Why am I hearing about so many overtime lawsuits involving the oil and gas industry?

Increasingly, workers in the oil and gas industry are pursuing legal action against their employers due to unpaid overtime compensation. The problem with employees not being paid their rightful compensation is not a new one, however. The industry has long had an issue with wage and overtime violations. There are several reasons for the increase in legal action.

5 Reasons for Increased Wage and Overtime Lawsuits

Why are we seeing lawsuits in the oil and gas industry regarding unpaid overtime compensation? The following are five reasons:

  1. Many employers simply do not fully understand the requirements of the law. For example, many employers believe that if a worker is paid a salary, he or she is automatically exempt from overtime compensation. This is not the law, however. All salaried employees are not automatically exempt from overtime compensation.
  2. The U.S. Department of Labor has begun an initiative to target companies in the oil and gas industry who are misclassifying workers as independent contractors in order to avoid paying overtime compensation. The initiative first started in 2012 and continues today.
  3. With increased awareness of the widespread overtime and wage violation problem within oil and gas industries, attorneys and law firms have increased efforts to reach employees who may be potential victims. This increased awareness has led to more lawsuits, including those brought as collective actions against a particular employer. Some of these lawsuits have ended in multi-million dollar settlements.
  4. A natural downturn in the industry can also lead to increasing lawsuits. Employees who are laid off do not have the same fear of recourse by their employer as those who are gainfully employed. Similarly, laid off workers may have more incentive to pursue legal action against an employer for unpaid compensation since they are currently out of work.
  5. Many employees simply do not understand their rights under the laws. Unfortunately, many workers do not discover that they were entitled to overtime compensation until well after they initially took the job.

To learn more about pursuing legal action for unpaid overtime compensation, we encourage you to reach out today for more information at (888) 449-2068.


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.