A federal judge has given preliminary approval to a class-action lawsuit against two oil and gas companies with headquarters in Denver, which alleges they violated federal labor laws in failing to pay their safety consultants overtime.
Morgan Buffington sued Ovintiv USA Inc. (formerly Encana Corporation) and Newfield Exploration Company — which is now part of Ovintiv — claiming that he was a safety consultant between 2016 and 2019 and was treated as an independent contractor. He reportedly received a flat rate per day, but often worked in excess of 12 hours per day without overtime compensation.
Buffington, of Oklahoma, alleged his experience was similar to that of other safety consultants for Ovintiv nationwide, and moved to certify his lawsuit as a class action for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“If the facts are as Defendants contend, they will have an opportunity to seek decertification and such other relief as they deem appropriate,” Moore explained.