Texas Oilfield Worker Overtime Lawyer
Oil and gas field workers often find that their employers failed to pay overtime, despite working over 40 hours per week. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the national law stating that non-exempt employees who work more than 40 hours in a week are legally entitled to receive time and a half pay for overtime hours. Oil and gas employers often break this law to avoid paying overtime. If this has happened to you and you need sound legal help, reach out to a seasoned Texas oilfield worker overtime lawyer at Ross • Scalise Law Group.
Should I Get Overtime Pay?
If you’re an oil and gas field worker, you may be paid on a day-rate or salary basis. Many employers mistakenly believe that all day-rate or salaried employees are exempt from overtime pay. Employers who illegally fail to pay these workers overtime may be responsible for paying what they owe to employees for past unpaid overtime, and also for paying other liquidated and compensatory damages.
As a day-rate worker in the oil and gas industry, you’re entitled to receive at least time and one-half pay for every hour of overtime you work. Even if you’re paid well beyond minimum wage per hour, you aren’t exempt from overtime pay. Be wary if your employer claims that you’re an exemption to overtime. Always consult with an employment law attorney to determine whether or not your employment falls under an FLSA exemption.
Oil and Gas Field Overtime Violations in Texas
Aside from erroneously believing oil and gas field workers are exempt from receiving overtime pay, employers may be guilty of blatant overtime violations. Employers often avoid paying the right overtime rate by failing to include non-discretionary bonuses. Oil and field workers regularly benefit from field, production, safety, and attendance bonuses on top of their regular pay rate for the day. If a company ignores this compensation during payroll, it can result in a major overtime violation.
Another common way in which oil and gas companies shortchange their workers is by misclassifying workers as independent contractors. Independent contractors are not employees and the FLSA only covers employees. Some oil companies misclassify workers with special skills as “freelance” workers instead of regular employees to avoid paying overtime.
If your company says that you are an independent contractor, it could be wrong. Talk to a Texas oilfield worker overtime lawyer to find out what your employment status is within a company. Other examples of oil and gas field overtime violations involve more blatant payroll discrepancies, such as intentionally failing to include overtime hours on a paycheck, docking time for short breaks, automatically deducting time for meal breaks not taken, failing to pay work-related travel, and other ways of shorting employees on overtime pay.
How to File a Claim as an Underpaid Oil and Gas Field Worker
If you believe your employer is shorting you on your overtime pay – either unintentionally or on purpose – you can take legal action against them without fear of retaliation. Federal laws make it illegal for a company to retaliate against an employee who speaks out about illegal pay.
If your employer fails to pay you overtime, you may have the right to make a claim for the money you should have been paid and for liquidated damages and attorney fees and costs. With a competent Texas oilfield worker overtime attorney on your side, you have a good chance of receiving the wages you are rightfully owed.
To file a claim against your employer for failure to pay you overtime, contact Ross • Scalise Law Group to get in touch with a skilled lawyer. Our employment attorneys can help you understand your rights as an oil and gas field worker and help you seek fair compensation.