61 F.Supp. 345 (D.Me. 1945), 230, Walling v. Portland Terminal Co.

Docket Nº:230-- Civil.
Citation:61 F.Supp. 345
Party Name:WALLING, Adm'r, Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Dept. of Labor, v. PORTLAND TERMINAL CO.
Case Date:June 18, 1945
Court:United States District Courts, 1st Circuit, District of Maine

Page 345

61 F.Supp. 345 (D.Me. 1945)

WALLING, Adm'r, Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Dept. of Labor,



No. 230-- Civil.

United States District Court, D. Maine, Southern Division

June 18, 1945

George W. Jansen, Supervising Atty., Office of Solicitor, Dept. of Labor, of Washington, D.C., and Harry A. Tuell, Dept. of Labor, of Boston, Mass., for plaintiff.

Leonard A. Pierce and Cook, Hutchinson, Pierce & Connell, all of Portland, Me., for defendant.

PETERS, District Judge.

In this action the plaintiff seeks to have the defendant enjoined from violating the sections of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C.A. § 201 et seq., relating to the payment of minimum wages and the keeping of records. Sections 15(a)(2) and 15(a)(5).

The defendant denies the applicability of the statute in the situation disclosed. The principal question raised involves the employment status of certain applicants for positions who are being trained by the defendant preparatory to regular employment as trainmen, in case they qualify. If, on

Page 346

the evidence, they should not be considered as employees, as the term is used in the Act, the plaintiff is not entitled to the injunctive relief asked for.

Findings of Fact

The defendant is a common carrier by railroad employing yard crews in the operation of its terminal facilities at Portland. Applicants for such positions have to be taught how to do the work. They are called 'trainees' or 'learners.' If accepted as such, a trainee is turned over to a yard crew for practical instruction, which is given by affording an opportunity for observation of the routine activities and gradually permitting him to do the actual work under supervision. This is of no immediate advantage to the Railroad however, as the trainee does not displace any member of the regular crew at the time. Rather, it is a disadvantage, because a novice undertakes the work to get experience while a trainman stands by watching him, and the operation is apt to be impeded rather than expedited. If the trainee finishes training and is certified as fit for a position as trainman his name goes 'on the board,' as ready for work, and he receives an allowance of $4 a day for his training period based on an eight-hour day. If he does not finish training or is not certified as competent he receives nothing. Thus the Railroad obtains a pool of qualified workmen to...

To continue reading