144 F.2d 292 (2nd Cir. 1944), 400, Greenberg v. Arsenal Bldg. Corporation

Docket Nº:400.
Citation:144 F.2d 292
Case Date:July 18, 1944
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Page 292

144 F.2d 292 (2nd Cir. 1944)




No. 400.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

July 18, 1944

Page 293

McLanahan, Merritt, Ingraham & Christy and Kenneth C. Newman, all of New York City (Robert R. Bruce and John J. Boyle, both of New York City, of counsel), for defendants-appellants-appellees.

Aaron Benenson, of New York City (Monroe Goldwater and James L. Goldwater, both of New York City, of counsel), for plaintiff-appellee-appellant.

Douglas B. Maggs, Sol., and Bessie Margolin, Asst. Sol., both of Washington, D.C., Irving Rozen, Regional Atty., of New York City, and Harry M. Leet, Atty., U.S. Department of Labor, of Washington, D.C., for Administrator of Wage and Hour Division, United States Department of Labor, as amicus curiae.

Page 294

Before AUGUSTUS N. HAND, CHASE, and CLARK, Circuit Judges.


This is an action by the plaintiff suing for himself and co-employees of the Arsenal Building Corporation to recover overtime compensation, liquidated damages and attorneys' fees under Section 7(a) and Section 16(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 §§ U.S.C.A. 207(a), 216(b). The plaintiff and those he represents were maintenance employees in an occupation necessary to the production of goods for interstate commerce. Judge Goddard, who conducted the trial in the District Court, held both the Arsenal Building Corporation and Spear & Co. Inc., the agent of the building, liable to the plaintiff for overtime and liquidated damages, as well as for average interest upon the awards to the respective employees, and also allowed attorneys' fees of $750. We think the judgment was right except as to the amount of the attorneys' and that it should be modified by increasing the fees to $1, 250 and with that exception affirmed.

This appeal raises the same questions we have already dealt with in Adams v. Union Dime Savings Bank, 144 F.2d 290. The defendants' main contention is based upon the claim that the wages of the employees of Arsenal Building Corporation were sufficient to pay the minimum statutory wages, including a one and one-half rate for overtime hours, and that in such circumstances the contracts should either be so interpreted as to bring them within the Act or should be reformed for mutual mistake so that they would comply with it in their literal terms. The mutual mistake relied on is that the parties believed that the Fair Labor Standards Act did not apply to them when the contracted with one another. Judge Goddard found, on conflicting evidence, that there was no such mutual mistake. But...

To continue reading