Shultz v. NATIONAL ELECTRIC COMPANY, 130-68.

Decision Date22 September 1969
Docket NumberNo. 130-68.,130-68.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Tenth Circuit
PartiesGeorge P. SHULTZ, Secretary of Labor, United States Department of Labor, Appellant, v. NATIONAL ELECTRIC COMPANY, Inc., et al., Appellees.

James E. White, U. S. Dept. of Labor, Washington, D. C. (Edward D. Friedman, Acting Sol. of Labor, Bessie Margolin, Associate Solicitor, Robert E. Nagle and Thomas E. Korson, U. S. Dept. of Labor, and Major J. Parmenter, Regional Attorney, on the brief), for appellant.

Edward E. Soule, Oklahoma City, Okl., for appellees.

Before PICKETT, HILL and HICKEY, Circuit Judges.

PICKETT, Circuit Judge.

The Secretary of Labor brought this action to enjoin the appellee, National Electric Company, Inc., and its president, Robert G. Elston, from violating the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq., and to require payments of overtime compensation due to some employees. The trial court held that the employees in question were not engaged in interstate commerce, and denied the relief sought.1 We affirm.

The material facts are not in dispute. National Electric, an Oklahoma corporation, was engaged in electrical contracting and in the retail sale to the public of electrical supplies and fixtures.2 Elston testified that 99% of the corporation's sales of merchandise were retail sales upon which was collected the Oklahoma Sales Tax. No claim is made that any sales by National Electric were interstate. It is stipulated that the corporation regularly received merchandise which was shipped to it from outside the State of Oklahoma and delivered to it at its warehouse and unloaded on its docks by employees of the common carrier making the delivery. The trial court found that the aforesaid deliveries ended the interstate movement of the merchandise and that the corporation's employees who thereafter handled the shipments and mingled it with other merchandise in the warehouse were not engaged in interstate commerce within the meaning of the Act. The narrow issue presented here is whether the interstate movement of the merchandise ended at the warehouse dock when it was placed there by employees of the common carrier, or when it was placed in the warehouse by employees of the corporation.

Relying primarily on Walling v. Jacksonville Paper Co., 317 U.S. 564, 63 S.Ct. 332, 87 L.Ed. 460, the Secretary urges that the placing of the merchandise on the warehouse dock was only a temporary halt in the interstate movement of the goods to their final destination inside the warehouse of National Electric. The Jacksonville Paper Company case, however, was concerned with an entirely different factual situation. In that case goods placed in the warehouse were destined to specific customers or purchased to meet the requirements of a pre-existing contract or understanding with the customer. The merchandise merely passed through the warehouse before delivery to the customers for whom the purchases were made. The Supreme Court concluded that the goods having entered the channels of interstate commerce remained in interstate commerce until the trip was ended; that a temporary pause or break in transit did not mean that the goods were no longer in interstate commerce, nor did delivery and passing of title mean that the interstate journey ended at the warehouse if the warehouse was not the final destination of the shipment; that the final destination of the shipments was not the warehouse of Jacksonville Paper Company, but some point beyond; therefore, employees working with the goods were covered by the Act. In Higgins v. Carr Bros. Co., 317 U.S. 572, 63 S.Ct. 337, 87 L.Ed. 468, a companion case to Walling v. Jacksonville Paper Co., supra, the Court considered a case where the final destination of the shipments was the warehouse. It agreed with the Supreme Court of Maine, under facts similar to those here, "that when the merchandise coming from without the state was unloaded at respondent's place of business its `interstate movement had ended.'"3 The following cases have taken the same view: Tilbury v. Mitchell, 5 Cir., 220 F. 2d 757, aff'g W.D.La., 123 F.Supp. 109; Maitrejean v. Metcalfe Const. Co., 8 Cir., 165 F.2d 571; Walling v. L. Wiemann Co., 7 Cir., 138 F.2d 602, 150 A.L.R. 878, cert. denied, 321 U.S. 785, 64 S.Ct. 782, 88 L.Ed. 1077; Walling v. Goldblatt Bros., 7 Cir., 128 F.2d 778, cert. denied, 318 U.S. 757, 63 S.Ct. 528, 87 L.Ed. 1130; Parks v. Puckett, W.D.Ark., 154 F.Supp. 842; Walling v. Bridgeport Tobacco Co., N.D.Ill., 57 F.Supp. 429. In Clyde v. Broderick, 144 F.2d 348, 351, we said:

"When goods once enter the channels of interstate commerce they thereby acquire an interstate status which continues until the interstate journey ends and they come to rest at the point of their intended destination."

And in Jewel Tea Co. v. Williams, 118 F.2d 202, 207, this court said:

"(T)he interstate commerce ceases when the goods come to rest in the state."

In Sucrs. De A. Mayol & Co., Inc. v. Mitchell, 1 Cir., 280 F.2d 477, Chief Judge Aldrich, writing for the court, accepted the view that interstate commerce ceases when the goods come to rest, but thought that the Jacksonville Paper Company case extended the interstate trip beyond the unloading point on the dock to the place in the warehouse where the goods were placed upon the shelves with the warehouse stock. With due respect to this distinguished jurist, we are unable to accept those conclusions. While we do not imply that in all cases the unloading or assisting in unloading by employees of the consignee would bring such employees within the Act, it is noted that, as pointed out by the district court, in most of the cases relied upon in Sucrs. De A. Mayol & Co., Inc. and the Secretary here, such employees either unloaded or assisted in unloading the goods from the common carrier at the consignee's place of business. It is also significant that the First Circuit did not refer to Higgins v. Carr Bros. Co., supra, or Standard Oil Co. v. Federal Trade Commission, 340 U.S. 231, page 238, 71 S.Ct. 240, p. 244, 95 L.Ed. 239, where the Court in Note 6 construed the Jacksonville Paper Co. and Higgins cases to hold that for the purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act, "(I)nterstate commerce...

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    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • December 21, 2009
    ...(1924); Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Ry. v. Iowa, 233 U.S. 334, 342-43, 34 S.Ct. 592, 58 L.Ed. 988 (1914); Schultz v. National Electric Co., 414 F.2d 1225, 1226-28 (10th Cir.1969). Congress could still regulate such a shipment if it wanted to. Such intrastate shipments have a cumulatively ......
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    ...166 F.2d 554 (7th Cir. 1948), Wirtz v. National Electric Co., 285 F.Supp. 30 (W.D.Okla. 1968), aff'd sub nom. Shultz v. National Electric Co., 414 F.2d 1225 (10th Cir. 1969), and Mateo v. Auto Rental Co., 240 F.2d 831 (9th Cir. 1957) all dealt with the issue of defining an end to the stream......
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    ...did admit to sales to out of state customers and to occasional sales to persons in transit. Defendant relies on Schultz v. National Elec. Co., 414 F.2d 1225 (10th Cir. 1969) where the court held that interstate movement stops under the Fair Labor Standards Act when merchandise is unloaded o......
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