Court of Appeal Reconsiders, but then Re-Affirms Case re Work Week

We previously wrote about Seymore v. Metson Marine here.  Then we wrote an article covering it and other new wage-hour cases here.  This was the case in which the court held that the employer could not set a workweek to start on a day when the employees did not begin the week.

I am not so presumptuous to think the employer's lawyers or the court read my article, but maybe the they heard the other HOWLS from the employment bar about how bad a case this was.  So, the employer filed a petition for re-hearing, and the Court actually granted re-hearing and issued a new opinion.

The employer's lawyers submitted copious new case law, regulations, and new facts to support its argument that the employer can set the workweek for Monday when the employees start their 14-day hitches on Tuesday.  (That was the issue the Court of Appeal addressed in the initial opinion).

The Court on re-hearing remarked how much new information the employer's lawyers provided in support.  I think the Court was a bit miffed that the initial briefing was not as thorough as it might have been. Nevertheless, the Court affirmed its decision to reverse summary judgment. This time, however, the Court allowed more flexibility for employers to start the work-week on a different day than the employees' actual work begins, as long as there is a sufficient business reason for doing so (other than avoiding payment of overtime). The court hinted that Metson set up its work week for the purpose of avoiding certain wage-hour obligations.

So, the new opinion in Seymore v. Metson Marine is here.  It is now going to be up to the Supreme Court to de-publish or review this case.  On the bright side, the current version of the opinion is less dangerous for employers than the original one was.