In December, we wrote about the pros and cons of using independent contractors in the oil and gas industry. We wanted to provide you with an update on this topic. Recently, there has been increasing scrutiny from federal regulators on the use of independent contractors in the industry. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced the results of a 2014 enforcement initiative that focused on the oil and gas industry in New Mexico and west Texas. According to the DOL, it recovered more than $1.3 million owed to some 1,300 employee as a result of this investigation. This is not the first DOL foray into wage-and-hour practices within the oil and gas industry. In December 2014, the DOL announced that employers engaged in natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania and West Virginia agreed to pay $4,498,547 in back wages to 5,310 employees.
In a recent Client Alert, we highlight some additional information about wage-and-hour issues that may be of interest to those in the oil and gas industry.