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Ninth Circuit Dismisses California Wage Claims by Oil Rig Workers, Following High Court Ruling

The Ninth Circuit recently dismissed California minimum wage and overtime claims in a class action brought by drilling platform worker, Brian Newton, against his former employer, Parker Drilling, following the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Parker Drilling Mgmt. Servs. v. Newton, 139 S. Ct. 1881 (2019).

In that case, the Supreme Court determined that workers on oil drilling platforms off the coast of California are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as opposed to California’s overtime and minimum wage laws because the platforms were outside California’s territorial waters.  Specifically, the Court found that workers on the Outer Continental Shelf were subject to federal law, and that California wage law should not be applied since the FLSA left no significant gap in federal law for state law to fill.  Because the Ninth Circuit did not fully analyze Newton’s other state claims (including pay stub and meal break violations and penalties under California’s Private Attorneys General Act), and held that Newton should be given leave to amend his complaint, the Supreme Court remanded the case back to the Ninth Circuit for further proceedings.  Consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision, the Ninth Circuit has now dismissed Newton’s California minimum wage and overtime claims, and the case has been remanded to the district court for further proceedings.  You can read our full analysis of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Parker Drilling Mgmt. Servs. v. Newton, 139 S. Ct. 1881, 204 L. Ed. 2d 165 (2019).

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2022National Law Review, Volume IX, Number 217
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About this Author

Allyson Ascher Employment Attorney Jackson Lewis
Associate

Allyson S. Ascher is an Associate in the Orange County, California office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Her practice focuses on defending and advising employers in a variety workplace law matters, including discrimination, retaliation, and harassment claims, as well as wage and hour violations.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, Ms. Ascher’s practice focused on representing health care professionals and organizations in lawsuits involving professional negligence, general liability, and employment claims. Ms. Ascher has significant experience in all phases of litigation...

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