Smith v. Scientific Drilling International, Inc.
On January 24, 2014, Plaintiff Gurney D. Smith filed a class action and collective action complaint against Scientific Drilling International, Inc. (“Scientific Drilling”) in the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming. The case has subsequently been transferred to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas and consolidated with a case captioned Gentry et al. v. Scientific Drilling International, Inc., No. 4:14-cv-363 (S.D. Tex.).
About the case
The lawsuit alleges that Scientific Drilling improperly compensated employees by paying a salary plus day rate (also known as “day rate land” or “field bonus”), without regard for the actual hours worked by employees, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and several state laws.
According to the complaint, the FLSA requires that employees must be compensated for all hours worked over 40 in a week at a rate not less than one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate. A lump sum payment paid for work performed during overtime hours that does not take into account the number of hours the employee works does not qualify as an overtime premium, even though the amount of money may be equal to or greater than the sum owed on a per hour basis.
Plaintiff’s claims seek back pay (all unpaid overtime wages), plus liquidated double damages, reasonable attorneys’ fees and court costs.