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Oilfield Worker Files Class Lawsuit Regarding Off-The-Clock Work and Hourly “Per Diem.”

On Wednesday, April 18, 2018, Moreland Law Firm, P.C. filed suit in Federal Court in Midland, Texas against Lafayatte Steel Erector, Inc. (LSE Crane). The case was filed on behalf of Juan Galindo and a class of LSE crane operators and riggers.

Galindo brings claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”) against LSE Crane. The FLSA is the federal law that requires covered employers pay their employees the minimum wage and overtime. Employers that violate the FLSA are subject to double damages for all of the wages they deprived their workers. Employers are also responsible for the employee’s attorneys’ fees and costs if the employee prevails.

The lawsuit claims that LSE Crane required that its crane operators and riggers work off-the-clock both before and after scheduled shifts. During this alleged off-the-clock work, the class members picked-up and dropped-off materials and supplies, filled their company vehicle’s gas tanks, filled supplemental gas tanks with diesel fuel for the crane, and drove to and from the job site.

The lawsuit also claims that LSE Crane engages in a scheme to deprive its crane operators and riggers proper overtime by categorizing part of their hourly rate as a “per diem.” Courts have held that hourly “per diems” are wages and therefore must be included when calculating the employee’s overtime rate.

In the lawsuit, Galindo is requesting lost wages, liquidated (double) damages, injunctive relief, and attorneys’ fees.

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