Pyramid Motor Freight Corp. v. Ispass
330 U.S. 695 (1947)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Pyramid Motor Freight Corp. v. Ispass, 330 U.S. 695 (1947)

Pyramid Motor Freight Corp. v. Ispass

No. 41

Argued October 22, 1946

Decided March 31, 1947

330 U.S. 695

Syllabus

1. Where a notice of appeal has been duly filed in a district court but the appeal has not been docketed and the transcript of record has not been filed in the circuit court of appeals within the time specified in Rule 73(g) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, it is not an abuse of discretion for a circuit court of appeals to take into consideration the substantiality of the question to be at issue on the merits of the appeal, in connection with all the other circumstances before it, when refusing, under authority of Rule 73(a), to dismiss the appeal. Pp. 330 U. S. 702-705.

2. After the Interstate Commerce Commission had defined specifically the classes of employees of interstate motor carriers, including "loaders," as to whom it "has power" under § 204(a) of the Motor Carrier Act to establish qualifications and maximum hours of service, certain employees of an interstate motor carrier sued under § 16(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act for overtime compensation under § 7. The employer defended on the ground that their labor "consisted primarily of that of driver's helper and of loader," and that they were excluded by § 13(b)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act from the benefits of § 7.

Held: the question whether or not an individual employee is within any class of employees as to which the Commission has power to establish qualifications and maximum hours of service is to be determined by the judicial process, and there is no occasion to suspend final judgment pending further findings by the Commission. Pp. 330 U. S. 705-707.

3. This case is remanded to the district court for determination of the status of the plaintiffs in accordance with the principles stated in Levinson v. Spector Motor Service, ante p. 330 U. S. 649, and the following principles:

(a) In applying § 204 of the Motor Carrier Act to plaintiffs, the district court will determine whether or not the activities of each plaintiff, either as a whole or in substantial part, come within the Commission's definition of the work of a "loader." P. 330 U. S. 707.

Page 330 U. S. 696

(b) In making this determination, the district court shall not be concluded by the name which may have been given to his position or to the work that he does nor be required to find that any specific part of his time in any given week must have been spent in those activities. P. 330 U. S. 707.

(c) The district court shall give particular attention to whether or not the activities of the respective plaintiffs included that kind of "loading" which is held by the Commission to affect safety of operation. Pp. 330 U. S. 707-708.

(d) The mere handling of freight at a terminal, before or after loading, or even the placing of certain articles of freight on a motor carrier truck may form so trivial, casual, or occasional part of an employee's activities, or his activities may relate only to such articles or to such limited handling of them, that his activities will not come within the kind of "loading" which is described by the Commission and which is found by it to affect safety of operation. P. 330 U. S. 708.

(e) If none of the alleged "loading" activities of the respective plaintiffs, during the periods at issue, come within the kind of activities which, according to the Commission, affect the safety of operation, then such plaintiffs are entitled to the benefits of § 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act. P. 330 U. S. 708.

(f) If the whole or a substantial part of such alleged "loading" activities of the respective plaintiffs, during the periods at issue, does come within the kind of activities which, according to the Commission, affect safety of operation, such plaintiffs are excluded from the benefits of § 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act. P. 330 U. S. 708.

(g) If some, but less than a substantial part, of such activities of the respective plaintiffs, during some or all of the periods at issue, come within the kind of activities which, according to the Commission, affect such safety of operation, then the question as to the right of such plaintiffs to the benefits of § 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act is reserved, since it does not come within the precise issue determined in Levinson v. Spector Motor Service, ante p. 330 U. S. 649. Pp. 330 U. S. 708-709.

152 F.2d 619, judgment vacated in part and cause remanded.

In a suit brought by certain employees of an interstate motor carrier under § 16(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act for overtime compensation under § 7, a District Court declined to determine plaintiffs' status under § 13(b)(1)

Page 330 U. S. 697

and the Motor Carrier Act, but held the case "open for further action," in order to give them an opportunity to present that question to the Interstate Commerce Commission. 54 F.Supp. 565. Upon plaintiffs' refusal to do so and their motion requesting a final disposition of the case, the District Court dismissed the complaint "without prejudice." 59 F.Supp. 341. The Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal as to one plaintiff and remanded the case to the District Court for entry of judgment in favor of the other plaintiffs. 152 F.2d 619. This Court granted certiorari. 327 U.S. 774. Except as to one plaintiff, as to whom the judgment of dismissal was not questioned here, the judgment of the Circuit Court of Appeals is vacated in part, and the cause is remanded to the District Court for further proceedings. P. 330 U. S. 709.

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