There has been an explosion of wage and hour collective actions failed against Texas employers in the last five years.  This has been particularly prevalent in the oil field services sector.  If you are a Texas employer, and using any of 12 pay practices below, you should consult with an employment lawyer to ensure you are properly paying your employees and do not have an undiscovered wage and hour issue that could come to light:

  • Paying all employees a weekly or monthly salary (compounded by not keeping track of daily and weekly hours worked)
  • Not including commissions, nondiscretionary bonuses or other types of payments in calculating overtime pay.
  • Deducting from employee wages for cash shortages and breakage.
  • Treating meal periods of less than 30 minutes as unpaid.
  • Treating short rest breaks as unpaid.
  • Automatically deducting an hour (or other increment of time) from employee work time without confirming that the employee took lunch (most often occurring when employees work away from the employer’s work site).
  • Only paying overtime if it is “approved” in advance.
  • Employees are provided comp time off instead of paying overtime.
  • Employees are paid straight time for all hours worked.
  • Paying employees a day rate regardless of how many hours they work (compounded by not keeping track of those daily hours).
  • Treating travel time to the work site as unpaid but requiring employees to first report to another location before traveling to the job site. 
  • Large-scale, wide-spread use of independent contractors rather than treating workers as employees.

As an employer, you are using any of these pay practices, you should consult an employment lawyer that represents employers to determine whether your practices comply with federal law.

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