O’Brien Law Firm files two arbitrations for unpaid overtime for employees paid on a day-rate basis
In February and March 2023, the O’Brien Law Firm filed arbitrations for two former employees of 3B Inspection, LLC of Tarrant County, Texas. 3B Inspection provides safety inspectors for pipeline projects in Texas and New Mexico. Both of these former employees of 3B Inspection worked in Texas and were paid on a day-rate basis. That means that they were paid the same amount each day regardless of the amount of time actually worked on that day. And, each one claims to have worked substantial hours over 40 during most of their workweeks with 3B Inspection, but were not paid a time-and-a-half overtime premium rate for those hours.
As the O’Brien Law Firm contends, this is an illegal pay practice under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act law that covers, in part, overtime pay requirements for employers like 3B Inspection. Because the employees were not being paid a salary – meaning, the same amount for the week regardless of the time they spent working that week – they must be paid an overtime rate for hours over 40. The arbitrations also sued owner Robert Beall individually, as he may qualify for individual liability under the overtime laws.
In 2019 in the Tipton case, a group of 3B Inspection employees sued the company for this very reason. The parties settled that case. However, instead of revising its pay practices, 3B Inspection chose to institute an arbitration requirement for its employees, forcing employees to go to private arbitration (and not court) for their future claims and prohibiting them from banding together as a group in one case. Therefore, the O’Brien Law Firm filed individual arbitrations for these two former employees who had been denied thousands of dollars of pay to which they were legally entitled.
UPDATE: In September 2023, both clients’ cases were resolved with 3B Inspection and Mr. Beall on confidential terms.