The U.S. supreme court has ruled that state laws don’t apply for offshore oil workers employed on the U.S. outer continental shelf, as these are governed by federal laws.Justice statue, Image source: PixabayThe ruling was related to a claim by offshore oil worker Brian Newton who worked for Parker Drilling on drilling platforms off the coast of California from January 2013 to January 2015.Newton’s 14-day shifts involved 12 hours per day on duty and 12 hours per day on standby, during which he could not leave the platform.According to the court document, Newton was paid “well above” the California and federal minimum wages for his time on duty, but he was not paid for his standby time.He filed a class action in California state court alleging violations of several California wage-and-hour laws and related state-law claims. Among other things, Newton claimed that California’s minimum wage and overtime laws required Parker to compensate him for the time he spent on standby.The original lawsuit alleges that time during which a worker cannot leave his or her worksite, even sleeping time, is considered hours worked under California law.The parties agreed that Parker’s platforms were subject to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA).Their disagreement centered on whether the relevant California laws were “applicable and not inconsistent” with existing federal law and thus deemed to be the applicable federal law under the OCSLA.According to the court, the OCSLA gives the Federal Government complete “jurisdiction, control, and power of disposition” over the Outer Continental Shelf, while giving the States no “interest in or jurisdiction” over itJustice Thomas delivered the following opinion on behalf of the U.S. Supreme Court: “Some of Newton’s claims are premised on the adoption of California law requiring payment for all standby time.”“Because federal law already addresses this issue, California law does not provide the rule of decision on the OCS. To the extent Newton’s OCS-based claims rely on that law, they necessarily fail. Likewise, to the extent his OCS-based claims rely on the adoption of California’s minimum wage, the FLSA already provides for a minimum wage, so the state minimum wage is not adopted as federal law and does not apply on the OCS.”The court has cited federal law according to which “an employee who resides on his employer’s premises on a permanent basis or for extended periods of time is not considered as working all the time he is on the premises.”Therefore, this California law does not provide the rule of decision on the OCS, and to the extent, Newton’s OCS-based claims rely on that law, they necessarily fail, the court said.Likewise, the court said, to the extent Newton’s OCS-based claims rely on the adoption of the California minimum wage (currently $12), the FLSA [Fair Labor Standards Act] already provides for a minimum wage, so the California minimum wage does not apply.The court said: “Newton points out that the FLSA sets a minimum wage of “not less than . . . $7.25 an hour,” ibid. (emphasis added), and does not “excuse noncompliance with any Federal or State law . . . establishing a [higher] minimum wage,” But whatever the import of these provisions in an ordinary pre-emption case, they do not help Newton here, for the question under the OCSLA is whether federal law addresses the minimum wage on the OCS. It does. Therefore, the California minimum wage is not adopted as federal law and does not apply on the OCS,” the court said.“Newton’s other claims were not analyzed by the Court of Appeals, and the parties have provided little briefing on those claims. Moreover, the Court of Appeals held that Newton should be given leave to amend his complaint. Because we cannot finally resolve whether Parker was entitled to judgment on the pleadings, we vacate the judgment of the Court of Appeals, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion,” the court said.Offshore Energy Today StaffSpotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email. Offshore Energy Today, established in 2010, is read by over 10,000 industry professionals daily. We had nearly 9 million page views in 2018, with 2.4 million new users. This makes us one of the world’s most attractive online platforms in the space of offshore oil and gas and allows our partners to get maximum exposure for their online campaigns. If you’re interested in showcasing your company, product or technology on Offshore Energy Today contact our marketing manager Mirza Duran for advertising options.
Coming into the 2010 season, John Clay was Wisconsin’s bona fide star.He was the 2009 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year after leading the conference in rushing yards and touchdowns. He was the running back who dealt with some Heisman hype at the start of the season, the workhorse who was expected to carry the Badgers all year long.But Clay wasn’t the one scoring touchdown after touchdown as UW rode its running game to a conference title.No, Clay was watching his teammates pile up the points from the sideline while he nursed a knee injury.Sophomore Montee Ball is now the team leader in touchdowns with 17. True freshman James White is the team leader in rushing yards with 1,029.Clay is now looking up at those two backs on the depth chart.And when the Badgers take the field for their first possession at the Rose Bowl Jan. 1, Ball is expected to trot out with the first-team offense.“Right now, Montee would be our starting running back,” Bielema stated when he met with reporters Sunday. “John has to wait for a few other guys to get in. Montee’s playing as good of football as anybody. No question.”Earlier in the year, Clay was the one playing as good of football as anybody.In the days leading up to Wisconsin’s clash with then-No.1 ranked Ohio State, Clay and the Badgers were constantly reminded of an impressive streak. The Buckeyes came into Madison having gone 29 games without allowing a 100-yard rusher.That streak ended that night Madison.Clay put together one of his greatest performances, running for 104 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries against one of the best defenses in college football. He was explosive, he ran like a man with a purpose and the Badgers came away with a monumental 31-18 victory.The very next week in Iowa City, Clay was ready for his encore.Against one of the more talented defensive lines in the country, the 255-pound running back carried the ball a season-high 24 times and piled up 94 yards to go along with two trips to the endzone. He continuously fought through gang tackles and scored on a critical fourth-and-one conversion down in the red zone.The Badgers needed every inch, winning the game 31-30.Those were the two biggest wins of UW’s season. They were also Clay’s two best performances to date.But after a bye week to rest up and get healthy for the stretch run, injury struck. Clay suffered a sprained knee that sidelined him against Purdue. The junior missed the next two games, and in his absence, Ball and White put on a show.The two backup tailbacks ran for an astounding 665 yards and 11 touchdowns combined against Indiana and Michigan.All of a sudden, Clay became a non-factor. UW continued to dominate without him.Clay was healthy enough to return in the season finale against Northwestern, but he only saw four carries. Ball and White dominated, again leading UW to a 70-23 win that captured the Big Ten title.Was it frustrating to watch his teammates close out the season from the sideline? You bet.“It did get frustrating,” Clay said. “But I didn’t want to hinder the team with me not being 100 percent.”Sophomore center Pete Konz has dealt with injuries throughout his career, and he can relate to what Clay went through down the stretch.“You almost feel not a part of the success because your team is doing so well without you,” Konz explained. “It’s a hard feeling to shake off and you have to realize this is all about the team, it’s never about one person.”Still, Clay’s individual performances earlier in the year haven’t been forgotten by his teammates.They know how important he’s been to this team’s success.“Not to belittle our accomplishments at the end of the year, but those are games we felt we should have won. Against tougher teams like OSU and Iowa, Johnny was always there to pick us up,” Konz said. “He’s always the one to say ‘Hey, I’m going to get these extra yards even if I have to go through two people’. That’s the kind of leadership you need that the younger backs are still developing.”As UW prepares for TCU, Clay is preparing to make an impact when his team needs him most, in the Granddaddy of Them All.The Horned Frogs bring the No.1 ranked defense to Pasadena, and TCU is allowing less than 90 yards per game on the ground.TCU presents a daunting challenge, and running backs coach John Settle is glad to have his talented backfield back at full strength, with Clay doing his best to wear down TCU’s defensive front.“The knee injury is healed up, he’s been doing some extra work after practice and to get him back with the physicality he plays with will only help us,” Settle said. “I have no doubt that he will show up on one of the biggest stages he’s ever played on.”Clay is planning to do just that.“I’m feeling really good and I’m anxious to get back out there,” Clay said. “It’s been a while since I’ve been out in the huddle with the guys, grinding the ball out and playing our kind of football.”Clay has been waiting patiently for his chance to help his team, and now that opportunity comes at the Rose Bowl against college football’s top statistical defense.The stage is set for UW’s star running back to once again shine in the spotlight.“I’m looking forward to challenge. You live for these moments,” Clay said. “A game with this kind of environment and everybody is going to be watching us… I’m just really looking forward to showing everyone what I can do.”
INDIANAPOLIS – It was a nice run, but most Badgers fans knew it was headed for a premature close.After taking down a dangerous Indiana team in front of a Bankers Life Fieldhouse crowd full of Hoosiers fans, a sense of cautious optimism developed around Bo Ryan’s squad. Maybe this team was better than we thought, maybe Jordan Taylor and Co. could string together several wins and amount an improbable run at the program’s first conference tournament title since 2008.But then the Badgers played a Michigan State squad – one that may be the best in the Big Ten – and realized they simply couldn’t match the size, athleticism and talent of one of Tom Izzo’s best teams in years. Fans and analysts alike learned this weekend that not only they can count on the Spartans to make a deep NCAA tournament run, but also that Wisconsin remains outside the Big Ten’s top echelon of Michigan State and Ohio State.Although the Badgers sat just one win (or an Iowa home loss) away from a tie with MSU, OSU and Michigan for the conference title, the Spartans’ dominance Saturday proved UW didn’t deserve a piece of the crown. This year’s Wisconsin squad is certainly a quality team, but its lack of game-changing stars outside of Taylor and inconsistent shooting restrain it from the elite category.As Big Ten Player of the Year and Michigan State forward Draymond Green pointed out after Saturday’s game, a speedy, athletic defense like that of the Spartans that can limit the Badgers’ open looks from outside will almost always come out on top against this team.“I think when we play Wisconsin … they shoot a lot of threes, and one thing that our coaching staff really hits on is stopping them from shooting threes – they’re going to beat you from the 3-point line,” Green said. The majority of the time [Taylor’s] penetrating in, he’s looking to kick out to those shooters.”Not every team has the athleticism to keep UW’s array of 3-point threats at bay, but the conference’s best certainly do. It’s no secret that the Badgers live and die with their shooting, and that major vulnerability was as apparent as ever in Indianapolis.Hitting 48 percent of their shots from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc against Indiana, a Rob Wilson-powered team was able to sink just enough shots to bring down a Hoosiers squad that itself had a nice outing. However, against a Michigan State team boasting three legitimate post threats in Green, Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne, the Badgers were clearly overmatched.Ryan’s team has built wins this year on a foundation of never surrendering easy looks to opponents – an emphasis that places them third nationally in field goal percentage defense – but against well-rounded teams with dominant big men, such a strategy isn’t sufficient for victory.In the 79-71 win over the hometown favorite, the Badgers allowed Indiana to sink 49 percent of their shots and relied on 30 bench points (all came from Wilson) to carry them to victory. The 13 3-pointers Wisconsin hit tied a Big Ten tournament record, as Wilson’s hot-handedness from outside came at the perfect time.But the UW defense then allowed the Spartans to finish 6-of-9 from 3-point land and 50 percent from the field, numbers that doom them against the teams Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney is counting on to make deep runs come March. Ryan admitted postgame that this is a team that relies on a slew of players to step up and score on a per game basis. From Ryan Evans to Jared Berggren to Ben Brust, the lack of a consistent scorer aside from Taylor is a major weakness of this team, yet another piece of the unfinished puzzle that keeps this year’s team away from the same caliber of play of the Buckeyes or Spartans.“We had some guys that didn’t score,” Ryan said. “We need it from everybody, we need bunches of scoring, and when we get that, we’ve proven 24 times that we can get some things done.”To put it simply, laser-like three-point shooting carried the Badgers to victory in the quarterfinals, and when such success stopped against the Spartans, it crushed the growing but unrealistic dreams of a tournament championship.Some will point out that Michigan State, who has now defeated Wisconsin three times this season, is nothing more than a poor matchup for this year’s team. But the issue is more than how Ryan’s squad matches up with this particular Spartans team, one that extends into the disparity between these two squads in the greater Big Ten picture.Despite a comeback close to the midway point in the second half that brought Wisconsin within six, an 11-0 run by the Spartans proved what was already becoming clear – Izzo had the best team on the floor. Just when Wisconsin seemed to have enough to regain the lead, Michigan State answered with a stellar post move to the hoop or sunk another 3-pointer, and the run quickly became indicative of the gap between where these two rivals stand.By pushing the ball up the court and capitalizing of his advantage close to the hoop by outscoring the Badgers 22-6 in the paint, UW showed they lack the tools to dismantle such an elite squad.Michigan State did have more, and along the way they helped prove why the Badgers fell into the perfect spot this season as a Big Ten title contender that couldn’t overcome the speed bumps that prevented them from holding a piece of the regular season title.Ian is a junior majoring in journalism. Think the Badgers are actually a better team than they proved against Michigan State? Let him know by emailing him at [email protected]