It is common for oil companies and oilfield workers to wrongly assume that just because an employee is paid a salary or a day rate, then that employee is not entitled to overtime. This is what employers often wrongly refer to as salary-exempt or overtime exempt. As a general rule, every employee must be paid an overtime rate for the hours an employee works beyond forty (40) hours in a single work week. It is the employer’s burden to show that an employee is “overtime exempt” and not entitled to overtime.
1) Illegally Paying Oilfield Workers a fixed salary, day-rate, job-rate, or other fixed rate without paying overtime
Employees and employers, both, may be surprised to learn that overtime pay is more than just about whether an employee is paid a salary, day rate, per job rate, or other piecemeal rate. Many of the overtime exemptions (with a few exceptions) require that the employee meet three tests in order to be overtime exempt: 1) Salary Level Test; 2) Salary Basis Test; 3) Job Duties Test.
Whether you are paid a salary, day rate, or other non-hourly wage, most oilfield workers are entitled to receive overtime pay after working 40 hours. However, oil companies commonly pay oilfield workers a flat-rate, day-rate, or other non-hourly wage to illegally avoid paying oil field workers overtime. To learn more about federal overtime laws, give our overtime attorneys a call to discuss.
2) Misclassifying Oilfield Workers as Independent Contractors
Oil companies intentionally misclassify oil field workers as independent contractors to save avoid paying employment taxes and to avoid paying overtime. However, if your employer treats you like an employee, but has classified you as an independent contractor, you may be entitled to additional wages even if you signed a Form-1099 or an agreement stating that you are an independent contractor. To learn more about whether you were misclassified see our page on Independent Contractors. Whether an employee is in fact an employee and not an independent contractor is a question that can only be deciphered with legal consultation. Give our overtime attorneys a call today to discuss: 817-479-9229.
3) Improperly Calculating Oil Field Workers’ Overtime
If your employer pays you a bonus or incentive pay, then you may be entitled to additional compensation for your overtime hours. Performance bonuses and incentive pay must be included in the regular rate for purposes of calculating the overtime rate. Most oil companies fail to pay the correct overtime rate when an employee receives bonuses.
4) Paying Oil Field Workers Straight Time for Hours over 40 in a week
Oil companies will pay “straight time” to their oilfield employees – meaning oil companies pay the same hourly rate for every hour worked including hours over 40 in a week. If you work for an oil company that does not pay an overtime premium for hours over forty in a workweek, you may be entitled to recover substantial back pay. Call our overtime attorneys today to learn more.
5) Misclassifying Oilfield Workers as Salary-Exempt
Oil companies will attempt to pay oil field workers a salary and call them “salary-exempt” or a “manager” or “supervisor” in order to avoid paying overtime. However, as an oilfield worker, you may be entitled to overtime even if you are paid a salary or a non-hourly wage. Just because your employer does not pay you by the hour does not mean you are not entitled to receive overtime compensation. To learn more about whether you are an oilfield worker entitled to overtime, give one of our overtime attorneys a call: 817-479-9229 or submit your information to us online and one of our overtime lawyers will contact you.
6) Failing to Pay Oilfield Workers for travel time, safety meetings, or training
Oil companies will often require oilfield workers to travel to a worksite, attend safety meetings, or go through training and fail to compensate for the time spent engaged in these activities. Oilfield workers who travel from the employer’s place of business to a job site is entitled to be compensated for this travel time. Also, oilfield workers are also required to be compensated for most meetings and trainings.
7) Failing to pay overtime to oilfield truck drivers
Short-haul truckers who are paid by the load, with no extra compensation for hours worked above 40 in a week, may be entitled to unpaid overtime wages. Frequently, short-haul truckers in the oil industry are not exempt from overtime. If you drive a truck within a single state, you are likely entitled to be paid an overtime premium for hours worked over forty in a week. If you have questions about whether you are entitled to overtime wages or would like to get more information, please contact our overtime lawyers.
The following is a list of oilfield jobs where we commonly see oil companies illegally failing to pay oilfield workers overtime wages owed:
OILFIELD DELIVERY SPECIALISTS
WHAT TO DO NEXT
If you have questions including whether you are entitled to overtime pay, you should contact one of our overtime attorneys to help you evaluate your options.
With the help of an attorney, you can pursue a claim against your employer without fear of retaliation. Under federal law, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee who files a lawsuit to claim their overtime wages.
If your employer violated federal law by not paying you overtime, you may be entitled to recover the following monetary damages:
- your unpaid overtime multiplied by two (2)
- plus attorneys’ fees and costs.
With a competent Texas oilfield worker overtime attorney on your side, you have a good chance of recovering the overtime wages you are rightfully owed.