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“Proposed DOL Guidance Broadens Definition of Independent Contractors for Oil and Gas Employers,” SHALE Oil & Gas Business Magazine

In an article published on February 6, 2021 in SHALE Oil & Gas Business Magazine, Annette Idalski and James Fielding discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to create a variety of wage and hour complications that could put employers at risk for violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

“Oil extraction cannot be done remotely,” explains Idalski and Feilding. “It is a very complex operation requiring considerable determination and sophistication to be combined in very specific locations. Yet, the precautions taken to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks in these complicated environments may have consequences under the FLSA and other wage and hour laws.”

Idalski and Fielding further explain the importance of understanding these complications as the first step towards developing strategies for avoiding costly wage and hour litigation.

“What measures can companies take to avoid serious wage and hour complications while adhering to COVID-19 safety requirements?” Idalski and Fielding ask. “The starting point is to determine whether the COVID-19 precautions in use at any given worksite are causing delays that might require workers to arrive earlier or leave later than they normally would.”

Examples include field workers having to stay late to sanitize tools, or office workers might need to arrive early to get their temperature checked, etc. Idalski and Fielding suggest that it might be possible to revise the precautions to minimize FLSA exposure while providing legally sufficient COVID-19 precautions.

To read the article in full, click here.

  • Annette A. Idalski
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    Annette A. Idalski is a labor and employment litigator. She represents employers throughout the United States and is based in Atlanta, Georgia. 

    Ms. Idalski has gained national recognition for her representation of employers ...