Gas and Oil Workers Overtime Pay Attorney

San Diego Labor Class Actions

Employees who work in the oil and gas field are commonly working over forty hours a week to complete their tasks. There are numerous examples of employers not paying their employees proper overtime pay. If you believe that you are owed overtime pay from your employer, then pursuing legal action may be the right solution for you. A gas and oil workers overtime pay attorney could be the resource you need to help resolve your overtime pay case.

When the oilfield industry is at one of its high points, work can be very lucrative for employees. Many workers, whose checks may be very substantial during this time, may not realize that they could be entitled to overtime pay from their employer. Overtime pay is time and a half for each hour of overtime worked. As high as your paycheck may have been, there could be more money that is owed to you.

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), nonexempt workers are eligible to receive overtime pay for any hours that they worked beyond the standard forty-hour work week. While employees are not entitled to receive overtime pay for work done on holidays, Saturdays, or Sundays, they are owed overtime pay if they exceed forty hours of work within a work week. The employer is permitted to determine the start of the work week as they see fit as long as it is consistent.

How Employers Violate Overtime Laws

There are numerous examples of companies in the oil and gas field violating overtime laws. It is common for these employers to illegally deny their workers overtime pay through the following violations:

  • Misclassifying workers. Employers often misclassify their workers to get around paying them overtime. Misclassifying a worker as an independent contractor is illegal and could lead to serious penalties from the IRS. Just because an employee has the title of manager or supervisor does not mean that they are exempt from overtime pay. Also, just because an employee is paid a fixed salary rather than an hourly wage does not automatically mean that they are not eligible for overtime pay. 
  • Paying day rates. Some employers attempt to get around paying overtime by paying day rates or flat rates. Paying day rates or flat rates is not illegal but when it is done to avoid paying overtime, the employer will be violating overtime laws.
  • Not paying for work done off the clock. It is illegal for an employer to not pay for work that is done off the clock. This can include work done before or after the scheduled work shift. Employees must generally be paid for travel time between work sites, prep time for jobs, mandatory meetings, and time spent filling out paperwork.

Steps to Take If You Were Not Paid Overtime Wages

If you believe that you may be owed overtime wages from your employer, there are a few steps you can take. Speak with an experienced overtime pay attorney to review your specific situation.

Gas and Oil Workers Overtime Pay Attorney

Documentation of Hours Worked

One of the first steps in determining if you are owed overtime pay is to find the documentation of your hours worked. This can be located on your pay stubs. The pay stubs should show the number of hours that you worked and the rate of pay that you received. 

It is important to consider that standby and wait time should always be paid. Other activities that should be properly compensated include:

  • Travel time between work sites
  • Required attendance at meetings
  • Mandatory training or safety classes
  • Paperwork that is asked to be filled out at home

 Finding documentation of all these activities can be difficult at times, but engaging the help of a qualified and experienced overtime pay attorney can help.

Employee Classification

It is important to find out how you were classified as an employee. There are key differences between an exempt employee, a nonexempt employee, and an independent contractor. It is not uncommon for employers to misclassify their employees to avoid paying them overtime pay. For example, an independent contractor does not qualify for overtime pay. 

Certain standards must be met before an employee can be appropriately classified as an independent contractor. An overtime pay attorney can review your classification as an employee, examine your work duties, and help determine if you are appropriately classified.

Hire an Attorney

Engage the help of an overtime attorney who has experience in the oil and gas industry. Understanding how to navigate the legal process of filing an unpaid overtime claim can be difficult to do without the help of experienced legal counsel on your side.

Filing a Claim

Oil and gas companies that cut corners or violate employment laws by not paying their workers overtime wages need to be held accountable by their employees. Filing an unpaid overtime pay claim is a great way to hold these employers accountable. Whether you still work in the oil and gas field or have moved on to another field, you could still be entitled to receive overtime pay. Engaging the help of the right overtime pay attorney could make the difference in your case.


Q: What Damages Can Be Recovered?

A: Damages that can be recovered in an unpaid overtime case can include:

  • The unpaid overtime wages
  • Attorney’s fees and court costs
  • Possible back pay
  • Any interest on the unpaid wages

It is also possible that the court could award punitive damages. Although less common, punitive damages are meant to punish the employer for violating the FLSA and are also meant to discourage any future violations from occurring. Punitive damages are not available in every case, but they may be more likely if the employer’s actions are considered to be egregious.

Q: Can My Employer Take Action Against Me?

A: No, your employer cannot take legal action against you for filing an unpaid overtime pay claim. Under federal law, it is illegal for an employer to terminate an employee or to discriminate against them in any way because they filed an unpaid overtime pay case or testified in a case proceeding. If an employer were to take action against an employee because of their case, then they may be subject to severe punishment and even criminal prosecution under the law.

Q: Do Oil and Gas Workers Get Overtime?

A: Oil and gas workers may be eligible to receive overtime pay from their employer. Oil and gas workers are typically paid by the hour, a salary, a day rate, or some combination of these. It is important to note that just because a worker is salaried or is paid a day rate, it does not mean that they are not entitled to overtime pay. Speak with a qualified overtime pay attorney today to have your specific situation reviewed by a professional. An attorney can determine if you’re eligible for unpaid overtime.

Q: How Do I Prove Overtime Hours Worked?

A: To prove the amount of overtime hours worked, you should find your pay stubs. Your pay stubs serve as documentation of the number of hours that you worked and the amount of compensation that you received. Therefore, they can be critical evidence in an overtime claim.

Your employer should also have documentation of your hours worked. It is their duty to maintain records of their employees’ time spent working. If your employer does not have the proper records of your work, then you may be entitled to recover the overtime pay based on good faith and reasonable estimates of your time worked.

Q: Can I Pursue Action Even If I Signed a Severance Agreement?

A: Yes, you may still be able to pursue legal action against your employer for unpaid overtime, even if you signed a severance or release agreement. Even if the employer told you that signing the agreement waives your right to pursue legal action against them, that is not true. An employer may not lawfully ask their employees to sign away their overtime pay or minimum wage rights. If such a waiver was signed, then it would be subject to the Department of Labor’s review for validation.

Attorneys You Can Turn To

It can be challenging to navigate the complexities of employment law. At times, it can be difficult for employees to know when or if they are eligible for overtime pay. Employers who cheat their employees by misclassifying them or not paying them their fair overtime wages need to be held accountable for their actions. Employees deserve to be fairly compensated for the number of hours they work. They can recover these wages with the help of legal counsel.

The legal team at Ferraro Vega San Diego Employment Lawyers understands the complexities of employment law. Our law firm can help determine if you have a case to pursue legal action against your employer for unpaid overtime wages. One of our experienced attorneys can review your case and provide you with the legal advice you need to properly resolve your claim in a reasonable timeframe. Contact our office today and see how one of our attorneys can assist you.