Government Agency Looks Into Complaints About Oilfield Overtime 3/7/13
CBS 7 News Reporter
March 7, 2013
LUBBOCK, TX -Many oil field workers have filed complaints about not being paid for overtime. Now the US Department of Labor has their eye on the biggest industry in West Texas.
"We are old field casing inspectors. We are on call 24/7. We work all hours,” reads the complaint.
It’s complaints like these, that the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division received every day.
"A lot of the time well be out for twenty plus hours. Then come home for three hours just to get called right back out...we do not get paid for overtime," said the oil field worker’s statement.
Oil field workers saying they aren't being paid for extended hours they are working.
"Yes we have received some complaints from the West Texas area….around oils field workers in a variety of industries and support industries to the oil fields themselves, "said Michael Speer with the US Department of Labor.
Assistant District Director Michael Speer with the Lubbock, Texas office says that the department is investigating several cases of West Texas oil field companies not properly paying employees
"We do have oil field works who are being paid day rates instead of not being paid over time. They're being paid $100 a day, $150 a day. Some are being paid straight time for all the hours that they work," said Speer.
Another common trick is to put a worker on salary to not give them their overtime pay.
"But just because you are on a salary does not mean that you're not eligible for over time. What's more important are the duties that you perform and the tasks that you perform, "he said.
The hard labor makes the oil field workers eligible for overtime and the company their working for is breaking the “Fair Labor Standards Act" law.
Now this agency is increasing their presence here in West Texas to make sure oil field workers aren’t being taken advantage of.
If you have a complaint about wage or hours, contact the US Department of Labor at their new Midland office at 432 684 7771.