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Halliburton Ordered by Department of Labor to Pay $18.3 Million in Overtime Wages

Oil and Gas Industry the Target of Nationwide Wage and Hour ProbeThe oil and gas industry has been the target of a nationwide probe into wage and hour practices. According to the Department of Labor, Halliburton Company is the latest business to fall victim to a wage and hour lawsuit, and will have to pay out $18.3 million to over 1,016 oil and gas workers that were incorrectly exempted from overtime pay. The Department of Labor reported that Halliburton had identified workers in 28 job categories as exempt from overtime. However, the exemptions were in fact violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The resulting settlement was one of the largest Department of Labor settlements for overtime violations.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employees are entitled to mandatory overtime pay if they have few or no management duties or earn less than $455 a week. The Obama administration has proposed more than doubling the required income threshold, which would further complicate things for employers.

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The Department of Labor stated that Halliburton had been automatically exempting salaried workers from overtime without considering their job responsibilities or income levels. A spokesperson for Halliburton stated that they had independently discovered that workers were being misclassified during an internal audit and had corrected the overtime pay before hearing from the Department of Labor.

The Halliburton investigation was just a piece of a larger ongoing probe into the oil and gas industry's wage and hour pay practices. The Department of Labor announced in December that a number of companies located in Pennsylvania and West Virginia who were involved in natural drilling would be ordered to pay $4.5 million dollars in back wages to more than 5,300 employees who were incorrectly exempted from overtime compensation.

How EPAY Systems Can Help

Our flexible time and attendance system can help you stay on top of employee overtime and in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. Blueforce gives you the ability to keep detailed time and attendance records with custom wage and hour reports, violation flagging, and real time overtime alerts. Contact us to learn more about how we can help keep you compliant.