BJ Chemical Services in Houston recently paid $256,000 in back wages to 56 workers following a U.S. Labor Department investigation.
The department announced that the company, which specializes in providing services to oil and gas companies, had violated the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The investigation revealed that BJ Chemical failed to pay OT wages to certain workers who maintained natural gas wells and replaced wellhead equipment.
Final tip: If the Labor Department approaches you about an alleged OT underpayment, contact your attorney and try to negotiate a settlement or explore your other options. Don’t wait until a disgruntled employee retains an attorney and sues.
As many employers — including mega-retailer Wal-Mart — have been discovering, a few hours of unpaid OT multiplied by hundreds or thousands of employees can mean big bucks. Plus, employees can earn double damages.