A Texas company has won a rare victory against the government that could long-determine how a lot of people in the oil and gas industry get paid.
Several years ago, the Department of Labor ordered Corpus Christi based Gate Guard Services to pay more than $6.2 million dollars in fines and back pay.
The company hires people to monitor traffic in and out of oil and gas properties, the feds said the company has misidentified 'employees' as 'independent contractors'.
But a decision from a federal judge, in Victoria, ruled in favor of the company and validates the industry's extensive use of independent contractors.
Houston Attorney Dan Pipitone lead the case for Gate Guard and says, "So many companies, now, in the oil and gas business can look to this: If the Department of Labor comes knocking on their door, this can be a case-precedent to say 'No, our people are properly classified as independent contractors. They are not employees'."
The Department of Labor has not lost a case, like this, in 75 years, and lawyers for the company expect the government to appeal.