148 F.2d 768 (5th Cir. 1945), 11198, Walling v. Jacksonville Terminal Co.

Docket Nº:11198.
Citation:148 F.2d 768
Case Date:April 23, 1945
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Page 768

148 F.2d 768 (5th Cir. 1945)




No. 11198.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.

April 23, 1945

Douglas B. Maggs, Solicitor, U.S. Department of Labor, Bessie Margolin, Asst. Solicitor, U.S. Dept. of Labor, and George M. Szabad, Attorney, in Chief Appellate Section, Office of Solicitor, U.S. Dept. of Labor, all of Washington, D.C., and Geo., A. Downing, Regional Attorney, Dept. of Labor, of Atlanta, Ga., for appellant.

Charles Cook Howell, Elliott Adams, and Harold B. Wahl, all of Jacksonville, Fla., for appellee.

Before SIBLEY, WALLER, and LEE, Circuit Judges.

SIBLEY, Circuit Judge.

Charging that Jacksonville Terminal Company was violating the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C.A. § 201 et seq., as to a number of its employees, which it claimed to be learners, by failing to pay the minimum wages and to keep the records required by the Act with respect to them, the Administrator sought to enjoin such violation. The Company admitted the allegations,

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except that it denied the learners, which it called 'trainees', were its employees. The district court denied the injunction, and the Administrator appeals. The sole question is whether the trainees are employees under the Act.

The facts as found by the district court are not disputed. The Company has at Jacksonville, Florida, a large and complicated network of tracks and interlocking switches by means of which it assembles and prepares for departure all outgoing trains, and disassembles all incoming trains of all the railroads, handling about 100 trains per day, and having more than a thousand employees, in interstate commerce. A full crew serves each engine, consisting of a yard foreman, two switchmen, an engineer and a fireman. To operate with safety and without confusion the switchmen and enginemen must have knowledge not only of general railroad work, but of the yards and switches and signal systems and rules of operation of the Company. Following a general practice of railroads, the Company requires of all applicants for employment in engine or switching service that they undergo a training period, during which no compensation is paid. The trainee is assigned to work with a full crew. He learns first by observation, and then by doing some of the regular work under the supervision of the crew member whose work he is doing. A trainee has no regular time to report or hours for training, though generally he joins a crew at the beginning of their shift and exhibits his permit to receive instruction. He is free to select such time each day as best suits his convenience, and frequently appears after completing his...

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