Fitzgerald Const Co v. Pedersen, No. 462

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtREED
Citation65 S.Ct. 892,324 U.S. 720,89 L.Ed. 1316
PartiesJ. F. FITZGERALD CONST. CO. v. PEDERSEN
Decision Date09 April 1945
Docket NumberNo. 462

324 U.S. 720
65 S.Ct. 892
89 L.Ed. 1316
J. F. FITZGERALD CONST. CO.

v.

PEDERSEN.

No. 462.
Argued Feb. 5, 1945.
Decided April 9, 1945.

Mr. Henry E. Foley, of Boston, Mass., for petitioner.

Mr. Wm. E. J. Connor, of Hudson, N.Y., for respondent.

Mr. Justice REED delivered the opinion of the Court.

The writ of certiorari in the instant case raises two questions for consideration: The first, whether an employee who obtains a judgment for unpaid overtime wages

Page 721

and liquidated damages under Section 7(a)1 and Section 16(b) 2 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 29 U.S.C.A. §§ 207(a) and 216(b), is entitled to interest on such sums; the second, a narrow question with respect to the interpretation of a judgment of this Court, which was entered in its per curiam opinion on a prior writ of certiorari, reversing a prior state court judgment in this same case.

The proceedings leading to the first writ began when the respondent, Pedersen, an employee of the petitioner, a construction company, instituted an action in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, in behalf of himself and

Page 722

other employees, to recover overtime compensation and liquidated damages alleged to be due by virtue of Sections 7 and 16(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The action was tried on an agreed statement of facts which stated that the New York Central Railroad Company operated interstate trains over four bridges located on its right of way in the State of New York; that abutments supporting two bridges were destroyed and that the substructures of the two other bridges were damaged by a flood. The stipulation also stated:

'Thereafter, the railroad company entered into a contract with the defendant, an independent contractor engaged in general construction work, for the construction of entirely new abutments under the two bridges where the abutments had been washed out and destroyed, as aforesaid, and for repairing the substructures of the other two bridges which had been damaged, as aforesaid.

'Defendant employed plaintiffs, together with other individuals, as its employees in doing work under said contract and paid them at the rates per hour, as shown on Schedule 'A' annexed hereto.'

After making findings of fact in conformity with the stipulation, the trial court dismissed the respondents' complaint.3 The Appellate Division4 and Court of Appeals5 affirmed the lower court decision on the theory that the nature of the employer's general business activity—not the activities of employees on a particular job—determined whether an employee was 'engaged in (interstate) commerce' within the meaning of Section 7(a) of the Act. Since the petitioner, an independent contractor not itself engaged in interstate commerce, was employed by the rail-

Page 723

road to perform work local in character, it was felt petitioner's employees were not subject to the Act. On petition for certiorari, this Court reversed6 the judgment of the state courts dismissing the complaint, on the authority of Overstreet v. North Shore Corporation, 318 U.S. 125, 63 S.Ct. 494, 87 L.Ed. 656, in which the Fair Labor Standards Act was held to apply to employees engaged in the actual repair of a facility of interstate commerce. On petition for rehearing by the petitioner in the instant case, our judgment was amended by adding: 'and without prejudice to a determination of the nature of the employment of any members of the class on whose behalf this suit has been brought.' 318 U.S. 742, 63 S.Ct. 558, 87 L.Ed. 1119.

This left open for trial the question of whether each member of the class was engaged in interstate commerce as alleged in the petition.

After remand to the state courts, the petitioner moved in the trial court to dismiss the complaint on the record of the prior proceedings apparently on the theory that the agreed statement of facts in the prior proceedings were insufficient to prove that the respondents, employees, were 'engaged in (interstate) commerce.' Petitioner did not attempt to introduce any evidence rebutting any inference to the contrary that might be drawn from the stipulation of facts in the record. Respondents thereupon moved for summary judgment under Rule 113 of the New York Rules of Civil Practice. The lower court entered judgment for the respondents, employees, for statutory wages and liquidated damages, with...

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39 practice notes
  • Brooklyn Sav Bank v. Neil Dize v. Maddrix Arsenal Bldg Corporation v. Greenberg 8212 1945, Nos. 445
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 9 Abril 1945
    ...policy behind its adoption, all three cases will be dealt with in one opinion. See also J. F. Fitzgerald Const. Co. v. Pedersen, No. 462, 324 U.S. 720, 65 S.Ct. 892. No. 445. The petitioner, Brooklyn Savings Bank, owned and operated an eleven story office building in which the respondent wa......
  • Gulf Oil Corporation v. Copp Paving Company, Inc 8212 1012, No. 73
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 17 Diciembre 1974
    ...interstate commerce. Mitchell v. C. W. Vollmer & Co., 349 U.S. 427, 75 S.Ct. 860, 99 L.Ed. 1196 (1955); Fitzgerald Const. Co. v. Pedersen, 324 U.S. 720, 65 S.Ct. 892, 89 L.Ed. 1316 (1945); Overstreet v. North Shore Corp., 318 U.S. 125, 63 S.Ct. 494, 87 L.Ed. 656 (1943). It is true, as the m......
  • Marshall v. Whitehead, No. 75-6-Civ-Ft.M-Y.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
    • 19 Mayo 1978
    ...of interstate commerce is activity "in commerce" within the meaning of the Act as we held in Fitzgerald Construction Co. v. Pedersen, 324 U.S. 720, 65 S.Ct. 892, 89 L.Ed. 1316. And we think the work of improving existing facilities of interstate commerce, involved in the present case, falls......
  • Mitchell v. Molton, Allen & Williams, Inc., Civ. A. No. 9417.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Alabama
    • 4 Enero 1961
    ...656; Cf. McLeod v. Threlkeld, 319 U.S. 491, 63 S.Ct. 1248, 87 L.Ed. 1538; See also Fitzgerald Const. Co. v. 192 F. Supp. 12 Pedersen, 324 U.S. 720, 65 S.Ct. 892, 89 L.Ed. 1316; Boutell v. Walling, 327 U.S. 463, 66 S.Ct. 631, 90 L.Ed. 786; Walling v. Sondock, 5 Cir., 132 F.2d 77, Cf. Spaeth ......
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39 cases
  • Marshall v. Whitehead, No. 75-6-Civ-Ft.M-Y.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
    • 19 Mayo 1978
    ...of interstate commerce is activity "in commerce" within the meaning of the Act as we held in Fitzgerald Construction Co. v. Pedersen, 324 U.S. 720, 65 S.Ct. 892, 89 L.Ed. 1316. And we think the work of improving existing facilities of interstate commerce, involved in the present case, falls......
  • Mitchell v. Molton, Allen & Williams, Inc., Civ. A. No. 9417.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Alabama
    • 4 Enero 1961
    ...656; Cf. McLeod v. Threlkeld, 319 U.S. 491, 63 S.Ct. 1248, 87 L.Ed. 1538; See also Fitzgerald Const. Co. v. 192 F. Supp. 12 Pedersen, 324 U.S. 720, 65 S.Ct. 892, 89 L.Ed. 1316; Boutell v. Walling, 327 U.S. 463, 66 S.Ct. 631, 90 L.Ed. 786; Walling v. Sondock, 5 Cir., 132 F.2d 77, Cf. Spaeth ......
  • Keen v. Mid-Continent Petroleum Corporation, No. 131.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • 21 Noviembre 1945
    ...remand to 63 F. Supp. 136 the state court judgment was entered in favor of the employees and upon review of that judgment it was affirmed. 324 U.S. 720, 65 S.Ct. 892. In this last opinion the United States Supreme Court on page 893 of 65 S.Ct. states that the Fair Labor Standards Act was ap......
  • Brooklyn Sav Bank v. Neil Dize v. Maddrix Arsenal Bldg Corporation v. Greenberg 8212 1945, Nos. 445
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 9 Abril 1945
    ...policy behind its adoption, all three cases will be dealt with in one opinion. See also J. F. Fitzgerald Const. Co. v. Pedersen, No. 462, 324 U.S. 720, 65 S.Ct. 892. No. 445. The petitioner, Brooklyn Savings Bank, owned and operated an eleven story office building in which the respondent wa......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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