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News Brief

Sugar Land oil and gas services provider to pay $225K in back wages, damages after US Labor Department investigation

Plant Engineering Services wrongly classified workers as exempt from overtime

Employer: Plant Engineering Services LLC

Site: 1 Fluor Daniel Drive, Sugar Land, Texas

Investigation Findings: A U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation found Plant Engineering Services LLC violated the overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The employer incorrectly applied an exemption from the FLSA’s overtime requirements, meant for salaried executive and administrative employees, to hourly employees. To meet the criteria for exemption, employees must be paid a minimum guaranteed salary, and must perform job duties specific to that exemption. The employer also failed to maintain records of the regular and overtime hours employees had worked, violating the recordkeeping provisions of the FLSA. The investigation is part of the agency’s initiative to improve labor law compliance in the oil and gas industry.

Resolution: Plant Engineering Services will pay $112,884 in back wages and an equal, additional amount in liquidated damages totaling $225,768 to 17 employees, and will comply with the FLSA in the future.

Quote: “These employees deserve to take home every penny they rightfully earn,” said Betty Campbell, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “Employers cannot misuse exemptions to underpay employees. Doing so hurts not only the employees and their families, but also places law-abiding employers at a competitive disadvantage. Our ongoing initiative in this industry continues to educate employers and to move the needle on ensuring workers receive a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.”

Background: Since 2012, more than 1,100 investigations have recovered more than $40 million nationally as part of the division’s oil and gas initiative. Based in Sugar Land, Plant Engineering Services provides engineering and project management services to the gas, power generation, mining and manufacturing industries.

Information: For more information about the FLSA, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/.

Agency
Wage and Hour Division
Date
March 14, 2016
Release Number
16-0347-DAL
Contact: Juan Rodriguez