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U.S. Supreme Court

Western Union Telegraph Co. v. Lenroot, 323 U.S. 490 (1945)

Western Union Telegraph Co. v. Lenroot

No. 49

Argued November 8, 9, 1944

Decided January 8, 1945

323 U.S. 490


1. The legislative history of the child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 is inconclusive as to whether the Act was intended to reach such child labor as is here involved. P. 323 U. S. 500.

2. Section 12(a) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which provides that

"no producer . . . shall ship or deliver for shipment in commerce any goods produced in an establishment . . . in or about which . . . any oppressive child labor has been employed . . . "

held inapplicable to a company engaged in the transmission in interstate commerce of telegraph messages. P. 323 U. S. 501 et seq.

(a) Transmission of telegraph messages is not production of goods within § 12(a). As used in § 3(j) of the Act, which defines "produced" as meaning, inter alia, "handled" or "worked on," the words "handled" and "worked on" include every kind of incidental operation preparatory to putting goods into the stream of commerce, but do not include such handling or working on as accomplishes the interstate transit or movement in commerce itself. P. 323 U. S. 504.

(b) The word "ship," used in the Act in its ordinary meaning, is inapplicable to telegraph messages. P. 323 U. S. 506.

(c) The recoil on the public interest which would ensue is persuasive that the Act did not contemplate application of its indirect sanctions to the telegraph company. P. 323 U. S. 507.

141 F.2d 400 reversed.

Certiorari, 322 U.S. 719, to review the affirmance of a decree of injunction, 52 F.Supp. 142, restraining alleged violations of the child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 323 U. S. 491

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