On Tuesday, September 22, 2015, oil and gas service provider Halliburton entered into a settlement agreement with the Department of Labor. Halliburton agreed to pay $18,293,557 in overtime wages to 1,016 employees nationwide.
Halliburton misclassified employees in 28 job positions as exempt. These positions included field service representatives, pipe recovery specialists, drilling tech advisors, perforating specialists and reliability tech specialists. When these employees worked more than forty hours a week, Halliburton failed to pay them overtime wages in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Halliburton also failed keep accurate records of the hours these employees worked. The company claims to have discovered it misclassified its employees during a self-audit.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division had been investigating Halliburton for several years as a part of a compliance initiative in the oil and gas industry. The agency is taking steps to ensure that gas and energy industry and related businesses, such as trucking, staffing and lodging, comply with the FLSA. The Department of Labor’s compliance initiative seeks to educate employers about how wage violations hurt their industry and the nation’s economy.
FLSA provides for an exemption from minimum wages and overtime payment requirements for employees holding executive, administrative, professional, outside sales positions, and certain positions in the computer industry. To qualify for an exemption, employees must meet certain criteria regarding their job duties and be paid a salary of not less than $455 per week or $23,660 per year. A job title alone is insufficient to determine exempt status.
Many employers, even large, publicly-traded companies like Halliburton, misclassify their workers as salaried employees, thereby denying those workers of overtime pay. Hunter Pyle Law has handled numerous cases involving employees who were not paid overtime wages. If you have questions about federal or California state overtime laws or your work situation, please feel free to call Hunter Pyle Law for a free consultation at (510)-663-9240 or firstname.lastname@example.org.