The oil and gas industry has been the target of investigations recently into the practices of energy companies who have suspicious wage and hour practices. These practices include the improper classification of employees as independent contractors or as exempt from overtime requirements. For example, recent investigations into Shell Oil Co. (“Shell”) and Motiva Enterprises, LLC (“Motiva”) resulted in a $4 million settlement because more than 2,000 employees did not receive overtime pay for mandatory pre-shift meetings. Similarly, Appalachian Oilfield Services agreed to pay $129,802 to equipment operators who were paid a flat day rate for a 12 hour shift. Any company that violates the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) may be liable for back pay for two to three years, liquidated damages, and attorney’s fees and costs.
If you work in the oil and gas industry and believe you might be owed some overtime hours, you should consult with an attorney to see if your employer complied with the law or whether you may be owed overtime pay.