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WALLING V. BELO CORP., 316 U. S. 624 (1942)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Walling v. Belo Corp., 316 U.S. 624 (1942)

Walling v. Belo Corp.

No. 622

Argued April 6, 1942

Decided June 8, 1942

316 U.S. 624


1. Nothing in the Fair Labor Standards Act bars an employer from contracting with his employees to pay them the same wages that they received previously, so long as the new rate equals or exceeds the minimum required by the Act. P. 316 U. S. 630.

2. An employer whose employees worked irregular hours and were paid fixed weekly salaries entered into contracts with them, individually, which, in each case, specified a basic rate of pay per hour, for the maximum hours fixed by the Act, and not less than one and one-half times that rate per hour for overtime, with a guaranty that the employee should receive each week for regular time and overtime not less than an amount specified. Under this plan, the employee worked more than the statutory maximum regular hours before he became entitled to any pay in addition to the weekly guaranty, but, when he worked enough hours to earn more than the guaranty, the surplus time was paid for at 150% of the "basic," or contract, rate. His compensation equalled or approximated that which he was receiving when the Act went into effect, and exceeded the minima which the Act prescribes.

Held: chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 316 U. S. 625

(1) That the rate per hour so agreed on was the "regular rate" within the meaning of § 7(a)(3) of the Act where it provide that, for overtime, the employee shall receive compensation "at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate for which he is employed." P. 316 U. S. 630.

(2) The intention of the parties to fix the amount per hour specified in the contract was consistent with their intention to guaranty the specified weekly income. P. 316 U. S. 631.

(3) The Act does not prohibit paying more for overtime than 150% of the basic rate. P. 316 U. S. 632.

(4) The contract conforms to the intention of the Act. Overnight Motor Transportation Co. v. Missel, ante, p. 316 U. S. 572, distinguished. P. 316 U. S. 634.

121 F.2d 207 affirmed.

Certiorari, 314 U.S. 601, to review the affirmance of a decree of the Circuit Court of Appeals which dismissed a bill brought by the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division, Labor Department, to enjoin the respondent from adhering to a wage system, based upon contracts with its employees, which plaintiff attacked as contrary to wage and hour provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. In the District Court, this case was tried with another in which the present respondent obtained a declaratory judgment against certain of its employees. See 35 F.Supp. 430, 36 F.Supp. 907.

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