Most jobs in the oil field require the payment of overtime. It does not matter if you are paid by the hour, a salary, a day rate or piece rate. If you are performing manual labor in the oil field you most likely are required to be paid overtime.
A common violation for oil field workers is for the company to put the worker on “salary” thinking they then do not have to pay overtime. This is wrong. The right to overtime depends on the nature of the job you perform, not how you are paid.
Typical jobs in the oil field that require overtime are:
Oil field laborers; electricians; wireline operators; mechanics; roustabouts; oilfield delivery specialists; tool pushers; treating specialists; equipment operators; maintenance technicians; well testers; instrument fitters; rig operators; directional drillers; and pumpers.
Workers in the oil and gas industry are often required to work well in excess of 40 hours a week. While these workers are sometimes paid “overtime,” the overtime rate used by their employers was not properly calculated. These improper calculations prevent employees from receiving thousands of dollars in unpaid wages.
Oil field workers who were paid a bonus, per diem, welding rig pay, truck pay, or any other allowances in addition to their hourly rate, salary or day rate as compensation for their work in the oilfield likely have a claim for unpaid overtime and penalties.
- You may be eligible to receive overtime, even if you are paid a salary. Many oil & gas field workers believe that they are not owed overtime pay because they receive a salary. However, in many cases, your employer is still required to pay you time and half for any hours you work over 40 each week—even if you are paid a salary, per day, or per job.
- Your job title does not dictate your overtime exemption status—your actual day-to-job duties do. Some oil and gas employers attempt to avoid paying overtime by handing out fancy, new job titles in order to exempt employees from overtime pay. In reality, a new job title alone does not change your exemption status. If you suspect this has happened to you, please reach out as soon as possible for a free case review.
- You should be appropriately compensated for the time you spend on the job. If you are not paid for your daily travel time between jobsites, or if you end up performing job duties before you clock in or after you clock out, you may be owed unpaid wages and overtime.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) is the federal statute that determines how employees are to be paid in the oilfield. The FLSA requires that employees who work more than forty hours in a workweek are paid at one and one-half times their “regular rate” of pay. 29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1). The FLSA defines “regular rate” as the rate actually paid to the employee, inclusive of all remuneration received by the employee. 29 U.S.C. § 207(e). This means that all compensation an individual receives for the work they perform each week—inclusive of bonuses, per diems, welding rig pay, truck pay or any other compensation, must be included in determining the employees overtime rate.
Employers of oil field workers frequently fail to include all of the compensation employees receive when they calculate their overtime rate. This illegal practice results in an artificially low overtime rate, which denies the employee all of the wages they are due at the proper overtime rate. This simple mistake can cost employees tens of thousands of dollars each year in unpaid wages.
If you are not receiving overtime pay at 1 1/2 your hourly rate, contact me to discuss your case.