- Associated Press - Friday, March 25, 2016

HOBBS, N.M. (AP) - Oilfield companies doing business in New Mexico and West Texas have paid workers $1.5 million in back wages and damages following a federal investigation.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division announced Thursday that Nova Mud Inc., Nova Hardbandings LLC and Nova Sand LLC violated overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The companies paid employees fixed semi-monthly salaries without regard to the number of hours they actually worked. Federal officials say that resulted in overtime violations when the employees worked more than 40 hours a work.

The companies signed an agreement with the department requiring them to take proactive measures to ensure workers are paid accordingly in the future. One measure calls for setting up an anonymous complaint system for employees.

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