Houston-based oilfield services provider Halliburton Company has agreed to pay nearly $18.3 million in overtime wages to 1,016 employees nationwide, according to a letter from the U.S. Department of Labor.
Halliburton was being investigated by the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division as part of a compliance initiative in the oil and gas industry. The DOL’s letter states Halliburton “incorrectly categorized employees in 28 job positions as exempt from overtime.” The company’s salaried employees – working as field service representatives, pipe recovery specialists, drilling tech advisors, perforating specialists and reliability tech specialists – were not paid overtime when they worked more than 40 hours per workweek. This practice violates the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“The Department of Labor takes very seriously its responsibility to ensure workers receive the wages they have earned,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez stated in the letter. “This settlement will put millions of dollars where they belong – in the pockets of hardworking people and their families. Employers who don’t pay their employees the wages they have earned don’t just hurt their workers; they undercut employers who play by the rules.”
Betty Campbell, the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division acting southwest regional administrator, said in the letter the division welcomes and appreciates the cooperation of Halliburton as investigations continue.
“During a self-audit, Halliburton identified a certain number of jobs that were misclassified as exempt,” a Halliburton spokesperson stated in an email to Rigzone. “The company reclassified the identified positions and throughout this process, Halliburton has worked earnestly and cooperatively with the U.S. Department of Labor to equitably resolve this situation.”