On December 21, 2012, employees of Great White Pressure Control filed a lawsuit against the company to seek unpaid overtime for hours they served beyond the normal 40-hour work week.
The pump operators who filed the lawsuit provided numerous oil field well services, including valve drilling, snubbing, coiled tubing, hot tapping, pumping, well control, and engineering. These employees are paid hourly and regularly worked well over the typical 40-hour work week. They were given bi-weekly bonuses and often traveled extensive distances to the job sites.
When the company did dispatch manual laborers and pump operators to its clients’ oil fields, Great White Pressure Control provided hotel rooms for the workers because of the distance from the pump operators’ homes to the oil fields. While on assignment, but off shift, the employees were required to stay in their hotel rooms to await summons for duty, due to the possibility of labor-intensive contingencies on the work site.
Furthermore, in order to ensure that the employees stayed in their hotel rooms during the trips, they were prohibited from bringing personal vehicles on the job excursions. Although the pump operators were paid for their time spent at the hotel, they were not compensated for the hours that exceed the 40-hour work week while they were forced to stay in their rooms.
Withheld Overtime Pay Is a Clear Violation of FLSA Standards
By not paying its pump operators overtime rates for the time they worked beyond 40 hours, Great White Pressure Control is in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA mandates that any time worked over 40 hours in a week should be compensated at a rate of time and a half. This means that if a person earns $15 an hour, he should receive that same rate, plus half, for every hour worked over 40 in a week. However, the employees claim they only received regular pay, even though they regularly worked more than 40 hours per week.
Additionally, when Great White Pressure Control did pay its employees overtime, it excluded a number of non-discretionary bonuses from its employees’ regular rates, thereby deflating the amount to which the time and a half was applied. According to the FLSA mandates, non-discretionary bonuses must be included, in order to calculate the regular rate of pay. By not including the bonuses, Great White Pressure Control artificially deflated the pump operators’ true regular rate, and ended up paying substantially less overtime than required by law. This bonus money made up a large portion of the operators’ compensation, and since the company neglected to include the bonus amount in the operators’ regular pay, it violated the FLSA mandate.
How Kennedy Hodges, LLP, Is Helping
The pump operators who filed the lawsuit are asking Great White Pressure Control for unpaid overtime, attorney’s fees, unpaid court costs, and liquidated damages for the three years prior to when the lawsuit began.
Anyone who worked for Great White Pressure Control and faced the same situation is eligible to become a part of this class action lawsuit and can attempt to recover unpaid overtime and minimum wage compensation. However, a federal statute of limitations is in place for this lawsuit, meaning participants in the suit can attempt to collect pay for overtime hours worked within two years of joining the lawsuit. If Kennedy Hodges, LLP, can prove that the company willfully violated the law, the statute may be extended to three years.
How You Can Become Involved in the Lawsuit
If you believe Great White Pressure Control owes you for unpaid overtime, you may be eligible to file for compensation, even if you currently work for the company. The law protects employees from retaliation and if you believe you are being treated unfairly by the company because of your involvement in the suit, Kennedy Hodges, LLP, can help protect you.
Contact our office today and schedule an appointment to speak with a legal professional about your situation by calling 888-449-2068. Learn how we may be able to help you receive the compensation you deserve.