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U.S. Supreme Court

Overnight Motor Transportation Co., Inc. v. Missel, 316 U.S. 572 (1942)

Overnight Motor Transportation Co., Inc. v. Missel

No. 939

Argued April 6, 7, 1942

Decided June 8, 1942

316 U.S. 572


1. A employee of an interstate motor transportation company, who acted as rate clerk and performed other incidental duties, held "engaged in commerce" within the meaning of § 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, and entitled to the benefit of its overtime provisions. P. 316 U. S. 574.

2. In the exercise of its power to regulate wages and hours of employment in interstate commerce, Congress may increase wages for overtime not merely to safeguard the health of employees, but also to discourage overtime work, with a view to spreading employment and for other purposes. P. 316 U. S. 576.

3. It is a purpose of the Fair Labor Standards Act not merely to increase substandard pay, but to discourage overtime work by requiring extra pay for it even though the wages, as contracted for and paid by the employer, for both regular hours and overtime, exceed the statutory minimum. P. 316 U. S. 577.

4. Section 7(a) of the Act requires payment to the employee, for overtime, of not less than one and one-half times the "regular rate at which he is employed," meaning the rate actually agreed on and paid by the employer if greater than the statutory minimum. P. 316 U. S. 577.

5. Where the employment contract is for a fixed weekly wage and variable or fluctuating hours of work, the "regular rate" in the statutory sense, for any particular week, is the quotient of the amount paid per week divided by the number of hours worked in that week. Walling v. Belo Corp., post, p. 316 U. S. 624, distinguished. P. 316 U. S. 580.

6. The provision of § 16(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act making an employer who violates § 6 or § 7 liable to the employees affected not only in the amount of his unpaid minimum wages or unpaid overtime compensation, but in an additional equal amount as liquidated damages -- held constitutional as applied to an employer whose failure to comply resulted from inability to determine whether the employee was covered by the Act. P. 316 U. S. 581.

126 F.2d 98 affirmed. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 316 U. S. 573

Certiorari, 315 U.S. 791, to review a judgment which reversed a judgment of the District Court, 40 F.Supp. 174, in an action brought against an employer by its employee to recover alleged unpaid overtime compensation and an equal amount in addition as liquidated damages, and counsel fee.

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