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Oil Rig Employees Who Are Paid A Day Rate May Be Entitled To Overtime Pay
A federal appeals court in New Orleans ruled that an offshore oil rig manager can be paid overtime even though the employer attempted to classify him as exempt from the overtime laws. The court decided that Helix Solutions Group employee Michael Hewitt was paid using a "day rate" and was not paid on a "salary basis" for his work. Because he was not paid a "salary," he was not exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
We'll spare you the legal analysis--but we will say that, in general, if an employee meets certain tests including being paid on a "salary basis," then the employee is not entitled to overtime. However, the test to determine if an employee is paid on a "salary basis" is very complex and if an employer does not truly pay the employee a salary, then the employee may be entitled to overtime pay. Federal courts, employees, and employers have struggled over at least the past decade to decide when an employee is truly paid on a "salary basis" due to the many complex factors that govern the decision.
We understand that it is a common practice in the oil and gas industry to pay allegedly exempt employees on a "day rate." If that's how you are paid then you may be entitled to overtime pay even if your employer says you are exempt, and even if you are highly compensated.
Please feel free to contact us for a free, confidential consultation to determine your rights, including whether you are entitled to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
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