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Engineer claims oilfield services company neglected to pay overtime

Grady County, Oklahoma resident Adam Horn filed a class action lawsuit, individually and as part of a group against oilfield industrial services company Baker Hughes Oilfield Operations, Inc. Horn claimed that the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by refusing to pay him overtime pay for the extended hours that he worked for the firm.

According to the lawsuit, Horn has regularly worked for more than 40 hours per week without overtime pay as a mud engineer at Baker Hughes from August 2009 to November 2014. Horn further alleges that Bakers Hugh misclassified him as exempted from overtime and did not compensate him for all the times that he did overtime work by paying him at one and one-half times his regular pay rate as mandated by the FLSA.

Misclassifying a worker as exempt from overtime pay when he is not exempt is illegal. If your employer has done this to you, leading to you not receiving overtime pay for your overtime work, take your employers to court with the help of our attorneys at Williams Kherkher by calling our Houston offices today at (888) 262-9002.


House passes bill seeking to delay implementation of new overtime rule

The United States House of Representatives passed a bill, the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools, and Nonprofits Act, which seeks to delay the implementation of some of President Obama’s new federal regulations.  Obama’s executive order, which was signed in 2015, would mandate the expansion of overtime pay to an estimated 4.2 million workers.

The measure, which received support from small business advocacy groups, seeks to delay the implementation of the law to June 2017 from December 2016. Business owners are generally of the opinion that the federal regulations place unnecessary burdens on small business groups by adding to their labor costs

According to the Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index, small business borrowing increased by nearly 9% in August 2016, up from from 123.1 in July. The August borrowing was down by 1% from the same period last year. Business counseling organization SCORE will give a free lecture on the new overtime regulations on Thursday, October 20.

If your employer fails to pay you the proper overtime rate, or if you have other issues regarding your overtime pay, seek the legal assistance of the attorneys at Williams Kherkher by calling our offices today at (888) 262-9002.


21 states sue Obama administration for new overtime law

The federal government was sued by 21 states on Tuesday, September 20 over their new labor rule, which provides overtime pay for all American workers who earn up to nearly $50,000 per year, over twice the current threshold, and is set to take effect on Dec. 1, 2016.

In a statement, Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who led the filing of the lawsuit, said: “The Department of Labor’s new overtime rule is the latest in a series of unlawful, overreaching, and unilateral actions taken by President Obama’s administration. Longstanding federal law requires an overtime exemption for ‘bona fide executive, administrative, or professional’ employees.”

Laxalt added: “The Department of Labor…is forcing state, local, and private employers to pay overtime to any employee who earns under a certain amount, regardless of whether that employee is actually performing ‘executive, administrative, or professional’ duties.”

Among the states included as plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Georgia, New Mexico, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.

Our attorneys at Williams Kherkher, who provide legal services in Houston or other areas in Texas, handle overtime or wage disputes and claims. If you have questions regarding your particular situation, or if you would like to find out more about the legal services that we offer, call our offices today at (888) 262-9002.


Obama vows to veto bill that would delay new overtime rules

In a statement released by the White House on Tuesday, September 27, President Barack Obama vowed to veto a bill known as the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools, and Nonprofits Act. The bill seeks to delay the implementation of the Department of Labor’s new overtime laws – which were supposed to take effect on Dec. 1, 2016 – to June 2017.

“If the President were presented with HR [House Resolution] 6094, he would veto the bill,” the Office of Budget and Management in the Executive Office of the President said. The Republican-backed House of Representatives recently passed this measure and sent the Senate a version of their bill.

Employees who work beyond the hours of their agreed upon employment contract are eligible for overtime pay. However, some businesses do not properly compensate their employees. If you are not paid for your work in Houston or another area of Texas, seek the legal assistance of our attorneys at Williams Kherkher by calling our offices today at (888) 262-9002.


Are Uber Drivers Independent Contractors?

Uber is perhaps the largest and most notable company today that uses independent contractors. For their business model to work, they must employ massive amounts of drivers, but not offer them any form of benefits to keep costs low. However, many of its 450,000 drivers have taken to working for Uber full time. While being an Uber driver does pay relatively well, maintaining a standard of living without receiving key employment benefits such as overtime pay can be a difficult task.

Recently, Uber settled a class action case involving drivers from California and Massachusetts over the way its drivers are classified as independent contractors. The plaintiffs argued that all Uber drivers are employees, and that they are owed employee benefits. The case ended with Uber settling for up to $100 million, $84 million of which are guaranteed to driver compensation now and another 16 million if Uber’s company valuation rises. By settling the case outside of court, Uber can continue to classify its drivers as independent drivers and keep working with its existing business platform.

Many Silicon Valley tech companies showed much interest in the results of the case because Uber is one of the first companies to use independent contractors on such a massive scale. To many people’s disappointment this specific case will never see trial. We have yet to see any new landmark legislation concerning using independent contractors on a large scale and it will undoubtedly be interesting to see the direction Uber heads if someday has to reclassify drivers as employees. While Uber is still able to classify their drivers as independent contractors, it was at great cost.

Many people across the country in other positions are wrongly classified workers and lose out on employee benefits because of it. If you think that you may be misclassified as an independent contractor, the wage claim attorneys at Williams Kherkher may be able to help you recover overtime pay. Call us today at (888) 262-9002 for more information.


More than 30 Wilkes County employees can qualify for overtime after revision of FLSA

Amendments to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) make it so more workers, including 32 Wilkes County, North Carolina government employees, can qualify for time and-a-half pay or compensatory time if they put in more than 40 hours of work per week.

From December 1, 2016 onward, only employees who are earning at least $47,476 yearly can be exempt from overtime pay or compensatory time. According to the United States Department of Labor, the amendment means that an additional 4.2 million workers all over the country and 156,000 in North Carolina are now eligible for overtime.

Alexandria, Virginia-based professional group, Society for Human Resources Management, said private sector employees most likely affected by the change in the law are those who work in middle management, retail and call centers, and the hospitality industry.

If your employer in Houston or another area of Texas fails to comply with state and federal wage and overtime laws, get in touch with our attorneys at Williams Kherkher. Call our offices today at (888) 262-9002 so that we can file an appropriate lawsuit on your behalf and get you the compensation you deserve.


Senate Cafeteria Workers Win $1 million in Backpay

Even in the lawmaking center of the country, fair wage laws can still be broken, as can be seen in the recent case where the US Department of Labor found that the US Capitol underpaid its cafeteria workers $1 million over the last several years.

The private contractor used in the Capitol’s cafeterias, Restaurant Associates, and a subcontractor, Personnel Plus, were found to be at fault for underpaying their workers by misclassifying personnel into lower-paying positions and asking them to work overtime without extra pay.

The Department of Labor’s six-year investigation found that 604 employees were underpaid by Restaurant Associates in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The company is currently working to pay $1 million in back pay to current and former employees. It is currently yet to be determined whether or not Restaurant Associates will be able to hold future federal government contracts. The Department found Personnel Plus also guilty of underpaying the cafeteria workers, though the company has repeatedly denied taking any role in the withholding of wages.

No matter the size or standing of the company, the lawyers at Williams Kherkher are ready to fight for workers’ rightful claim to the wages they have earned. Call our Houston offices at (888) 262-9002 to discuss your case with one of our experienced wage claim attorneys.


Oilfield services company WadeCo Specialties ordered to pay $439,000 in back-wages to employees

Following an investigation by the United States Department of Labor (DOL), WadeCo Specialties was ordered to pay more than $439,000 to fifty employees for back wages and other damages. According to the Midland Tribune The investigation found that Wadeco Specialties, a Midland-based oilfield services company, routinely mis-classified employees as exempt from the overtime requirements set by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This allowed the company to avoid paying overtime wages to individuals who should have been eligible for such payment.

These employees regularly worked more than 40 hours per week, but were paid a flat salary with no overtime pay. The DOL investigation found that the employees actually belonged in a different classification and were owed damages and overtime pay as a result. It is important to note that although certain employees may be exempt from overtime, the majority of employees in an organization are most likely not exempt from overtime pay.

When companies intentionally or accidentally mis-classify employees, the workers invariably suffer the consequences. The oilfield FLSA attorneys of Williams Kherkher believe that all employees deserve to be paid a fair wage for the number of hours they have worked, and have pushed to hold companies accountable for the wages they owe. For more information, contact an attorney at 800-220-9341.