Oilfield Workers and Overtime In Texas
Working in the Oilfields is tough grueling work, we do not have to tell you that as you are living it. The Oil industry has seen a boom over that past 10 years because of the fracking boom and recent technologies allowing to revive old spent wells. This means that more people have been hired to work in the fields than ever before and this creates situations where you as the employee may not know what compensation you are entitled to, how you should be classified and what rights that you may have by both State and Federal regulations.
Common Oilfield Employee Classifications
There are 3 common classifications of how employees are paid in the industry, each one has components that you need to be aware that your employer can be underpaying you, sometimes consciously and sometimes as a mistake. Below are the most common worker classifications and how you may be owed overtime.
Salary Workers in Texas Oilfields
Some of the older more substantial companies put their employees on salary, this is done for many reasons, it creates loyalty to the company, makes you more part of the team, it can provide benefits that may not be otherwise offered to other classifications of employees or workers. These are all good things, but you can also be taken advantage of due to underpayment of overtime hours that may be due to you even though you are on a salary. Common rules of thumb when you are salaried are that you are paid on a schedule, you are paid for certain holidays, accrue vacation pay, accrue sick pay and you work a minimum of 40 hours per week. Just because you are on salary does not mean that you are not entitled to overtime pay. If you are expected to work more than 40 hours per week or traveling to your place of work because of the rural or distant location and the company provides transportation may all constitute that you are entitled to overtime. If you are in this situation, a quick call to Leichter Law can help you determine whether you have a case.
Oilfield Independent Contractor Employment Status
Being classified as an independent contractor may have its benefits for you and for your employer, but that does not mean that you are not owed overtime pay for working more than 40 hours a week. The work period begins if you board company transportation to the job site and it ends when they drop you off at the location, they picked you up from. You may also have been misclassified and there are specific criteria that needs to be met for you to be and Independent Contractor. If you think that you do not meet these qualifications or that you are not being paid the overtime that you have earned, give Leichter Law a call and find out what rights you have, to get the money that you earned.
Day-Rate Labor in the Texas Oilfields
Day rates are an employer’s secret weapon when they know that the hours are going to be over 40 hours in a work week. You effectively are being paid less than if you have a negotiated of agreed upon hourly rate. Day rates are quite common in the oilfields as it may save the employer money. There are rules and regulations around day-rate labor, and you should be aware of them before you agree to this type of payment for your work.
Oilfield Per Diems, What to Look For
Many Oil Companies offer per diems, this is payment that is to cover your food travel and lodging if necessary. This may seem generous and often times it is. But you must be aware that if the per diem is greater than your actual costs, that after cost money is then considered compensation and can be used to decrease what you would be owed to you for overtime. This may not sound too bad, but it can be a loophole that could be used to not calculate overtime properly that is owed to you.
Leichter Law Helping Oilfield Workers Get the Money Due Them
Leichter Law has been helping Texas Oilfield Workers for years get the compensation that is due them for underpayment in overtime hours worked. David Langenfeld is a “Board Certified” employment Attorney, this means that he is only one of a handful of Texas Attorney’s that have rigorously achieved this certification with the State Board of Texas. Of the over 100,000 lawyers in Texas only 1% ever get this certification. David will fight for you and get you what you earned. Call David today to see if he can do for you that he has done for Oilfield workers for years.