The U.S. Department of Labor Strikes Again – Worker Misclassification is (Still) a Hot Topic
Continuing the trend of exposing companies who have misclassified workers, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has persuaded its latest target, Halliburton Co., to pay $18.3 million to compensate employees for unpaid overtime. During a self-audit, Halliburton discovered, and the U.S. DOL investigated and found, that several jobs in Halliburton’s oilfield operations were misclassified as “exempt” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). These jobs included salaried field service representatives, pipe recovery specialists, drilling tech advisers, perforating specialists, and reliability tech specialists. The DOL also found that Halliburton failed to keep accurate time records for these workers (hardly surprising given they were classified as exempt).
As a result, more than 1,000 workers had not received time-and-a-half for time worked over 40 hours per week, and Halliburton agreed to pay millions rather than endure the wrath of the DOL.
Consider yourself warned: The DOL is on the prowl for misclassified workers, so make sure your company’s labels (e.g., exempt, independent contractor, etc.) are in line with the applicable rules and regulations.