Workers in the oil and gas industry are often misclassified as exempt employees and are not paid overtime. However, this is usually illegal. The law requires employers to pay their workers overtime when they work more than 40 hours a week.
Many employers attempt to avoid this requirement by paying their employees a “day rate”. This means that the employee is paid a flat sum for a day’s work, no matter how many hours they actually work during that day. When these workers work more than 40 hours a week, the only compensation they receive is the day rate. When they don’t work, they don’t get paid.
Day rates are regularly used by staffing companies, oil and gas companies, and offshore construction companies to avoid tracking hours and paying workers overtime compensation. If you receive a flat sum or a day rate for all of the hours that you work, you may have a claim for unpaid overtime.
On April 20, 2020, a Federal Court of Appeals ruled that a “day rate” was not a salary, and such workers must be paid overtime. If an employer does not properly pay their employees for overtime, employees can file a claim to recover back wages that they are entitled to. Under the FLSA, an employee may be entitled to recover up to double the amount of unpaid overtime wages they are owed. And this law is retroactive going back three years! Employers can no longer rely on day rates to avoid overtime pay.
Let’s get you the wages you are owed. Contact us for a free case review.