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$4.5 Million Settles Shell and Motiva’s Overtime Lawsuit

HOUSTON — Shell Oil Co. and Motiva Enterprises LLC, a marketer of Shell gasoline and partially owned by Shell Oil, have agreed to pay close to $4.5 million to settle a class action overtime pay lawsuit. The settlement is intended to cover the overtime back wages of more than 2,600 current and former chemical and refinery employees at Shell and Motiva refineries across the country. The employees claimed the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by failing to record and pay employees for required pre-shift meetings.

Refinery Claims

Refinery employees filed a complaint with the government alleging wage violations at numerous Shell refinery locations. Based on the complaints, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) launched a nationwide investigation of Shell and Motiva facilities. The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division in Houston coordinated with four other district offices to investigate the charges and ensure Shell and Motiva’s nationwide compliance at facilities in five states, including Texas, California, Alabama, Washington, and Louisiana.

The investigation found FLSA overtime violations in the failure to pay employee for time spent in mandatory pre-shift meetings. Both companies also failed to record the time spent in those meetings on employees’ time sheets. Eight Shell Oil and Motiva refineries were found in violation. These refineries required employees to attend meetings before their 12-hour shifts, but the time spent in the meetings were never recorded, resulting in the employees not receiving compensation for all of the hours they worked, and the potential loss of earned overtime wages.

The Settlement

The settlement, in addition to providing back wages for unrecorded and paid meeting time, includes a provision for training of Shell and Motiva employees. The companies’ managers, human resource and payroll personnel are to receive training which stresses the importance of paying employees for all hours worked and the importance of requiring accurate recording of those hours, particularly in connection with pre- and post-shift activities.

Wage Statements

Wage statements serve many purposes. One of the primary purposes is to provide employees with a clear record of the hours worked, the rate of pay for those hours, and whether overtime was accrued or deductions were taken. The statements are also a way for employees to verify all hours worked were recorded in the company’s payroll records. Most wage statements do not break down hours worked to indicate the inclusion of time spent on pre- and post-shift activities. But wage statements can be a good place to look for discrepancies, particularly when pre- and post-shift activities are required and result in work weeks longer than 40 hours.

If you feel you have been denied proper wages for all the hours you have worked and proper overtime, our knowledgeable team of overtime pay lawyers can help you evaluate and decide the best path for your situation. Contact us today at (855) 754-2795 to discuss your situation. If we accept your case, we will represent you under our No Fee Promise. This means there are no legal fees or costs unless you receive a settlement.

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