Citgo to Pay Back Overtime to 239 Refinery Workers

Dec. 22 — Citgo, one of the nation’s largest petrochemical suppliers, will pay $460,853 in back overtime wages to 239 employees at its refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas, the Labor Department announced Dec. 21.

The DOL's Wage and Hour Division investigated Citgo as part of an ongoing, multiyear, multistate compliance initiative in the oil and gas industry. Investigators found Citgo required workers going off a 12-hour shift to brief the incoming shift. The briefing process took an average of 15 minutes but could last as long as 30 minutes, the DOL said.

Citgo didn't record the briefing time as part of employees' work hours, and it didn't pay them for it. Violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime provisions resulted when the briefing times caused employees to work more than 40 hours in a week. The affected employees will receive amounts equivalent to two weeks of income, according to the department.

Bloomberg BNA was unable to reach a spokesman for Citgo. The company's Corpus Christi location employs more than 1,000 workers, the DOL said.

For more information, see Compensation and Benefits Library’s FLSA Enforcement and Penalties chapter.