In states with the most oil and gas drilling, including Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota, the U.S. Department of Labor has won back pay for over 4,000 energy industry workers in just the past year.
It totaled $6.7 million dollars, accounting for a third of all such settlements by all types of industries nationwide…
Cynthia Watson, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Regional Administrator, said companies were shorting their workers, sometimes thousands of dollars each. She cited Department of Labor cases since 2012 that include:
A Houston company that builds drilling rigs that paid back $687,000 in back wages to 133 roughnecks and crane operators
A Louisiana company that provides labor services to the industry and paid nearly $2 million in back wages to 2,267 workers
A New Mexico company that agreed to pay nearly $600,000 to 121 to drilling rig “mud logging technicians”
Galvin Kennedy, a lawyer in Houston who sues energy companies on behalf of workers, said his cases most often involved “mid-tier oil and gas companies” that got “sloppy or greedy” and misclassified their employees as independent contractors and avoided paying overtime and other benefits…
The oil and gas industry says blah, blah, blah.
The oil and gas industry is run by exactly the kind of greedy bastards you think they are. They whine that the paperwork is too complex and that’s why there is a problem. Hogwash!
It’s been decades since I worked in the industry and the problem ain’t news. Manipulation of work hours and on/off contract work has been going on ever since the first lawyer clambered up out of a petrochemical sewer and showed folks in the front office how to steal a little more back from workers.
Not any different from the thievery that force states like New Mexico to sue one or another fossil fuel outfit for years of hidden back taxes every decade. Part of doing business with these creeps.