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“Oil and Gas Personnel Issues: Legal Minefields”

September 16, 2020

Article by Annette Idalski and Brian Smith on “Oil and Gas Personnel Issues: Legal Minefields”

Oil & Gas Investor

In an article published in Oil & Gas Investor on September 16, 2020, Atlanta-based Shareholder Annette Idalski and Associate Brian Smith discuss the unique legal challenges faced by oil and gas employers.

“Because the nature of work in the oilfield and on pipelines is cyclical and requires flexibility, it is often necessary to rely both on independent contractors and employees,” explain Idalski and Smith. “However, this novel compensation structure often makes these businesses targets for class action litigation by plaintiffs’ lawyers who do not always understand the industry and the nuances of the two roles.”

Idalski and Smith further explain that the best way for an employer to substantially limit the scope of litigation is an arbitration agreement with a class action waiver. This waiver should be signed by all employees and contractors.

“Employers in the oil and gas industry have long been a frequent target of plaintiff’s counsel,” said Idalski and Smith. “Unfortunately, a recent trend has emerged where plaintiff’s counsel often seek to sue only the clients of service companies who contract for labor provided by the service company.”

To read the article in full, subscribers may click here.