Some employers wont’ quit, even when it’s clear they have lost on a wage & hour dispute with employees represented by Goyette & Associates.  As summarized previously on this Blog, Gary Goyette is representing three tugboat Captains and deckhands formerly employed by Marine Express, a San Francisco Bay Area company, in an lawsuit seeking overtime pay for hours worked in excess of eight hours per day.  Gary is also representing Jerrold Karmin, an individual tugboat Captain and also a former Marine Express employee, in a related case; it is this case which may be going to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mr. Karmin initially filed his overtime claim against Marine Express with the California Labor Commissioner and obtained a decision in his favor.  Marine Express then ‘appealed’ this decision to the state Superior Court.  After the Superior Court ruled that an exemption from overtime pay under the federal wage law invalidated or “preempted” the California wage law for overtime pay, Goyette & Associates took the matter to the California Court of Appeal for Mr. Karmin.  The California Court of Appeal agreed with the Labor Commissioner (and disagreed with the Superior Court), ruling that the federal exemption does not preempt state wage law for Mr. Karmin since all his work for Marine Express occurred within California borders (and most of  his work occurred in the San Francisco Bay). Unhappy with this result, Marine Express tried to take the matter to the California Supreme Court by  filing a Petition for Review; the state Supreme Court refused to hear the matter.
Still unhappy with the result, Marine Express has now filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court in an attempt to have the highest Court in the land hear Mr. Karmin’s case. While the odds of the U.S. Supreme Court accepting the case are very, very low, Gary Goyette and Goyette & Associates welcome the opportunity to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court.  Gary Goyette is confident that even with a 7 to 2 republican majority, the U.S. Supreme Court would agree with the CA Court of Appeal and find that when all of an employee’s work occurs within the state, a federal wage law exemption from overtime pay cannot and will not override California’s requirements for overtime pay.