DOL Reaches Unpaid Overtime Settlement with Oil and Gas Company
The Department of Labor recently announced that it had reached an unpaid overtime settlement with an oil and gas company. Under the settlement, the company, Groundwater and Environmental Services Inc., doing business as GES, will pay $187,165 in back wages to 69 employees. The DOL found that the company had violated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s unpaid overtime provisions by misclassifying nonexempt employees as exempt from overtime pay. The DOL also found that the company had paid employees straight time for all hours worked instead of the one and a half time required by the FLSA for each hour more than forty per week. The DOL also concluded that the company failed to keep accurate records of its oil and gas employees’ hours worked, as required by the FLSA.
Unpaid overtime issues, such as misclassification of non-exempt employees, and payment of straight time for all hours worked, are common in the oil and gas industry. Oilfield workers are often required to work long hours, only to be told that they are not eligible for overtime or that they are only required to be paid straight time (i.e. the same hourly rate regardless of the number of hours worked). This is not true – while oil and gas companies can require their employees to work more than forty hours per week, they are required by law to pay their non-exempt employees one and a half times their hourly rate for every hour in excess of forty per week.
While the oil and gas company at issue in this case was involved in the Marcellus shale, there is no question that many employees working for other oil and gas companies in the Barnett, Eagle Ford and Haynesville shale, and across Texas, are being shorted on overtime pay. Many oil and gas employees impacted by these overtime pay practices work in the major U.S. shale gas plays in Texas and the surrounding states, primarily, the Barnett Shale (Fort Worth, Texas, and the surrounding areas), the Fayetteville Shale (Arkansas), Haynesville Shale (North Louisiana, North Texas, and South Arkansas) and Eagle Ford Shale (South Texas from Laredo to Houston to San Antonio).
For more details of the DOL’s unpaid overtime settlement with a company in the oil and gas industry, click here.
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 Dallas, Fort Worth, Denton, Houston, Waco, Austin, San Antonio, and across Texas. If you believe you may be owed unpaid overtime, call me at 817.908.9861 or fill out my contact form for a free evaluation.