Three Ways an Oil and Gas Worker’s Job May Be Misclassified

Galvin B. Kennedy
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Galvin Kennedy is a founding partner of Kennedy Hodges. He focuses his practice to overtime and wage claims.
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Working in the oil and gas industry often requires long work hours. In some cases, the number of hours worked in a week may reach 100 or more. This overtime may be mandatory or optional in accordance with the employer’s policies. As a result of working this many hours, many oil and gas workers are entitled to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Overtime pay applies when a worker puts in more than 40 hours in one week. The overtime rate is one and a half times the worker’s regular rate of pay. Since this is obviously an added cost, some companies attempt to get around paying overtime to their workers by misclassifying jobs.

How Your Oil or Gas Company May Attempt to Avoid Overtime by Misclassifying Your Job Title

How do some oil and gas companies misclassify a worker’s job in an effort to avoid paying overtime? The following are three examples:

  1. Paying you a salary instead of an hourly or per diem wage.
  2. Giving you a certain job title such as “engineer,” “technical specialist,” or “manager.”
  3. Telling you that you are an independent contractor and not an employee.

It is important for oil and gas workers to understand that the issue of whether or not they are entitled to overtime pay has nothing to do with their job title or the manner in which they are paid. This determination is based solely on the worker’s job duties and responsibilities. As a result, most oil and gas workers who are paid by salary are still entitled to receive overtime pay for the additional hours that they work in a week.

Fortunately, misclassified workers have legal rights that they can utilize in order to obtain the overtime compensation that they are entitled to. We are here to help. We encourage you to check out our free guide, 10 Biggest Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Wage & Overtime Claim, for more information.


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