Lawyers Make Out Like Bandits in PA O&G Overtime Case

We have a lot of lawyer friends, and lot of loyal MDN readers are lawyers. With all due respect to our lawyer friends and readers, we are outraged at the amount of money awarded to the attorneys in a recent oil and gas case in PA. Let’s back up. This post is primarily a warning to drillers and their contractors to play it straight when it comes to classifying who is exempt from overtime and who is not. You know who’s really “hourly” and who isn’t, and if you screw that up, it will come back to bite you–in a major way. A group of oilfield service workers in western PA were, according to the workers, misclassified as exempt from overtime when working over 40 hours per week. They sued. The details are below, but the short version is that the eight employees who stuck it out until the bitter end won their case. Collectively they got just over $1 million in back wages and “damages.” However (and here’s our outrage), the lawyers got a “reasonable fee” of $2.3 million! Really? It’s “reasonable” that the lawyers got more than twice what the employees got?…

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