Southland Gasoline Co v. Bayley Richardson v. James Gibbons Co, Nos. 581

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtREED
Citation319 U.S. 44,87 L.Ed. 1244,63 S.Ct. 917
PartiesSOUTHLAND GASOLINE CO. v. BAYLEY et al. RICHARDSON v. JAMES GIBBONS CO
Decision Date03 May 1943
Docket NumberNos. 581,725

319 U.S. 44
63 S.Ct. 917
87 L.Ed. 1244
SOUTHLAND GASOLINE CO.

v.

BAYLEY et al. RICHARDSON v. JAMES GIBBONS CO.

Nos. 581, 725.
Argued and Submitted April 5, 1943.
Decided May 3, 1943.

Mr. Claude H. Rosenstein, of Tulsa, Okl., for petitioner Southland Gasoline Co.

Mr. George A. Mahone, of Baltimore, Md., for petitioner Richardson.

Messrs. O. Bowie Duckett, Jr. and Charles T. Le Viness, 3rd, both of Baltimore, Md., for respondent James Gibbons Co.

Mr. C. D. Atkinson, of Fayetteville, Ark., for respondents Bayley and others.

Messrs. Chas. Fahy, Sol. Gen., Robert L. Stern, Irving J. Levy, and Bessie Margolin, all of Washington, D.C., for the United States as amicus curiae.

Page 45

Mr. Justice REED delivered the opinion of the Court.

By writs of certiorari these two cases were brought here to resolve the conflict between them over the proper interpretation of section 13(b)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.1

Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C.A. § 207, relates to the maximum number of hours per week an employer may employ an employee who is engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce.2 The scope of the exemption from the maximum hour standards granted by section 13(b)(1) in turn depends upon the interpretation to be given section 204(a) of the Motor Carrier Act. The portions of that section which are important here are set out below.3

Page 46

These cases turn upon the interpretation to be given the exemption, by section 13(b)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, of employees 'with respect to whom the Interstate Commerce Commission has power to establish qualifications and maximum hours of service pursuant to the provisions of section 204 of the Motor Carrier Act, 1935 (49 U.S.C.A. § 304).' In the Southland case, the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit construed this to exempt employees of private carriers of property from the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act only after the Interstate Commerce Commission has found need to establish maximum hours for such employees under the authority of section 204(a)(3) of the Motor Carrier Act. Bayley v. Southland Gasoline Co., 131 F.2d 412. The Fourth Circuit in the Gibbons Company case was of the opinion that 'power' in section 13(b) meant the existence of the power and not its actual exercise. 132 F.2d 627; cf. Plunkett v. Abraham Bros. Packing Co., 6 Cir., 129 F.2d 419, 421, C.C.A. 6.

The employers in both cases are concededly private carriers of property, engaged in interstate commerce. All employees are subject to regulation to promote safety of operation under section 204(a)(3). In both cases the employees seek recovery solely for the failure of their employers to pay them the time and a half for overtime as

Page 47

required by section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act. There is no claim for unpaid overtime compensation after May 1, 1940, the date that the Interstate Commerce Commission first found need to establish reasonable requirements as to maximum hours to promote safety in the operations of private carriers of property by motor vehicle under section 204(a)(3).

The problem of statutory construction posed by this conflict of circuits should not be solved simply by a literal reading of the exemption section of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the delegation of power section of the Motor Carriers Act. Both sections are parts of important general statutes and their particular language should be construed in the light of the purposes which led to the enactment of the entire legislation. United States v. American Trucking Ass'ns, 310 U.S. 534, 542, 60 S.Ct. 1059, 1063, 84 L.Ed. 1345. The words of the sections under consideration are, however, basic data from which to draw the sections' meaning. Section 13(b)(1) exempts from the maximum hour limitation of the Fair Labor Standards Act those employees over whom the Interstate Commerce Commission 'has power to' prescribe maximum hours of service. Section 204(a)(3) certainly gives 'power to' the Commission to establish maximum hours for the employees here involved. There is a limitation on the authority delegated, urged here by the employees as a condition precedent to the existence of the power. This is that the Commission may establish maximum hours only 'if need therefor is found.' Since the employees seek unpaid overtime compensation only for the period prior to a finding of need by the Commission, the employees argue that no 'power' existed in the Commission during the time for which compensation is claimed. We conclude to the contrary. The power to fix maximum hours has existed in the Commission since the enactment of the Motor Carrier Act in 1935. Before that power could be used, it was necessary to make a

Page 48

finding of need. Such a necessity, however, did not affect the existence of...

To continue reading

Request your trial
95 practice notes
  • Powell v. United States Cartridge Co Aaron v. Ford, Bacon Davis Creel v. Lone Star Defense Corporation 8212 1949, Nos. 96
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 8 d1 Maio d1 1950
    ...S.Ct. 954, 91 L.Ed. 1184; Levinson v. Spector Motor Service, 330 U.S. 649, 67 S.Ct. 931, 91 L.Ed. 1158; Southland Gasoline Co. v. Bayley, 319 U.S. 44, 63 S.Ct. 917, 87 L.Ed. 1244; Overnight Motor Transport Co. v. Missel, 316 U.S. 572, 62 S.Ct. 1216, 86 L.Ed. 1682; United States v. American ......
  • N.J. Transit Policemen's Benev. Ass'n Local 304 v. New Jersey Transit Corp., No. 86-5259
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • 27 d2 Janeiro d2 1987
    ...operations and the fact that such operations may result in irregular hours for railroad workers. See Southland Gasoline Co. v. Bayley, 319 U.S. 44, 48-49, 63 S.Ct. 917, 919-20, 87 L.Ed. 1244 (1943). The reference to the ICA was made solely for the purpose of identifying the workers to be co......
  • Bilyou v. Dutchess Beer Distributors, Inc., Docket No. 01-7378.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • 7 d3 Agosto d3 2002
    ...relating to maximum hours and qualifications of their employees. See 49 Stat. 546, § 204(a);5 Southland Gasoline Co. v. Bayley, 319 U.S. 44, 46, 63 S.Ct. 917, 87 L.Ed. 1244 (1943) (noting that all carrier employees are "subject to regulation to promote safety of operation under § 204(a)(3)"......
  • International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union v. Donovan, No. 82-2133
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit
    • 29 d2 Novembro d2 1983
    ...Inc., 361 U.S. 288, 292, 80 S.Ct. 332, 335, 4 L.Ed.2d 323 (1960). See also Southland Gasoline Co. v. Bayley, 319 Page 801 U.S. 44, 48, 63 S.Ct. 917, 919, 87 L.Ed. 1244 (1943). 3 The Act established minimum hourly wages for employees, 4 limited the number of hours employees could work withou......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
95 cases
  • Powell v. United States Cartridge Co Aaron v. Ford, Bacon Davis Creel v. Lone Star Defense Corporation 8212 1949, Nos. 96
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 8 d1 Maio d1 1950
    ...S.Ct. 954, 91 L.Ed. 1184; Levinson v. Spector Motor Service, 330 U.S. 649, 67 S.Ct. 931, 91 L.Ed. 1158; Southland Gasoline Co. v. Bayley, 319 U.S. 44, 63 S.Ct. 917, 87 L.Ed. 1244; Overnight Motor Transport Co. v. Missel, 316 U.S. 572, 62 S.Ct. 1216, 86 L.Ed. 1682; United States v. American ......
  • N.J. Transit Policemen's Benev. Ass'n Local 304 v. New Jersey Transit Corp., No. 86-5259
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • 27 d2 Janeiro d2 1987
    ...operations and the fact that such operations may result in irregular hours for railroad workers. See Southland Gasoline Co. v. Bayley, 319 U.S. 44, 48-49, 63 S.Ct. 917, 919-20, 87 L.Ed. 1244 (1943). The reference to the ICA was made solely for the purpose of identifying the workers to be co......
  • Bilyou v. Dutchess Beer Distributors, Inc., Docket No. 01-7378.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • 7 d3 Agosto d3 2002
    ...relating to maximum hours and qualifications of their employees. See 49 Stat. 546, § 204(a);5 Southland Gasoline Co. v. Bayley, 319 U.S. 44, 46, 63 S.Ct. 917, 87 L.Ed. 1244 (1943) (noting that all carrier employees are "subject to regulation to promote safety of operation under § 204(a)(3)"......
  • International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union v. Donovan, No. 82-2133
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit
    • 29 d2 Novembro d2 1983
    ...Inc., 361 U.S. 288, 292, 80 S.Ct. 332, 335, 4 L.Ed.2d 323 (1960). See also Southland Gasoline Co. v. Bayley, 319 Page 801 U.S. 44, 48, 63 S.Ct. 917, 919, 87 L.Ed. 1244 (1943). 3 The Act established minimum hourly wages for employees, 4 limited the number of hours employees could work withou......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT