Overtime and Oil, Gas and Field Workers

Oilfield WorkerDo you work for an Oil & Gas company that does not pay you overtime wages? If your company has told you that you do not qualify for overtime, you may be a misclassified worker who is being listed as exempt for overtime pay. However, many people working in the Oil & Gas industry do qualify, so how can you be sure that you are truly exempt? Even if you are paid salary, you may still qualify for overtime pay. The way in which you are paid, whether salary, per day, per job, is just one of the determining factors used to classify an employee as exempt from receiving overtime.

Many field service technicians are not being fairly paid for overtime. In the Oil & Gas industry, many workers have put in long hours for little pay. If you are not being paid overtime for drive time, calling in to check the day’s schedule, meetings, or paperwork done at home, then you may be owed thousands in back pay.

If you have worked more than 40 hours in a workweek then you should be paid overtime, even if you are not an hourly employee. You may be working more than 40 hours a week if you are working during your unpaid lunch hour, if your travel time between sites is not being paid for, or if you are finishing paperwork at home.

Dunham & Jones represents oil and gas workers who are not being paid fairly. Have your wages reviewed by an overtime attorney to determine if you are legally entitled to overtime pay…and find out if your employer owes you money in unpaid overtime wages.

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I am employed as a gas exploration worker and am treated like other employees. I am required to wear a company uniform, report when I arrive and leave a job site, and use company tools. When I work more than 40 hours a week, I do not receive overtime because I am considered an “independent contractor” even though I have been working with the company for years. Is this legal?

If you are being classified as an independent contractor, you are required to pay your own FICA taxes and keep track of your own expenses, including equipment. Independent contractors do no receive overtime. Often, a worker is actually an employee of a company rather than an independent contractor. When they are wrongly classified as independent contractors, this is known as misclassification.

Independent contractors typically work without supervision and use their own tools for their work. Independent contractors also can, and often do, work with more than one company or client at a time. Their profit and loss margin greatly depends on their own managerial skills and their productiveness, not necessarily that of the business they work with. Employees usually will be supervised and are told which job sites to report to and are supplied with tools for the work. They do not decide which projects they will take, as their supervisor will decide for them.

The Fair Labor Standards Act outlines the qualifications which must be met to be considered an independent contractor. Another way to determine whether you are an independent contractor or a company employee is to discuss your situation with an employment lawyer.

Dunham & Jones works with misclassified workers who have not received overtime pay they deserved. Our attorneys will evaluate your case, and the initial consultation is free. If you have been misclassified, you can make a claim to recover unpaid wages, going back two years. In certain circumstances, you can make a claim going as far back as three years for unpaid wages.

If you believe you may have been misclassified, it is important to know your rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act and find out if you are owed back pay from your employer. Many of our clients were surprised to find out they were owed thousands of dollars by their employer. Call now to schedule your free consultation, or fill out the contact form as soon as possible. There are deadlines which must be met when making unpaid wages claims, so contact us as soon as possible.

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Does my employer need to pay me for travel time to and from job sites?

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that non-exempt employees must be paid for all “hours worked”. What constitutes as “hours worked” is complex. The FLSA states that compensable travel time depends on “the kind of travel involved.” However, it also defines “Travel That is All in a Day’s Work” as hours worked, if travel from job site to job site is part of the main activity done by the employee. If much of your work involves traveling from site to site, it is very likely that you should be compensated for this time.

If you are not being compensated, you should speak with an attorney who can evaluate your case. At Dunham & Jones, we are experienced in working with clients who have not received the wages they deserve from their employers. Our initial consultation is free, and we can answer all questions you may have about the Fair Labor Standards Act and how it applies to your case. Employer violations of the FLSA may be costing you thousands of dollars in unpaid wages. There are deadlines in wage claim cases, so you should meet with an attorney as soon as possible if you believe you are not being fairly compensated for hours you have worked. Call now to set up your initial consultation or fill out the contact form.

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I am a mud engineer and I receive a day rate. Am I eligible for overtime since I am not an hourly employee?

Non-exempt employees are eligible for overtime, and job duties are a major factor in determining exemption, rather than how one is paid. Even salaried employees can qualify for overtime pay. If you receive a salary for a workweek, you still need to be compensated with overtime pay for any time worked over 40 hours.

Overtime cannot be waived even if there is agreement between employee and employer. If an employer announces that no overtime work is allowed, yet the employee still works overtime, they are required to be compensated for the hours they worked. Whether your pay is distributed by piece-rate, salary, or commission, overtime is calculated by dividing your pay during that workweek by the hours worked that week.

Whatever questions you have about overtime pay, it is best to speak with an experienced hour and wage attorney who fully understands employment law. Wage disputes are inherently complicated, but an experienced attorney will be able to go over your records and determine if you are being fairly compensated for the hours you worked. At Dunham & Jones, our initial evaluation of your case is free and confidential. It is important to call our offices or fill out a contact form as soon as possible, so you can quickly recover your wages before it is too late to file a claim.

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