Mining companies extracting gas from the Marcellus Shale formations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia violated the Fair Labor Standards Act () by misclassifying employees and improperly paying overtime, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division.
Investigators found the mining industry is as fractured as the gas-yielding shale the companies tap. Major mining companies use a network of subcontractors that often attempt to cut costs as much as possible to keep their bids low. A WHD spokesperson described the mining industry as “ripe for noncompliance.”
The settlement covers the period from 2012 to 2014. In all, 5,310 workers will collect $4,498,547.
Note: Most of the violations occurred because employers failed to include production bonuses in base pay when calculating overtime. The FLSA requires overtime to be calculated based on all pay the employee receives, including bonuses.
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