DoL Seeks $1M from Houston Oil Companies for Disputed OT Payments

February 11, 2011 ( – The U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) has announced the filing of a lawsuit alleging two Houston companies failed to pay more than $1 million in required overtime to 4,500 current and former workers.

A DoL news release said the suit charges Kinder Morgan Inc. and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP did not make the payments to current and former operators, technicians, maintenance workers, laborers and administrative nonexempt employees in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

“There is no excuse for denying workers their rightful wages, and this lawsuit demonstrates that the department will use all available enforcement tools, including litigation and penalties, to ensure accountability and compliance with the law,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, in the news release.

The complaint was filed against both companies in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, after an investigation by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division found systemic violations nationwide resulting from the employers’ failure to include certain bonuses in overtime pay calculations for these employees.

Kinder Morgan Inc., owner of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, is one of the largest pipeline transportation and energy storage companies in North America, with an enterprise value of $30 billion and approximately 8,000 employees nationwide, the DoL announcement said. The defendants provide services to local oil refineries and clients such as Conoco/Philips, Exxon Mobil and Shell.