On September 22, 2015, Texas-based oil and gas services provider Halliburton agreed to pay over $18 million to 1,000 of its nationwide employees following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The DOL is a federal agency tasked with enforcing the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA requires that covered employees receive overtime pay for all hours worked above 40 hours in the workweek.
Halliburton is one of the largest oil and gas providers in the energy industry and employs over 70,000 employees. In an investigation intended to crack down on oil and gas companies that are non compliant with the FLSA, the DOL discovered that Halliburton misclassfied 1,000 of its employees as exempt from overtime pay. These employees included field service representatives, pipe recovery specialists, drilling tech advisors, perforating specialists and reliability tech specialists. Halliburton also neglected to keep records of hours worked by those employees. Failing to keep accurate records of employees’ hours and misclassifying employees as exempt from overtime are violations of the FLSA. According to the DOL, in order to be exempt from overtime, a position generally must meet specific job criteria and have a salary of no less than $455 a week. Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez, stated: