All workers in the United States are protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This means that they have certain rights such as having a minimum wage and in many cases, being paid at a rate of 1.5 times their normal wage for overtime hours worked.
Over the last couple of years, it has come to light that many workers in the oil and gas drilling industries have not been paid what they deserve as outlined in the FLSA. Therefore, if you are a worker in the oil and gas industry, it is important that you take the time to learn what you are entitled to so that you can take action if you are owed money by your employer.
The misclassification of workers
One of the main ways that the oil and gas industry has managed to avoid paying employees what they deserve is through the misclassification of workers and independent contractors. This means that many full-time workers are wrongly classified by companies as independent contractors. The reason why this practice is done is because independent contractors have far less protections under the FLSA than full-time workers. It is important to make sure that you are properly classified in your company. If you have been misclassified, you could be entitled to lost wages.
Unpaid overtime is also very common. Many employees are paid their day rate for their overtime hours worked. It is vital that employees bring this up as an issue so that they can reclaim the lost wages that they are legally entitled to.
Source: Lexology, “U.S. Department of Labor targets the oil and gas industry for wage-hour compliance,” accessed June 08, 2018