Working overtime hours can be demanding and tiring, especially for workers in the field of oil and gas monitoring. When you’re working these overtime hours, you expect you’ll get paid the correct amount and not give a second thought to it. However, overtime wage cases are all too common, and for the flow testers at J&A Services, an unpaid wage lawsuit was necessary. These hourly paid flow testers for J&A Services were working more than 70 hours per week at times, but not getting their proper overtime pay.
How Does Something Like This Happen?
Misclassification of workers is one reason lawsuits like this can occur. In this particular case, the J&A Services workers were misclassified as independent contractors, and for this reason, they were paid regular time for all of their overtime hours worked. In order to be considered an independent contractor employee, you would be able to choose which job site location to go to, act independent of the company, and essentially make your own schedule. For these flow testers, this was not the case, since they were scheduled like regular employees, had supervisors, were able to get hired and fired, and had no say in where they worked or how they did the work. Because of this, they deserved to be paid proper overtime pay for their overtime hours.
J&A Services’ Wrongdoings
It was not a simple mistake that J&A Services misclassified their workers as independent contractors. The workers were required to turn in a timesheet once a week just like hourly-paid workers are supposed to. However, the company made these timesheets seem like invoices instead—in order to make their employers seem like independent contractors. Because of this, the lawsuit against J&A Services claims that J&A owes its employees back pay for all of the hours worked over 40 in a single workweek, as well as liquidated damages, attorneys’ fees, and court costs to dispatchers and inspectors for three years (from 2009 – 2012). The settlement was the best outcome for both sides, since the court advised that the case would have been going on for much longer, not to mention more expensive.
Case Details and Logistics
The employees of J&A Services sought to gain compensation for the unpaid overtime, attorney’s fees, and liquidated damages required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for the three years before the lawsuit was filed. At Kennedy Hodges, LLP, we allowed anyone wanting to join the case to complete a consent form and have it returned to us to file with the court. Since we handled this lawsuit on a contingency basis, no one had to pay us for our services until the lawsuit was settled and we obtained compensation.
The workers and company came to a conclusion after engaging in mediation, settling all claims. Under the FLSA, the settlement was required to be approved by the court in order to make sure it came to a fair resolution. J&A agreed to pay a settlement total of $2 million, in which class members received $1,162,500, distributed fairly based on the invoiced hours. The rest of the $837,500 was used to pay for the lawyer and attorney fees.
Are You Being Unfairly Compensated?
If you or someone you care about suspects they are being unfairly compensated at work, do not hesitate to contact us at Kennedy Hodges, LLP, today. Like the J&A Services employees, you too deserve a chance to get back what you deserve. Cases like this occur far too often, and at Kennedy Hodges, LLP, we want to help you as much as we can. Call us today or visit our website for a free case consultation. We’re here to help you succeed!