Overtime Pay for Oilfield Workers?

 In Employment Law, Overtime Law, Wage Law

Oilfield Workers are Entitled to Overtime Pay

The law generally requires oilfield workers to be paid overtime wages—even if you are paid a day rate.

If you work overtime in the oil and gas industry and you are getting paid “day rates,” you are probably entitled to overtime pay. This was the legal result of a case decided late last year by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (which includes Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi). If you are an oilfield worker, call us here at Herrmann Law. We may be able to help and, importantly, it is NOT too late to recover all of the back and overtime pay to which you may be entitled. We are employee rights wage and hour litigators fighting vindicate worker rights.

The case from last year Hewitt v Helix Energy Solutions Group. In that case, the court held that, under federal law, there is no exception to the requirement to pay overtime for highly compensated employees (“HCE”) if a worker is paid on a daily rate. In general, overtime pay is NOT required for HCEs if they make a high annual income. However, the Hewitt court determined that, parsing the words of the federal statute, that the exception is not applicable to workers paid a daily rate. See media report here.

Does this mean Oilfield Workers are Entitled to Overtime Pay?

What this means for you is that, if you are an oilfield worker paid on a daily rate, you are likely entitled to overtime pay regardless of how much annual income you have earned. As noted in the media report, the worker who brought the lawsuit in Hewitt had an annual income of $200,000.

How Do You Recover your Unpaid Overtime Pay?

Under federal overtime laws, oilfield workers who have been shorted their overtime pay have two years from the date that they were shorted their pay. That means that, at a minimum, you can recover two years of unpaid overtime pay. Remember that overtime is calculated 1.5 times your regular rate of pay for EACH hour worked over 40 hours in a workweek. So, if you worked an extra 60 hours, you would be entitled to 20 hours of overtime. Under some circumstances, where the failure to pay overtime was willful, the deadline is three years.

How is the Overtime Pay Rate Calculated?

Calculating the overtime pay rate under federal law can be complicated. But, as a rule of thumb, the total pay is divided by the actual hours worked over a week. That number is then considered the “regular” rate of pay and, from there, the regular rate of pay is multiplied by 1.5 to arrive at the overtime rate. You should have been paid the difference and can recover that amount. Under federal law, you are also entitled to an award of double damages for any unpaid overtime pay. Finally, your employer is responsible for paying your attorneys’ fees and costs, which is what allows us to take your case on a contingency basis.

Call the Employee Rights Attorneys at Herrmann Law Today

For more information, call the Employee Rights attorneys at Herrmann Law. If you think that your employer has violated your rights as an employee, call us. We are proven, experienced, employee-focused attorneys representing workers across the United States in all types of workplace disputes. Use our Online Contact page or call us at (817) 479-9229. We are more than just a law firm for employees – we are an employee’s fiercest advocate, equipping employees with the legal representation needed to achieve the best result possible.

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