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U.S. Supreme Court

Walling v. Portland Terminal Co., 330 U.S. 148 (1947)

Walling v. Portland Terminal Co.

No. 336

Argued January 17, 1947

Decided February 17, 1947

330 U.S. 148


For many years, a railroad has given to prospective yard brakemen a practical course of training lasting seven or eight days. Under the supervision of a yard crew, each trainee first learns routine activities by observation and is then gradually permitted to do actual work under close scrutiny. His activities do not displace any of the regular employees, who do most of the work themselves and must stand immediately by to supervise what the trainee does. The trainee's work does not expedite the railroad's business, but may, and sometimes does, actually impede and retard it. Trainees who complete the course satisfactorily and are certified as competent are listed as eligible for employment when needed. Prior to October 1, 1943, trainees received no pay or allowance of any kind, but, since that date, those who prove their competency and are listed as eligible for employment are given a retroactive allowance of $4 per day for their training period.


1. Such a trainee is not an "employee" within the meaning of § 3(e) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Pp. 330 U. S. 152-153.

2. Section 14, which authorizes the Wage and Hour Administrator to permit the employment of learners and apprentices at less than the minimum wage prescribed by the Act, is inapplicable to such trainees, since it relates only to learners who are in "employment," and carries no implication that all instructors must either get a permit or pay minimum wages to all learners. Pp. 330 U. S. 151-152.

155 F.2d 215, affirmed.

The Wage and Hour Administrator sued a railroad to enjoin alleged violations of §§ 15(a)(2) and 15(a)(5) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 52 Stat. 1060. The District Court denied the injunction. 61 F.Supp. 345. The Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. 155 F.2d 215. This Court granted certiorari. 329 U.S. 696. Affirmed, p. 330 U. S. 153. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 330 U. S. 149

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