Drilling Co v. Hall, WARREN-BRADSHAW

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtMURPHY
Citation317 U.S. 88,63 S.Ct. 125,87 L.Ed. 83
PartiesDRILLING CO. v. HALL et al
Decision Date09 November 1942
Docket NumberNo. 21,WARREN-BRADSHAW

317 U.S. 88
63 S.Ct. 125
87 L.Ed. 83
WARREN-BRADSHAW DRILLING CO.

v.

HALL et al.

No. 21.
Argued Oct. 16, 1942.
Decided Nov. 9, 1942.

Page 89

Messrs. Frank Settle and Sam Clammer, both of Tulsa, Okl., for petitioner.

Mr. Davis Scarborough, of Abilene, Tex., for respondents.

Mr. Justice MURPHY delivered the opinion of the Court.

We are concerned here, as in Kirschbaum Co. v. Walling, 316 U.S. 517, 62 S.Ct. 1116, 86 L.Ed 1638, with a problem of statutory delineation, not

Page 90

constitutional power, in the application of the Fair Labor Standards Act1 to a particular situation. This is an action to recover unpaid overtime compensation and an equal amount as liquidated damages brought by respondent employees under § 16(b). We must decide whether respondents are engaged 'in the production of goods for commerce' within the meaning of § 7(a) of the Act. The district court held that they were so engaged, and, since petitioner had failed to compensate them for overtime hours as required by § 7(b), accordingly rendered judgment for each respondent in the appropriate amount.2 The Circuit Cuort of Appeals affirmed with an immaterial modification,3 and the case comes here on certiorari.

The application of the Act depends upon the character of the employees' activities. Kirschbaum Co. v. Walling, supra, 316 U.S. at page 524, 62 S.Ct. at page 1120, 86 l.Ed. —-. The burden was therefore upon respondents to prove that in the course of performing their services for petitioner and without regard to the nature of its business, they were, as its employees, engaged in the production of goods, within the meaning of the Act, and that such production was for interstate commerce. We agree with both courts below that respondents have sustained that burden.

Petitioner is the owner and operator of rotary drilling equipment and machinery, who contracts with the owners or lessees of oil lands to drill holes to an agreed-upon depth short of the oil sand stratum. When that depth is reached, the rotary rig is removed, and the machinery and crew move on to other locations. For reasons peculiar to the oil industry, a cable drilling crew then undertakes with cable tools to 'bring in' the well or else demonstrate that it is a dry hole. Respondents were employed by peti-

Page 91

tioner as members of its rotary drilling crew and worked on approximately thirty-two wells in the Panhandle Oil Field of Texas; thirty-one of those wells produced oil, and the other one produced gas. Petitioner was not the owner or lessee of any of the lands on which respondents drilled, and was not shown to have any interest therein or in the oil produced.

In § 3(j) Congress has broadly defined the term, 'produced',4 and has provided that 'an employee shall be deemed to have been engaged in the production of goods if such employee was employed in producing, manufacturing, mining, handling, transporting, or in any other manner working on such goods, or in any process or occupation necessary to the production thereof, in any State'. Whether or not respondents, in drilling to a specified depth short of oil, may be regarded as engaged in producing or mining, and we certainly are not to be understood as intimating that they may not, recognition of the obvious requiries us to hold that at the very least they were engaged in a 'process or occupation necessary to the production' of oil. Oil is obtained only by piercing the earth's surface; drilling a well is a necessary part of the productive process to which it is intimately related. The connection between respondents' activities in partially drilling wells and the capture of oil is quite substantial, and those activities certainly bear as 'close and immediate tie' to production as did the services of the building maintenance workers held within the Act in Kirschbaum Co. v. Walling, supra, 316 U.S. at pages 525, 526, 62 S.Ct. at page 1121, 86 L.Ed. 1638.

The evidence supports the finding that some of the oil produced ultimately found its way into interstate commerce. All the wells had pipeline connections, some of them being with petroleum companies operating on a

Page 92

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191 practice notes
  • Burke v. Mesta Mach. Co., Civil Action No. 2744.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • July 27, 1948
    ...D. A. Schulte Inc., v. Gangi et al., 328 U.S. 108, 120, 66 S.Ct. 925, 90 L.Ed. 1114, 167 A.L.R. 208; Warren-Bradshaw Drilling Co. v. Hall, 317 U.S. 88, 90, 63 S.Ct. 125, 87 L.Ed. 83; Kelly v. Ford, Bacon & Davis, 3 Cir., 162 F.2d 555, 561; Regulation Wage and Hour Administrator, 12 F.R. 458......
  • Gilreath v. Daniel Funeral Home, Inc., No. 19646
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • February 3, 1970
    ...commerce." D. A. Schulte, Inc. v. Gangi, 328 U.S. 108, 120, 66 S.Ct. 925, 931, 90 L.Ed. 1114 (1946); Warren-Bradshaw Drilling Co. v. Hall, 317 U.S. 88, 90, 63 S.Ct. 125, 87 L.Ed. 83 (1942). But there is cogent authority that, once shown to be engaged in commerce, the burden of proof shifts ......
  • Adams v. Long & Turner Const. Co., No. 20736.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • March 3, 1947
    ...of goods for commerce within the meaning of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Warren-Bradshaw Drilling Company v. Hall, (1942) 317 U.S. 88, 63 S. Ct. 125; E.C. Schroeder Co. v. Clifton, (10 Cir., 1946) 153 F. (2d) 385; Clyde v. Broderick, (10 Cir., 1944) 144 F. (2d) 348; Bowie v. Gonzal......
  • Urnikis-negro v. American Family Prop. Serv. - ., No. 08-3117.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • August 4, 2010
    ...the regular rate, as to it, may properly be determined by dividing the total pay each week by the total hours worked.”), judgment aff'd, 317 U.S. 88, 63 S.Ct. 125, 87 L.Ed. 83 (1942); Bumpus v. Continental Baking Co., 124 F.2d 549, 553 (6th Cir.1941) (cited in Missel ) (calculating employee......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
191 cases
  • Burke v. Mesta Mach. Co., Civil Action No. 2744.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • July 27, 1948
    ...D. A. Schulte Inc., v. Gangi et al., 328 U.S. 108, 120, 66 S.Ct. 925, 90 L.Ed. 1114, 167 A.L.R. 208; Warren-Bradshaw Drilling Co. v. Hall, 317 U.S. 88, 90, 63 S.Ct. 125, 87 L.Ed. 83; Kelly v. Ford, Bacon & Davis, 3 Cir., 162 F.2d 555, 561; Regulation Wage and Hour Administrator, 12 F.R. 458......
  • Gilreath v. Daniel Funeral Home, Inc., No. 19646
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • February 3, 1970
    ...commerce." D. A. Schulte, Inc. v. Gangi, 328 U.S. 108, 120, 66 S.Ct. 925, 931, 90 L.Ed. 1114 (1946); Warren-Bradshaw Drilling Co. v. Hall, 317 U.S. 88, 90, 63 S.Ct. 125, 87 L.Ed. 83 (1942). But there is cogent authority that, once shown to be engaged in commerce, the burden of proof shifts ......
  • Adams v. Long & Turner Const. Co., No. 20736.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • March 3, 1947
    ...of goods for commerce within the meaning of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Warren-Bradshaw Drilling Company v. Hall, (1942) 317 U.S. 88, 63 S. Ct. 125; E.C. Schroeder Co. v. Clifton, (10 Cir., 1946) 153 F. (2d) 385; Clyde v. Broderick, (10 Cir., 1944) 144 F. (2d) 348; Bowie v. Gonzal......
  • Urnikis-negro v. American Family Prop. Serv. - ., No. 08-3117.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • August 4, 2010
    ...the regular rate, as to it, may properly be determined by dividing the total pay each week by the total hours worked.”), judgment aff'd, 317 U.S. 88, 63 S.Ct. 125, 87 L.Ed. 83 (1942); Bumpus v. Continental Baking Co., 124 F.2d 549, 553 (6th Cir.1941) (cited in Missel ) (calculating employee......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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