regarding your overtime pay questions, call Josh at 817.908.9861 or 432.242.7118 or complete this free form. For more information regarding overtime pay violations in the oilfields, feel free to visit our firm’s other website, oilfieldovertime.com.