Eagle Ford Company Beats Giant

Eagle Ford Company Takes on Dept. of Labor
Eagle Ford Company Takes on Dept. of Labor

Small Eagle Ford company wins “David v Goliath” battle with the  U.S. Department of Labor.

Related: Eagle Ford Family Wants Their Day in Court

Bert Steindorf, the owner of Gate Guard Services, won a victory last week in his two-year battle to retrieve attorneys fees from a 2013 case he won over the Department of Labor

The trouble started when the Labor Department claimed Gate Guard owed $6.2 million in back pay, including minimum wage and overtime for employees it classified as independent contractors. Senior U.S. District Judge John Rainey sided with the company and classified the workers as employees and awarded Steindorf $565,000, which amounts to $125 an hour.

Stendorf appealed and the 5th Circuit of Appeals found examples of ‘bad faith’ and said that the Department of Labor was rife with misconduct. This ruling opens the door for Steindorf to potentially receive compensation that is closer to the actual fees he paid out during the trial. The final dollar amount is expected to be awarded later this month, but the government agency may now have to pay up to $1 million.

Gate Guard Services is a small Corpus Christie-based company that provides security services to oil fields in the Eagle Ford Shale. The company is fortunate it had the resources necessary to continue to fight.

Not many small service companies in the energy sector can afford to fight. They simply do not have the the financial wherewithal in a prolonged legal battle.
— Defense attorney, Daniel Pipitone