HOUSTON, Texas. As more oilfield workers are becoming aware of the issue of unpaid overtime, more are choosing to act to protect their rights and get paid the money they deserve. Many oilfield workers put in overtime during oil booms. They received large payments for the hours they worked. However, some workers may not have received the time and a half pay they deserve under the law.
It is not unreasonable to assume that your employer’s human resources department classified you appropriately at the time of your hiring and that the accounting department is cutting your checks in the correct amount every week. It is also not unheard of for employers to misclassify workers in an effort to save on payroll costs, though, and making such assumptions could be costing you thousands every year.
The oil industry has embraced technology in recent years, and jobs that manual laborers once performed are now being done by computers or by those manning computers thousands of miles from the fields. Although technological advancements have made production much safer, The New York Times reports that it has also reduced the size of the workforce significantly—and the amount of income that those who are still part of it bring home.
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.
Nothing is more frustrating than putting in the hours at work without receiving fair compensation. Your time is valuable, and you have a right to both regular wages and overtime pay when applicable.
Approaching your employer about unpaid wages can be intimidating. If it was simply an oversight, your supervisor may be incredibly apologetic and see to it that you get paid as soon as possible. But if there’s a more malicious reason for the missing funds, your employer may simply ignore your inquiry, and you will have to take legal action.