If you worked for Precision Drilling Company, LP as an hourly paid rig crew worker (floor hand, motor man, derrick hand, or driller) at any time since December 23, 2012, and you were paid oil-based mud pay and/or safety bonuses, you may be able to join a collective action lawsuit seeking back overtime pay.
A federal court authorized this notice. This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.
A former employee of Precision Drilling Company, LP alleges that he has not been paid all overtime due because Precision Drilling had a practice or policy of not including safety bonuses and/or oil-based mud pay in calculating his hourly overtime rates of pay.
The Court has allowed the lawsuit to proceed on behalf of all hourly paid rig crew workers (floor hands, motor men, derrick hands, and drillers) who worked for Precision Drilling at any time from December 23, 2012 to now. The Court has not decided whether Precision Drilling did anything wrong or owes any money.
1. Why did I get this Notice?
This Notice is to tell you about this lawsuit against Precision Drilling that may affect you. The name of the lawsuit is Benjamin Argo, et al. v. Precision Drilling Company, LP, Civil Action No. 4:15-cv-00604 pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.
You have legal rights and options that you may exercise. Therefore, the Court has ordered that this Notice be sent to you, to explain what the lawsuit is about, so that you can decide whether to join (“opt-in” to) the lawsuit.
2. What is the lawsuit about?
Benjamin Argo (the “Plaintiff”) filed this lawsuit against Precision Drilling on behalf of himself and all other past and current hourly paid rig crew workers (floor hands, motor men, derrick hands, and drillers) who worked for Precision Drilling.
The Plaintiff claims that he and all other hourly paid rig crew workers (floor hands, motor men, derrick hands, and drillers) are owed overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), a federal law regarding payment of overtime wages. The Plaintiff alleges that he was not paid all overtime wages owed because Precision Drilling did not include oil-based mud pay and safety bonuses when calculating his overtime wages.
As a result, the Plaintiff believes that Precision Drilling Company, LP owes back overtime pay, liquidated damages (equal to back overtime pay), legal fees and costs for failing to pay all overtime pay owed. Precision Drilling denies the Plaintiff’s claim and takes the position that it did not do anything wrong.
The Court has not decided whether the Plaintiff is correct or Precision Drilling Company, LP is correct.
3. How do I join (opt-in) to the lawsuit?
If you fit the definition at the top of this Notice, you may join (“opt-in” to) this lawsuit. You can join (“opt-in”) by mailing, faxing, or emailing the enclosed “Consent to Join” form to the Plaintiffs’ attorneys before the deadline.
Only join (“opt-in” to) this lawsuit if you (a) received oil-based mud pay when working for Precision Drilling, (b) received safety bonuses when working for Precision Drilling, (c) received both safety bonuses and oil-based mud pay when working for Precision Drilling.
Your form must be received (or, if mailed, postmarked) on or before May 3, 2016.
If you want to join (“opt-in” to) the lawsuit, send in the form sooner rather than later because you can seek overtime under the FLSA dating back up to three years before the date that form is filed. Filing the form earlier means that the time period covered for you in the case will start earlier.
4. What happens if I join the lawsuit?
If you submit the “Consent to Join” form: You will be represented by the Plaintiff and his attorneys, who will make decisions and agreements on your behalf concerning the lawsuit. If the Plaintiff recovers money from Precision Drilling, you may be entitled to a share. But if you join this lawsuit, you will not be able to bring your own separate lawsuit seeking overtime pay, even if this lawsuit results in no money. You may or may not have to participate in this case by providing a deposition, answering written questions, or appearing at trial.
The Plaintiff’s attorneys will not charge you directly for their work in this case. If the Plaintiff recovers money, the Plaintiff’s attorneys will be paid whatever fees the Court approves. Those fees may be subtracted from the recovery obtained from Precision Drilling, or they may be paid separately by Precision Drilling, or they may be a combination of the two. If the Plaintiff recovers no money or relief from Precision Drilling, his lawyers will not be paid for their work on this case. If the Plaintiff loses, Precision Drilling may be able to recover only statutory court costs, but not its attorneys’ fees or expenses. If the Plaintiff loses the case and you have joined (“opted-in” to) the lawsuit, you will receive nothing, be bound by the lawsuit, and be unable to file your own case.
5. What happens if I do nothing?
If you do nothing (that is, do not submit the “Consent to Join” form): You will not be a part of the lawsuit. You will not be affected by any judgment in this lawsuit or be represented by the Plaintiff’s attorneys. If money is recovered, you will not be able to receive a share. You will be free to file your own lawsuit.
6. What happens next?
You and the other rig crew workers have until May 3, 2016 to join (“opt-in” to) the lawsuit. After that date, you will not be allowed to join (“opt-in”). The lawsuit may proceed towards trial, which could take many months or years.
7. Can Precision Drilling retaliate against me if I join the lawsuit?
No. Federal law prohibits Precision Drilling from retaliating against you in any way for participating in this lawsuit. For example, Precision Drilling cannot make threats against you, fire you, give you an unfair review, cut your pay, fail to promote you, or refuse to re-hire you for joining this lawsuit or for providing truthful testimony in support of the Plaintiff.
8. Who will represent me if I join the lawsuit?
If you choose to join this suit, you will be represented by the Plaintiff (Benjamin Argo) through his attorneys:
Allen R. Vaught
Baron & Budd, P.C.
3102 Oak Lawn Avenue, Suite 1100
Dallas, TX 75219
Telephone: (214) 521-3605
Facsimile: (214) 520-1181
Toll Free: (866) 242-0255
9. How do I get more information?
If you have questions, please contact the Plaintiff’s attorneys at the contact information listed in paragraph 8, above.