Supreme Court Sides With Employee in Overtime Case
The oil-rig supervisor sued Helix Energy Solutions Group, which runs an offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico.Photo: Derick E. Hingle/Bloomberg News
WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to narrow eligibility for overtime pay, ruling 6-3 that an oil-rig supervisor making $200,000 a year qualified because he was paid by the day rather than receiving a fixed salary.
“Employees are not ‘deprived of the benefits of [overtime compensation] simply because they are well paid,’” Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the court, citing a 1945 precedent involving mine workers. Besides, she added, nurses and many other workers making far less than those in the petroleum industry could lose overtime if the court ruled against Michael J. Hewitt, the “tool-pusher” who sued for back pay from Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc.
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