On June 10, 2019, the United States Supreme Court unanimously held that state law does not apply to the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in situations when federal law addresses the relevant issue at hand.
In Parker Drilling Management Services, Ltd. v. Newton, the Supreme Court declined to extend California’s wage and hour laws to employees working on offshore drilling platforms subject to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.
The OCSLA extends federal law to the subsoil and seabed of the outer continental shelf and to all structures permanently or temporarily attached to the seabed for the purpose of developing, producing or exploring for oil. Under the OCSLA, the laws of an adjacent state only apply to the OCS to the extent “they are applicable and not inconsistent with” federal law.
Here, the US Supreme Court ruled that because the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) addressed the relevant issues, the adjacent state law was inapplicable.