Oil field workers seeking overtime pay for the time it takes to put on and take off their protective clothing can go ahead with their trial even though their expert testimony has been dismissed, a federal appeals court said on Monday when it rejected a lower court decision.  About 1,000 current and former workers sued Calgary, Alberta-based Precision Drilling Corp. and its entities for failing to pay overtime pay in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act for the time they spend and "smelling" certain personal protective equipment. , according to Monday's ruling by the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia Rodney Tyger et al. v. Precision Drilling Corp. et. al .
Workers are required to wear various forms of personal protective equipment while using oil rigs, including flame protection suits, steel-toed boots, gloves, goggles, hard hats and earplugs to avoid common hazards in the workplace, such as electric shock, falling objects, flying objects, slippery surfaces and chemical exposure, according to the mood.
The workers sued Precision in the U.S. District Court in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, claiming that the pick-up and doffing was an "integral and indispensable" part of their main business as rig hands and therefore compensated.
The workers offered a report and testimony from a proposed chemical hygiene expert who gave an opinion on the health risks associated with exposure to certain hazardous materials on the rigs, in addition to the benefits of wearing personal protective equipment, according to the decision. It then concluded that without his testimony, the plaintiffs had failed to "raise a real dispute over material facts" as to whether donation and doping were substitutable under the FLSA, and granted the precision judgment on overtime mussels.
consisted of a unanimous panel of three judges, who concluded that the workers could continue their trial without the expert's testimony.
"It is important that we have not identified any FLSA case in a rewarding and dismal context that requires the plaintiff to provide an expert opinion on workplace safety risks or the safety value of their protective equipment to meet the integrated and indispensable standard," the decision states. . concerning safety risks in the workplace and the nature of the work and personal protective equipment ̵
The panel confirmed the lower court's dismissal of the expert's testimony and of the accusation that Precision had knowingly violated the FLSA.
Lawyers in the case did not respond to a request for comment. .