Rutherford Food Corp v McComb - Rutherford Food Corp. v....

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1 Rutherford Food Corp. v. McComb 331 U.S. 722 (1947) United States Supreme Court MR. JUSTICE REED delivered the opinion of the Court. The Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor [McComb] brought this action to enjoin the Rutherford Food Corporation and the Kaiser Packing Company from further violating the Fair Labor Standards Act… The Administrator alleged that the defendants had repeatedly failed to keep proper records and to pay certain of its employees overtime as required by § 7 of the [Fair Labor Standards] Act… The District Court refused to grant the injunction [thereby, finding in favor of the defendants]. The Circuit Court of Appeals reversed on appeal, and directed the entry of the judgment substantially as prayed for [on behalf of the Administrator]. Walling v. Rutherford Food Corporation, 156 F.2d 513. We brought the case here because of the importance of the issues presented by the petition for certiorari to the administration of the Act. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, enacted June 25, 1938, is a part of the social legislation of the 1930's of the same general character as the National Labor Relations Act of July 5, 1935, 49 Stat. 449, and the Social Security Act of August 14, 1935, 49 Stat. 620… The petitioners are corporations of Missouri authorized to do business in Kansas. The slaughterhouse of the Kaiser Packing Company, the place of the alleged violations with which we are concerned, and the principal place of business of that company, is in Kansas City, Kansas, from which it ships meat in interstate commerce. Since 1942 most of its product has been boned beef. The petitioner, Rutherford Food Corporation, has its principal place of business and its plant for processing meat products in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1943, Rutherford bought 51% of the stock of Kaiser in order to assure itself of a constant supply of boned beef for contracts it had with the U.S. Army. Kaiser had been operating and continued to operate at a loss, and Rutherford advanced more than $ 50,000 to Kaiser between March, when Rutherford bought the Kaiser stock, and July, 1943. To assure itself of a continued supply of meat, Rutherford leased Kaiser's facilities and took over operation of the slaughterhouse in July. In May, 1944, the lease was terminated and Rutherford's stock interest in Kaiser sold, so that Kaiser might qualify for subsidies granted by the Defense Supplies Corporation to unaffiliated nonprocessing slaughterers under its Regulation No. 3… Prior to 1942 Kaiser had one hourly paid employee who acted as a combined butcher, beef boner and order filler. During 1942, in order to be able to furnish beef boned to Army specifications to the Army under contract, Kaiser entered into a written contract with one Reed, an experienced worker, which provided that Reed should assemble a group of skilled workers to do the boning at the slaughterhouse. The terms of the contract were that Reed should be paid for the work of boning an amount per hundred-weight of
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Rutherford Food Corp v McComb - Rutherford Food Corp. v....

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