For several years, the U.S Department of Labor's Wage and Hours Division has conducted investigations into underpayment of workers in the field of oil and gas. Central to the investigations was the pre-shift relief meetings. These pre-shift meetings are mandatory for employees and involve an information exchange between the previous shifts employee and the employee coming onto the next.
The investigation found that these meetings, which often last 15 minutes or longer, were not being recorded on the hourly workers' time cards. This unaccounted time constitutes as unpaid overtime the employee is being required to perform. The investigation resulted in a judgement against Chevron product companies and its subsidies in the amount of $1.5 million in back overtime wages to be paid to approximately 750 employees. The investigation also found that company had performed bookkeeping violations by failing to report the additional time for these meetings.
The Wage and Hours Division says that it will continue to investigate the oil and gas industries for irregularities in wages to ensure wage compliance. The department feels that the oil and gas industry employees can often be shorted based on the business models followed by many of the major energy companies.
This post will discuss some of your rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which was created to ensure fair pay for all workers.