Mitchell v. Kentucky Finance Company, No. 161

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtHARLAN
Citation359 U.S. 290,79 S.Ct. 756,3 L.Ed.2d 815
Docket NumberNo. 161
Decision Date20 April 1959
PartiesJames P. MITCHELL, Secretary of Labor, United States Department of Labor, Petitioner, v. KENTUCKY FINANCE COMPANY, Inc., and Kentucky Discount, Inc

359 U.S. 290
79 S.Ct. 756
3 L.Ed.2d 815
James P. MITCHELL, Secretary of Labor, United States Department of Labor, Petitioner,

v.

KENTUCKY FINANCE COMPANY, Inc., and Kentucky Discount, Inc.

No. 161.
Argued March 3, 1959.
Decided April 20, 1959.

Miss Bessie Margolin, Washington, D.C., for petitioner.

Mr. Harold H. Levin, New York City, for respondents.

Mr. Justice HARLAN delivered the opinion of the Court.

Petitioner, the Secretary of Labor, brought suit to enjoin respondents from violating the overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 52 Stat. 1060, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq., 29 U.S.C.A. § 201 et seq. Respondents, two closely affiliated subsidiaries of a common corporate parent, share an office in Louisville, Kentucky. They are engaged in the business of making personal loans, in amounts up to $300, to individuals, and in purchasing conditional sales contracts from dealers in furniture and appliances. Respondents share the services of a common manager and nine full-time and two part-time employees.

By pretrial stipulation ad c oncessions at trial, respondents in effect conceded that an injunction should issue

Page 291

unless their employees are exempted from the overtime and record-keeping provisions of the statute by § 13(a)(2) thereof, which provides that such requirements shall not apply to

'* * * any employee employed by any retail or service establishment, more than 50 per centum of which establishment's annual dollar volume of sales of goods or services is made within the State in which the establishment is located. A 'retail or service establishment' shall mean an establishment 75 per centum of whose annual dollar volume of sales of goods or services (or of both) is not for resale and is recognized as retail sales or services in the particular industry; * * *'

As concededly more than 50 percent of respondents' loan and discount business is with Kentucky residents and none of it involves 'resale' transactions, the sole question involved in this litigation is whether respondents should be considered as 'retail or service establishment(s),' engaged in the making of 'sales of goods or services,' within the meaning of § 13(a)(2). The burden is, of course, upon respondents to establish that they are entitled to the benefit of the § 13 exemption, since coverage apart from the exemption is admitted.

After trial the District Court found that respondents had not proved that they are a 'retail or service establishment' within the meaning of § 13(a)(2), and issued an injunction restraining respondents from further violating the Act. D.C., 150 F.Supp. 368. The Court of Appeals reversed. 6 Cir., 254 F.2d 8. We granted certiorari, 358 U.S. 811, 79 S.Ct. 39, 3 L.Ed.2d 55, to resolve the conflict between the decision of the court below and that of the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Aetna Finance Co. v. Mitchell, 1 Cir., 247 F.2d 190.

Until 1949, § 13(a)(2) exempted from the overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Stand-

Page 292

ards Act 'Any employee engaged in any retail or service establishment the greater part of whose selling or servicing is in intrastate commerce.' The Administrator early ruled that personal loan companies and other business entities in what may broadly be called the 'financial industry' were not within the scope of that exemption.1 When Congress amended the Act in 1949 it provided that pre-1949 rulings and interpretations by the Administrator should remain in effect unless inconsistent with the statute as amended. 63 Stat. 920, § 16(c), 29 U.S.C.A. § 208 note. The narrow issue before us, then, is whether Congress in the 1949 amendment of § 13(a)(2) broadened the scope of that section so as to embrace personal loan companies.

The present § 13(a)(2) differs from its predecessor primarily in the addition of a definition of the term 'retail or service establishment,' such an establishment being one '75 per centum of whose annual dollar volume of sales of goods or services (or of both) is not for resale and is recognized as retail sales or services in the particular industry; * * *' Respondents argue that they plainly come within this definition because (1) more than 75 percent of their loan and discount business is 'not for resale,' and (2) their activities are recognized in the financial industry as being the 'retail end' of that industry. They claim that the intent of Congress in...

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224 practice notes
  • 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
    ...party asserting it. Arnold v. Ben Kanowsky, Inc., 361 U.S. 388, 392, 80 S.Ct. 453, 4 L.Ed.2d 393 (1960); Mitchell v. Kentucky Finance Co., 359 U.S. 290, 295, 79 S. Ct. 756, 3 L.Ed.2d 815 (1959); A. H. Phillips, Inc. v. Walling, supra, 324 U.S. at 493, 65 S.Ct. 807. The burden is upon the em......
  • O'Brien v. Town of Agawam, No. 03-1685.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — First Circuit
    • December 2, 2003
    ...is exhaustive, see § 778.207(a), the exceptions are to be interpreted narrowly against the employer, see Mitchell v. Kentucky Fin. Co., 359 U.S. 290, 295-96, 79 S.Ct. 756, 3 L.Ed.2d 815 (1959), and the employer bears the burden of showing that an exception applies, see Idaho Sheet Metal Wor......
  • Rehberg v. Flowers Baking Co. of Jamestown, LLC, DOCKET NO. 3:12-cv-00596-MOC-DSC
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Western District of North Carolina
    • February 12, 2016
    ...emphasized, “[i]t is well settled that exemptions from the [FLSA] are to be narrowly construed.” Mitchell v. Kentucky Fin. Co. , 359 U.S. 290, 295, 79 S.Ct. 756, 3 L.Ed.2d 815 (1959) (citing A.H. Phillips, Inc. v. Walling , 324 U.S. 490, 493, 65 S.Ct. 807, 89 L.Ed. 1095 (1945) ). The questi......
  • Smith v. United Parcel Service, Inc., Civ. A. No. 2:95-0145.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Southern District of West Virginia
    • July 5, 1995
    ...Idaho Sheet Metal Works, Inc. v. Wirtz, 383 U.S. 190, 206, 86 S.Ct. 737, 747, 15 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966); Mitchell v. Kentucky Finance Co., 359 U.S. 290, 291, 79 S.Ct. 756, 757, 3 L.Ed.2d 815 (1959); Walling v. General Indus. Co., 330 U.S. 545, 548-49, 67 S.Ct. 883, 884-85, 91 L.Ed. 1088 (1947);......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
224 cases
  • 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
    ...party asserting it. Arnold v. Ben Kanowsky, Inc., 361 U.S. 388, 392, 80 S.Ct. 453, 4 L.Ed.2d 393 (1960); Mitchell v. Kentucky Finance Co., 359 U.S. 290, 295, 79 S. Ct. 756, 3 L.Ed.2d 815 (1959); A. H. Phillips, Inc. v. Walling, supra, 324 U.S. at 493, 65 S.Ct. 807. The burden is upon the em......
  • O'Brien v. Town of Agawam, No. 03-1685.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — First Circuit
    • December 2, 2003
    ...is exhaustive, see § 778.207(a), the exceptions are to be interpreted narrowly against the employer, see Mitchell v. Kentucky Fin. Co., 359 U.S. 290, 295-96, 79 S.Ct. 756, 3 L.Ed.2d 815 (1959), and the employer bears the burden of showing that an exception applies, see Idaho Sheet Metal Wor......
  • Rehberg v. Flowers Baking Co. of Jamestown, LLC, DOCKET NO. 3:12-cv-00596-MOC-DSC
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Western District of North Carolina
    • February 12, 2016
    ...emphasized, “[i]t is well settled that exemptions from the [FLSA] are to be narrowly construed.” Mitchell v. Kentucky Fin. Co. , 359 U.S. 290, 295, 79 S.Ct. 756, 3 L.Ed.2d 815 (1959) (citing A.H. Phillips, Inc. v. Walling , 324 U.S. 490, 493, 65 S.Ct. 807, 89 L.Ed. 1095 (1945) ). The questi......
  • Smith v. United Parcel Service, Inc., Civ. A. No. 2:95-0145.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Southern District of West Virginia
    • July 5, 1995
    ...Idaho Sheet Metal Works, Inc. v. Wirtz, 383 U.S. 190, 206, 86 S.Ct. 737, 747, 15 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966); Mitchell v. Kentucky Finance Co., 359 U.S. 290, 291, 79 S.Ct. 756, 757, 3 L.Ed.2d 815 (1959); Walling v. General Indus. Co., 330 U.S. 545, 548-49, 67 S.Ct. 883, 884-85, 91 L.Ed. 1088 (1947);......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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