AES Drilling workers sue for overtime pay –
Two drilling fluid engineers sued Canadian-owned AES Drilling Fluids of Houston for failing to pay them overtime, in a complaint filed last week in federal court in Houston.
The workers were paid fixed rates, including a day rate, but didn't receive time and one half when they worked more than 40 hours a week.
Patty O'Brian, an attorney in Houston who represents AES Drilling, said the company has not yet been served with a copy of the lawsuit nor have company officials had a chance to look at it so she said she could not comment.
The case is the latest against oil and gas companies over the common industry practice of paying field workers by the day or week instead of by the hour, including overtime premium pay.
The two workers, including Larry Cole who worked as an independent contractor and Joel Elizondo who was an employee, have requested class action status to include other drilling fluid engineers who worked for the company during the past three years. The job involves manual labor duties including collecting oil and gas samples and monitoring drilling operations.
Houston is the U.S. corporate headquarters of AES Drilling Fluids. AES is a subsidiary of Canadian Energy Services in Calgary.

L.M. Sixel writes about the economy and the workplace for the Houston Chronicle. She writes a weekly column called "Working" that appears each Thursday.
She started her newspaper career at the Beaumont Enterprise. Before that, she earned a Bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master's degree in economic history from the London School of Economics.


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