End of Tour Compensation for Oilfield Workers
Americans who worked at least five years in Saudi Arabia are due “end-of-tour” compensation under the law, meaning that oilfield companies who employee Americans oversees for a certain period of time are required to pay additional compensation to these current or former employees when they return to the U.S. However, many oilfield companies rely on their workers’ lack of knowledge about the law and do not make these payments.
Specifically, workers who spent at least five years abroad in Saudi Arabia, under law, are due a certain amount of money by their employer when they return to the U.S., usually one half of a month’s salary for the first five years and a full month’s salary for each year after.
Here’s how it works:
Assume an American works in Saudi Arabia for X oil company for six years and was paid $5,000 per month. Once the worker’s period of employment abroad was up, X oil company must pay the employee $12,500 for the first five years and $5,000 for the sixth year – a total of up to $17,500.
This may sound too good to be true, but this law is indeed real. In fact there was a recent $140,000 judgment granted in a U.S. court in Houston to an American worker who worked in Saudi Arabia for a Houston-based company called Smith International.
But be aware: Under law, there is a limited period of time to make claims for “end-of-tour compensation” at the end of employment abroad, so if you think you or someone you know may be due end-of-tour compensation, please know that you must act quickly. If you do not make the claim in time, you can never recover compensation.
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