Shell Oil Owes $4.5 Million for Overtime

     HOUSTON (CN) – Shell Oil Co. and its subsidiary Motiva Enterprises will pay $4.5 million to settle a U.S. Department of Labor investigation into refinery employees not being paid for attending mandatory meetings before their shifts.
     The Houston-based companies will pay 2,677 current and former chemical and refinery employees for requiring them to attend the meetings and for not recording the time spent.
     The Labor Department’s investigation found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which requires employers to maintain accurate records of employees’ wages, hours and other conditions of employment. The law requires non-agricultural and non-exempt employees to be paid time and a half for hours worked over 40 per week.
     “Eight Shell Oil and Motiva refineries failed to pay workers for time spent attending mandatory pre-shift meetings,” Labor Department officials said in a statement. “The companies required the workers to come to the meetings before the start of their 12-hour shift. Because the companies failed to consider time spent at mandatory pre-shift meetings as compensable, employees were not paid for all hours worked and did not receive all of the overtime pay of time and one-half their regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.”
     Shell and Motiva agree to train managers, payroll personnel and human resources personal on FLSA requirements.
     Motiva – a joint venture between Shell and Saudi Refining – refines, distributes and sells fuel under the Shell brand in coastal states from Texas to Maine, according to its website.
     Shell Oil spokeswoman Kimberly Windon said the company “cooperated fully” with the Labor Department’s audit.
     “Shell remains committed to compliance with the FLSA and has consistently demonstrated its compliance efforts,” she said Wednesday evening.

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