Oil Field Workers Sue for Wages

Oil Field Workers Sue for Wages
Oil Field Workers Sue for Wages

Hundreds of oil and gas workers in the Eagle Ford and around the country are suing oil and gas companies to win back lost wages.

Related: Shale Industry Loses Billions

As producers tighten their belts and streamline their operations to cope with the current downturn, some of their measures to cut corners may have been on the backs of their workers.

According to San Antonio Express News, there has been an upward spike in federal litigation related to the Eagle Ford shale and other plays around the country. The suits claim a variety of wage infractions against companies including failure to pay overtime, mishandling bonuses and misclassifying salaried workers and independent contractors.

Since the beginning of the year, 72 lawsuits have been filed in the U.S. District Court in San Antonio by oil field workers. This is 2½ times the number from last year and is 7 times the  number in 2013, when only 10 were recorded.

When times are good and people are making money, they’re not thinking about how they’re getting paid. But when things start going south, that’s when the claims start to arise, because they either are not making as much money or they can see the writing on the wall.
— San Antonio Attorney, Robert Kilgore

As of September 30th, theU.S. Department of Labor's Southwest Division has collected $22.3 million in wages on behalf of 4,700 workers. About $1 million of that amount was in the South Texas area on behalf of 590 workers.