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Court: Oil workers not entitled to OT pay for daily commute

The New Mexico Court of Appeals ruled on June 25 that workers are not entitled to overtime pay for travel between their homes and job sites.

According to the court documents, the case was between three workers who said they represented all other similar workers, versus their employer, J.W. Drilling Inc., based out of Artesia. The three workers are Julian Segura, Christopher Dixon and Kevin J. Meyn.

The workers were seeking overtime compensations, stating their employer “failed to pay them for overtime wages for the time spent traveling from their homes to the employer’s job sites,” the court documents said.

Court documents said workers would have to travel at least an hour a day to and from job sites in the Permian Basin oil field in Southeastern New Mexico.

Because the travel time to work sites from home required them to work over 40 hours a week, workers said they were entitled to overtime pay.

However, the appellate court rejected the argument and ruled that it would force the state minimum wage act to include a requirement that employers compensate theirs workers for time traveling to work and home.

The Court of Appeals decision upheld a trial judge’s pretrial ruling in favor of J.W. Drilling Inc.

Barry Massey, communications officer for the New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts, said the workers have two other options to pursue if they choose to do so: either request the entire Court of Appeals look at the case or they can take it to the New Mexico Supreme Court.

In related news, North Dakota officers ask court to toss oil worker’s lawsuit.

This article was written by Sarah Matott from Carlsbad Current-Argus, N.M. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.