Class Action Settlement – Oil Drilling
PARRIS obtained a $6.75 Million class action settlement on behalf of hourly-paid employees who worked for an oil drilling company that drills wells for major oil companies.
This class action was certified on all causes of action. The oil drilling company owed its employees wages for 30 to 45 minutes of double overtime for each shift that the employees worked.
The employer had a written punctuality and attendance policy that required the oil drilling employees to start their shift prepared to work. This meant that they had to arrive for work approximately 30 to 45 minutes before the start of their shift to change into their protective gear, complete pre-shift paperwork, and meet with the outgoing crew. The employees also had to stay and work for 15 to 30 minutes after their scheduled shifts were finished to debrief, complete post shift paperwork, and change out of their protective gear. They were not paid for this pre and post-shift work.
The employees were scheduled to work 12-hour rotating shifts, which were always scheduled from 12 a.m. to 12 p.m. or 12 p.m. to 12 a.m., with debriefing occurring off-the-clock after each shift. Additionally, even though the employees worked more than 12-hours a shift, they were only given one meal break during their shift. California law requires employees to take a second meal break starting the 10th hour that they work during a shift. The oil drilling employees were never paid any premiums for missed meal and rest periods.
The employees were also oftentimes required to purchase their own steel-toed boots, additional work gloves, safety glasses, and fire retardant clothing for work on the oil rigs, but they were not reimbursed for those items, or for the cleaning of them. They were also not reimbursed for mileage for driving to off-site work meetings.
Other notable PARRIS class action settlements involving donning and doffing personal protective gear include a $7.8 Million class action settlement against a chicken processing plant and a $5 Million class action settlement against a dairy producer.