The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines the minimum wage as $7.25 per hour, but that doesn’t mean employers necessarily have to pay their workers on an hourly basis. Employees can be paid a salary, per job, by the hour, or by the day, as long as the wages they are paid, divided by the hours they work, amounts to no less than the legal minimum wage. States and cities also have their own labor laws regulating things like minimum wage and overtime, so anyone conducting business in the U.S. has to make sure they’re abiding by all the relevant local and federal labor laws.
The FLSA also defines overtime as any time spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week and requires employers to pay their nonexempt workers one and one-half times their normal hourly rate of pay for all overtime worked.
According to a recent wage and hour lawsuit filed against Quality Integrated Services, Inc., the company paid its pipeline inspectors a daily rate, which allegedly did not take into account all the hours they worked, including overtime.
Quality Integrated is a company, based out of Oklahoma, that offers services for oil and gas construction, including inspection of pipelines. It recently had a contract with the Williams Cos. in which Quality Integrated provided inspectors for the Laurel Mountain project, which currently includes almost 14,000 miles of pipeline and was a joint venture with Chevron.
The named plaintiff, Jesse Webb, worked as a pipeline inspector for Quality Integrated from October 2010 to September 2014, and allegedly worked on the Laurel Mountain project. He says that he and the other members of his proposed class performed routine inspections on pipes that had just been laid down.
According to the overtime lawsuit, the pipeline inspectors allegedly worked 16-18 hours a day, up to seven days a week. The lawsuit claims this is a common schedule for the oil and gas construction industry but, no matter what the industry, employees are entitled to the proper compensation as determined by the relevant labor laws. According to the complaint, the pipeline inspectors working on the Laurel Mountain project were allegedly paid a flat rate for the first ten hours of work they did each day, and then received straight pay for all the time they worked after those ten hours. This payment method allegedly did not take into account the many hours of overtime they were allegedly working, and did not compensate them accordingly.
Webb has responded by filing a collective action against his former employer on behalf of all the inspectors who worked for Quality Integrated on the Laurel Mountain project any time between April 15, 2013 and the present, and were paid a daily rate for their work. Webb is also filing a class action lawsuit against Quality Integrated on behalf of all the pipeline inspectors who worked on the Laurel Mountain project in the state of Pennsylvania any time between April 15, 2012 and the present, and were paid a flat daily rate.
The Chicago class action attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have three decades of experience fighting to help employees who are victims of wage, overtime and tip theft by their employers. We have a team of Chicago unpaid overtime lawyers who concentrate on prosecuting state and nationwide class action lawsuits. Our attorneys work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and pursue claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Carol Stream and Wheaton. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Bloomingdale, Lisle and Winfield overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers mis-classify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.
The Chicago Overtime Law Center is based in Chicago and Oak Brook, and represents clients throughout the country who have unpaid overtime and other employment right claims.