Suits Allege Drilling Companies Did Not Pay Sufficient Overtime Wages
DALLAS (March 31, 2015) – The national law firm of Baron & Budd has filed lawsuits against three energy companies alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA. The defendants in the lawsuits are Latshaw Drilling Company, LLC, Nabors Drilling USA, LP and Trinidad Drilling, LP.
In general, the FLSA requires that companies must pay their employees time and one-half their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a seven day workweek. Thus, the regular rate, as opposed to the base hourly or salary rate (calculated on an hourly basis), is the number on which the time and one-half overtime rate is calculated. According to the FLSA, the regular rate is defined as “all remuneration for employment paid to, or on behalf of, the employee… .” While there are certain exceptions, all remuneration provided to an employee has to be included in the regular rate calculation of that worker’s pay. This remuneration can include performance-based bonuses and other forms of additional compensation. (U.S.C. §§ 201-219).
“The FLSA is extremely clear in regard to not only the amount of overtime pay that a company owes its employees, but also the way that pay must be calculated,” said Allen Vaught, manager of the Employment Law Section of the national law firm of Baron & Budd. “For example, the FLSA generally requires performance based compensation paid in addition to the hourly rate or base salary in the oilfield, such as well completion incentive bonuses, safety bonuses, retention bonuses, and compensation for working with oil base mud to be included in the calculation of the hourly overtime rate of pay. Any employer that fails to properly calculate a worker’s pay rate must be held accountable so the worker can receive his or her rightful amount of compensation.”
The plaintiff in the lawsuit against Latshaw Drilling Company claims the defendant failed to pay the correct amount of his overtime wages because the company did not include all remuneration (i.e. compensation) required by the FLSA in calculating his hourly overtime rate of pay. He worked for the defendant as an oilfield worker on rigs in and around the Permian Basin area in West Texas. The case is being heard in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Midland Division (In Re: Case No. 7:15-cv-30)
While the lawsuit against Nabors Drilling alleges similar FLSA violations, it also alleges that the company violated the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act of 1968 and the Pennsylvania Payment and Collection Law for not including all remuneration required by Pennsylvania state law in calculating the overtime hourly rate (which mirrors the FLSA), in addition to not paying all compensation owed within the deadlines set by state law. The plaintiff, who was employed in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale as an oilfield worker, is seeking damages for back wages, liquidated damages, legal fees, costs and post-judgment interest. The headquarters of Nabors’ drilling operations is in Houston but the company has a facility in Clearfield, Pennsylvania. This case is being heard in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division (In Re: Case No. 4:15-cv-00743)
Finally, the plaintiff in the case against Trinidad Drilling also alleges the company violated the FLSA by failing to include all compensation required by the FLSA in calculating his overtime rate of pay. He was a drilling rig worker, or roughneck, employed through the company’s Springtown, Texas facility. The case is being heard in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division. (In Re: Case No. 5:15-cv-169)
Employees of Latshaw Drilling Company, LLC, Nabors Drilling USA, LP and Trinidad Drilling, LP who feel they did not receive the proper amount of overtime compensation as required by the FLSA may be eligible to participate in the aforementioned lawsuits. Please contact the national law firm of Baron & Budd to see if you qualify. Contact us online or call 1.866.495.1255 to learn more.
About Baron & Budd, P.C.
The law firm of Baron & Budd, P.C., with offices in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Austin and Los Angeles, is a nationally recognized law firm with a 35-year history of “Protecting What’s Right” for people, communities and businesses harmed by negligence. Baron & Budd’s size and resources enable the firm to take on large and complex cases. The firm represents individuals, governmental and business entities in areas as diverse as water contamination, Gulf oil spill, Qui Tam, California Proposition 65 violations, dangerous medications and medical devices, Chinese drywall, insurance claims, consumer fraud, securities fraud and asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma.