Oilfield workers may receive considerable compensation for the work they do, but that does not mean they do not deserve overtime, too, in the event that they work more than 40 hours in a single week. Unfortunately, unpaid overtime is a serious problem across the industry because underpaying employees saves the oil and gas companies a significant amount of money.
Although payroll processing errors can occur on occasion, unpaid overtime is more often the result of shady business practices that take advantage of hardworking laborers. If your boss has led you to believe that you deserve a flat daily or weekly rate regardless of how many hours you work, you may be the victim of oilfield unpaid overtime in Houston.
Fortunately, you do not have to accept the status quo or look for another job, even if that is what your supervisor or coworkers have led you to believe. There is a third option, and it is filing a wage claim against your employer.
To discuss your unpaid overtime with a seasoned attorney so you can determine the best way to proceed, contact Moore & Associates. We have nearly 15 years of experience handling employment law cases. Call 713-581-9001 to schedule a case evaluation.
Read on to learn how your employer might be violating the Fair Labor Standards Act in regard to overtime pay:
- By Paying a Fixed Rate
If the fixed rate is high enough, employees are unlikely to sit down, do the math, and actually determine what the hourly wage looks like. They may not even bother tracking how many hours they work at all.
When employers use the terms “day rate,” “fixed salary,” or “per job rate,” consider it a warning sign. This could mean they have no intention of giving you additional compensation for putting in more than 40 hours a week, even if they are legally obligated to do so.
- By Misclassifying Workers
Independent contractors are not entitled to overtime pay, but traditional employees are. If your employer has classified you as a contractor but you believe it was in error, an employment law attorney can assess your job duties and help you determine if you should actually be an employee, which would make you eligible for overtime pay.
- By Only Counting Hours Worked in the Fields
If your employer requires you to attend safety briefings or regular training sessions, they must compensate you for your time. If you attend these meetings in addition to working 40 hours a week, you may be eligible for overtime pay.
Overtime pay is typically one and a half times the employee’s regular wage, which is why employers are so keen on avoiding having to pay it. If you work more than 40 hours in a single workweek and you are classified as an employee, though, you are eligible for overtime pay, regardless of your salary structure.
Confronting your employer about oilfield overtime not paid in Houston can be intimidating, but a seasoned attorney from Moore & Associates will serve as your legal ally during every step of the proceedings. Call 713-581-9001 to schedule a consultation with an employment lawyer who will protect your best interests. You can learn more about employment law in Texas by visiting usattorneys.com/employment-law/texas.