Sharp v CGG Land (U.S.) Inc.

Sharp and several other workers appealed summary judgment to CGG on their overtime claim arguing CGG should have included per diem payments when calculating overtime. The panel affirmed. It held that the fixed per diem payments were travel expenses under 29 USC 207(e)(2), 29 CFR 778.217(a) and a Department of Labor opinion letter because the need to buy food away from home only arose because CGG required Sharp and the other workers to work on site and continued for the whole time sharp and the others were on site not only the days actually spent transiting to and from the sites. It distinguished the case relied upon by Sharp as they dealt with per diem based on hours worked and noted Sharp stipulated the daily rate was reasonable.

Hardscrabble Ranch, L.L.C. v United States

Ranch appealed the summary judgment entered for the United States in its tort claim arguing there was no discretion afforded the agency which fought the forest fire which burned land belonging to Ranch. The panel affirmed. It held that even the checklist which Ranch argued controlled the agency response here vested discretion in agency employees to consider the risks posed by the fire, effects of the fire on cultural and natural resources and other available firefighting assets; the agency in fact considered some of these factors in deciding to not suppress the fire; and the agency monitored the fire and changed tactics as the situation warranted. It held that the decision on how to fight a forest fire is the kind of policy judgment protected from suit as it involved policy analysis grounded in social, economic or political considerations including firefighter safety, protection of private property, fuel loads and ecological development.