Levinson v. Spector Motor Service
330 U.S. 649 (1947)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Levinson v. Spector Motor Service, 330 U.S. 649 (1947)

Levinson v. Spector Motor Service

No. 22

Argued December 11, 1945

Reargued October 21, 22, 1946

Decided March 31, 1947

330 U.S. 649

Syllabus

1. The Interstate Commerce Commission "has power," under § 204 of the Motor Carrier Act, 1935, to establish qualifications and maximum hours of service with respect to a "checker" or "terminal foreman," a substantial part of whose activities consists of doing, or immediately directing, the work of one or more "loaders" of freight for an interstate motor carrier, as such class of work has been defined by the Commission and found by it to affect the safety of operation, and such an employee is expressly excluded by § 13(b)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act from the overtime compensation requirements of § 7, although the Commission has not exercised its power affirmatively by establishing qualifications and maximum hours of service with respect to "loaders." Pp. 330 U. S. 651-653, 330 U. S. 670-685.

2. In order to establish that an employee is excluded by § 13(b)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act from a right to increased pay for overtime services under § 7, it is not necessary as a condition precedent to find that the Commission has exercised or should exercise its power to establish qualifications and maximum hours of service. The existence of the power is enough. P. 330 U. S. 678.

3. From the point of view of the Commission and its jurisdiction over safety of operation, it is the character of an employee's activities, rather than the proportion of his time or of his activities, that determines the need for the Commission's power to establish qualifications

Page 330 U. S. 650

and maximum hours of service. Pp. 330 U. S. 674-675. [See also Pyramid Motor Freight Corp. v. Ispass, post, p. 330 U. S. 695.]

4. For the purposes of this case, it is enough that a substantial part of the employee's activities consisted of doing, or immediate direction of, the very kind of activities of a "loader" which the Commission found to affect safety of operation-although it does not appear what fraction of his time was spent in such activities. P. 330 U. S. 681.

5. The scope of the power of the Commission under § 204 to establish qualifications and maximum hours of service with respect to classes of employees of interstate motor carriers depends upon an interpretation of that section in accordance with the purposes of the Motor Carrier Act and the regulations issued pursuant to it -- not upon a restrictive interpretation of the exemption created by § 13(b)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Pp. 330 U. S. 676-677.

6. In reconciling these two Acts, it is necessary to put safety first and to limit the authority of the Wage and Hour Administrator to those employees of motor carriers whose activities do not affect the safety of operation. P. 330 U. S. 677.

7. The Wage and Hour Administrator has no authority to expand his jurisdiction under the Fair Labor Standards Act by administrative interpretations which reduce the jurisdiction of the Commission under the Motor Carrier Act. P. 330 U. S. 684.

389 Ill. 466, 59 N.E.2d 817, affirmed.

An employee of an interstate motor carrier obtained judgment in a state court for unpaid overtime compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Appellate Court of Illinois reversed. 323 Ill.App. 505, 56 N.E.2d 142. The Supreme Court of Illinois affirmed. 389 Ill. 466, 59 N.E.2d 817. This Court granted certiorari. 326 U.S. 703. Affirmed, p. 330 U. S. 685.

Page 330 U. S. 651

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