U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in North Dakota Company Paying $1,174,291 in Back Wages to 275 Current and Former Employees
DICKINSON, ND – Wyoming Casing Service Inc. – based in Dickinson, North Dakota – will pay $1,174,291 in back wages to 275 current and former employees after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) revealed violations of the overtime and recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
WHD investigators discovered FLSA violations at nine locations in six states where the company served the oil and gas industry. While WHD found the employer paid minimum wage and overtime for most hours that employees worked, it paid some employees for additional hours on a piece-rate basis, per foot, for installing "casing,” typically a hollow steel pipe essential for the protection of groundwater and aquifers in drilling operations. The employer failed to record the number of hours worked by employees when paid per foot, and failed to include piece rate earnings in their calculations when determining overtime rates. These exclusions resulted in the employer paying overtime rates lower than the workers had legally earned.
“Wyoming Casing Service Inc. will provide FLSA training to its managers and human resources personnel to avoid future violations,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Chad Frasier in Denver. “We encourage all employers to contact the Wage and Hour Division for assistance to ensure they understand their obligations and how to properly calculate wages and overtime compensation.”
The Wage and Hour Division’s investigation included crews assigned by Wyoming Casing Service Inc. to work in Grand Junction, Colorado; Dickinson and Williston, North Dakota; Canton, Ohio; New Albany, Pennsylvania; Weston, West Virginia; and Cheyenne, Gillette, and Rock Springs, Wyoming.
Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Division, contact the Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/whd including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by WHD.