Seymore v. Metson Marine, Inc., 194 Cal. App. 4th 361 (2011)

Plaintiffs Andrew Seymore and Kenneth Blonden were employed by Metson Marine as crew members on Metson’s offshore oil spill recovery vessels. Crew members worked 14-day rotational hitches, alternating with 14-day rest periods and were paid to work a 12-hour daily shift during the two-week period, except on crew-change days, when they worked only six hours. Crew members were paid an hourly rate for the full 12-hour shift regardless of whether they actually performed any work during those 12 hours, and they received a regular hourly rate for the first eight hours, time and one-half for the next four hours and, on those occasions that they actually worked more than 12 hours in a day, they were paid double time for all hours worked in excess of the usual 12-hour shift. The remaining 12 hours were designated as “off duty” even though crew members (who slept on the vessels) remained on stand by in that they were required to be able to return to the ship within 30 to 45 minutes of an emergency call. Plaintiffs sued Metson for one additional day of premium pay per hitch, based on their working seven consecutive days in a workweek, and additional compensation for the 12 hours they were on call during the 14-day hitches. The trial court granted summary judgment to Metson, but the Court of Appeal reversed, holding that Metson had violated Labor Code § 510 by not paying the employees incremental overtime compensation for one additional day of every 14-day hitch they worked. The Court further held the employees were entitled to be compensated for four (but not 12) hours of standby time during each 24-hour working day. See also Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v. Moreno, 51 Cal.4th 659 (2011) (employee’s waiver in arbitration agreement of right to file a wage claim with the Labor Commissioner is contrary to public policy and is unconscionable).

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Photo of Tony Oncidi Tony Oncidi

Anthony J. Oncidi is the co-chair of the Labor & Employment Law Department and heads the West Coast Labor & Employment group in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including…

Anthony J. Oncidi is the co-chair of the Labor & Employment Law Department and heads the West Coast Labor & Employment group in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including litigation and preventive counseling, wage and hour matters, including class actions, wrongful termination, employee discipline, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, executive employment contract disputes, sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace violence, drug testing and privacy issues, Sarbanes-Oxley claims and employee raiding and trade secret protection. A substantial portion of Tony’s practice involves the defense of employers in large class actions, employment discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination litigation in state and federal court as well as arbitration proceedings, including FINRA matters.

Tony is recognized as a leading lawyer by such highly respected publications and organizations as the Los Angeles Daily JournalThe Hollywood Reporter, and Chambers USA, which gives him the highest possible rating (“Band 1”) for Labor & Employment.  According to Chambers USA, clients say Tony is “brilliant at what he does… He is even keeled, has a high emotional IQ, is a great legal writer and orator, and never gives up.” Other clients report:  “Tony has an outstanding reputation” and he is “smart, cost effective and appropriately aggressive.” Tony is hailed as “outstanding,” particularly for his “ability to merge top-shelf lawyerly advice with pragmatic business acumen.” He is highly respected in the industry, with other commentators lauding him as a “phenomenal strategist” and “one of the top employment litigators in the country.”

“Tony is the author of the treatise titled Employment Discrimination Depositions (Juris Pub’g 2020; www.jurispub.com), co-author of Proskauer on Privacy (PLI 2020), and, since 1990, has been a regular columnist for the official publication of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California and the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

Tony has been a featured guest on Fox 11 News and CBS News in Los Angeles. He has been interviewed and quoted by leading national media outlets such as The National Law JournalBloomberg News, The New York Times, and Newsweek and Time magazines. Tony is a frequent speaker on employment law topics for large and small groups of employers and their counsel, including the Society for Human Resource Management (“SHRM”), PIHRA, the National CLE Conference, National Business Institute, the Employment Round Table of Southern California (Board Member), the Council on Education in Management, the Institute for Corporate Counsel, the State Bar of California, the California Continuing Education of the Bar Program and the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills Bar Associations. He has testified as an expert witness regarding wage and hour issues as well as the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and has served as a faculty member of the National Employment Law Institute. He has served as an arbitrator in an employment discrimination matter.

Tony is an appointed Hearing Examiner for the Los Angeles Police Commission Board of Rights and has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law and a guest lecturer at USC Law School and a guest lecturer at UCLA Law School.