TYLER - Three East Texas welders have filed a lawsuit against their employer claiming that they were misclassified as independent contractors so that their employer wouldn't have to pay them overtime compensation.

Brandon Martin, James Stewart Feistel and Mike Hasler filed suit against Patterson-UTI Drilling Co. on March 28 in the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division.

Martin, Feistel, and Hasler worked as welders from various times beginning in 2008 and ending in 2010.

The welders claim that they regularly worked more than 40 hours per week for Patterson but were not paid time and one-half for those excess hours.

The defendant is accused of willfully violating the Fair Labor Standards Act by misclassifying the welders and treating them as independent contractors rather than employees.

The employees are seeking an award of damages for unpaid overtime compensation, liquidated damages, punitive damages, attorney's fees, court costs and interest.

The plaintiffs are represented by William L. Sciba of Cole, Cole & Easley P.C. in Victoria.

A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Leonard E. Davis is assigned to the case.

Case No. 6:12-cv-00219

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