According to the suit, the defendant schedules workers for long shifts but pays them salaries plus a day rate, instead of overtime rates as required by both state and federal labor law. The laborers are not exempt from overtime as they perform manual duties that fit within a checklist set by their superiors, the suit states.
“All these workers are regularly scheduled to work 84 hours per workweek, but often worked more,” attorneys for the plaintiff Andrew Fritchman state. “Instead of paying them overtime, SLB paid its [measurement while drilling] employees a base salary plus a day rate.”
According to the complaint, Fritchman worked as a “measurement while drilling” employee, a largely manual job that didn’t leave room to deviate from the company’s outlined plan for how each day was to be conducted. Measurement while drilling workers are tasked with recording data gathered during drilling operations. A college education is not required to do this work, the plaintiff asserts.
Fritchman states in the suit that he and other workers performing the same job worked grueling schedules, working and living in the field sometimes for weeks. Typically, a schedule would require one worker on the “day” shift and the other on the “night” shift. Those shifts were 12 hours, and the employees worked seven days a week.
The plaintiffs assert that instead of paying its workers overtime as required by FLSA, the Ohio Prompt Pay Act, the Ohio Minimum Fair Wage Standards Act, and the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, the company paid them a salary plus a day rate.
The suit is seeking back pay, liquidated damages, attorneys’ fees and costs under FLSA for the company’s misclassifying its workers as exempt from overtime rules.
Fritchman is represented by Joshua P. Geist of Goodrich & Geist PC, Michael A. Josephson, Andrew W. Dunlap, Lindsay R. Itkin and Jessica M. Bresler of Fibich Leebron Copeland Briggs & Josephson and Richard J. Burch of Bruckner Burch PLLC. The case is Fritchman v. Schlumberger Tech Corp., case number 2:16-cv-01752, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.