The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases Tuesday. In Parker Drilling Management Services. Ltd. v. Newton, the question asked is whether California can adopt its own overtime rules over federal wage law, for workers on oil rigs attached to the Outer Continental Shelf.
In this case previously decided by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Brian Newton worked on an offshore oil rig for Parker Drilling Management Services for approximately two years. During that time Newton worked a 12-hour shift, then was off for 12 hours, then back on again as is the custom. Newton claimed that because he could not reasonably leave the platform during his time off, he should be paid for his time off shift based on California law. The law states that if an employee cannot leave the work site during their off time they should be paid for it. This was not reflected in his pay from Newton Drilling, and he filed suit.
In North Carolina Dept of Revenue v. Kimberley Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Truste, the question is whether a trustee located outside the state of North Carolina is required to pay state taxes on a trust located outside the state, even though the beneficiary who is not dependent on the trust resides within North Carolina. The case was previously heard by the North Carolina Supreme Court. The trust, which was first established in New York, was subsequently transferred to Connecticut, but throughout its existence, the beneficiary of the trust, Kimberly Rice Kaestner, lived in North Carolina. The trust paid state income taxes to North Carolina on income the Trust earned from 2005-2008. Representatives of the trust subsequently requested a refund from North Carolina Department of Revenue because it did not pay any funds from the trust to the beneficiary during this time. The North Carolina Department of Revenue denied the request, and the trust brought suit. Their suit alleges that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits states from taxing trusts simply based on a beneficiary’s residency in that state.