Robert Garrison, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- The Labor Department ordered a Tulsa-based company Thursday to pay more than $70,000 in back wages to 34 employees.
Latshaw Drilling wrongly classified the employees as independent contractors to avoid paying out overtime, the agency said.
The company, owned and operated by Trent Latshaw, specializes in drilling petroleum wells and manufacturing drilling equipment and rigs.
The U.S. Department of Labor said Latshaw Drilling worked the employees up to 72 hours a week while denying them time and one-half their wages past 40 hours.
The agency said the illegal practice of misclassifying employees to avoid overtime pay has become increasingly common, particularly in industries that often employ low-wage, vulnerable workers.