Brooklyn Savings Bank v. O'Neil
324 U.S. 697 (1945)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Brooklyn Savings Bank v. O'Neil, 324 U.S. 697 (1945)

Brooklyn Savings Bank v. O'Neil

No. 445

Argued February 5, 6, 1945

Decided April 9, 1945*

324 U.S. 697

Syllabus

1. In the absence of a bona fide dispute between the employer and the employee as to liability, an employee's written waiver of his right to liquidated damages under § 16(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act does not bar a subsequent action by the employee to recover such liquidated damages. P. 324 U. S. 707.

2. The legislative policy behind the provision of § 16(b) for liquidated damages, as evidenced by the legislative history of the provision and by other provisions and the structure of the Act, shows that Congress did not intend that an employee should be allowed to waive his right to liquidated damages. P. 324 U. S. 706.

3. Exceptional circumstances of the kind held to justify a waiver agreement such as was upheld in Fort Smith & Western R. Co. v. Mill,253 U. S. 206, are not here involved. P. 324 U. S. 709.

4. The right of the employee to liquidated damages under § 16(b) does not depend on whether the employee is compelled to sue for minimum wages due. P. 324 U. S. 711.

5. Absence from the Fair Labor Standards Act of a specific provision prohibiting waivers of rights under the Act is not to be construed as permitting such waivers. P. 324 U. S. 712.

6. An employee's release and waiver of rights to minimum wages and liquidated damages under the Fair Labor Standards Act, in consideration of a sum known by both employer and employee to be less than the statutory minimum wages due, is void. P. 324 U. S. 713.

7. It is unnecessary here to determine questions of the validity and effect of agreements between employer and employee in settlement of claims arising under the Act where there is a bona fide dispute between the parties. P. 324 U. S. 714.

Page 324 U. S. 698

8. The question of the right to interest on sums recoverable under § 16(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act is one of federal, not local, law. P. 324 U. S. 715.

9. An employee recovering minimum wages and liquidated damages under § 16(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act is not entitled to interest on the sums so recovered. P. 324 U. S. 715.

293 N.Y. 666, 56 N.E.2d 259, affirmed. 144 F.2d 584, affirmed. 144 F.2d 292, reversed in part.

Certiorari, 323 U.S. 698, 702, to review decisions in three cases under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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