Employers from around the country in all types of lines of work are being subjected to salary and hourly work class action claims for unpaid and underpaid employees' wages. The oil and gas industry may be the worst, leading all other industries is unpaid wages. It's truly an epidemic in states where fracking is all the rage, such as Texas and here in Pennsylvania. And workers are coming together to protest in the form of wage and hour lawsuits that hit gas and oil companies where it matters to them most--in their wallets.
Payment of day rates
Some types of workers, such as oilfield engineers, pumpers, and drivers, often work and are paid on what is known as a "day rate." Earning a day rate means that the employee is paid a predetermined amount of money per day regardless of the number of hours he or she has worked.
Although this practice is legal by way of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), it does not change an employee's privilege to earn overtime monies. To calculate this type of overtime pay, the employee's regular hourly rate is added up for a normal eight hour work day, then divided by the actual number of hours worked. For any hours worked over forty hours, the employee should be paid time and a half on what their "hourly rate" was calculated at.
For instance, if a worker's day rate is $160, that number gets divided by eight, and the hourly comes to $20/hour. If the worker works 44 hours in a week, he or she should be compensated at their regular rate for forty hours, and their time and a half rate for four hours. That is $800 for a regular week plus $120 for overtime ($30 x 4) for a total of $920 for the week. What has been found is that employers are not recognizing their employees' overtime work and simply are not paying them for it. They often get away with this because employees do not know that they are entitled to overtime even if they are a paid a day rate.
If you have questions about the payment of day rates or feel you have been underpaid by an employer, call the Pittsburgh wage and hour lawsuit lawyers at Goodrich & Geist at 800-806-2456 or 412-766-1455.