Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

MITCHELL v. REYNOLDS

November 12, 1954

JAMES P. MITCHELL, SECRETARY OF LABOR, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, PLAINTIFF.
v.
J.W. REYNOLDS AND MRS. VELMA JEANNE RUTLEDGE, INDIVIDUALLY, AND AS CO-PARTNERS, DOING BUSINESS AS J.W. REYNOLDS LUMBER COMPANY, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: John E. Miller, District Judge.

The defendants on June 23, 1954, filed their answer in which they denied violating the Act. Thereafter, plaintiff served upon defendants certain interrogatories and requests for admissions, which in due time were answered by defendants.

Upon the issues thus joined the case was tried to the Court, without a jury, on October 27, 1954, and at the conclusion of the trial the Court, having considered the pleadings, ore tenus testimony of the witnesses, interrogatories and request for admissions and responses thereto, exhibits, and contentions of the parties, orally announced its findings of fact and conclusions of law, and in accordance therewith the Court now makes and files herein its formal findings of fact and conclusions of law, separately stated.

Findings of Fact

1.

The plaintiff is the Secretary of Labor, United States Department of Labor. The individual defendants are citizens and residents of the Western District of Arkansas, El Dorado Division, and are doing business as a partnership under the name of J.W. Reynolds Lumber Company.

2.

Prior to 1954, Investigators of the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor had investigated defendants' business several times. On at least one of these occasions it was discovered that defendants were not in full compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, and defendants were required to make additional payments to some of their employees, apparently for unpaid overtime compensation. However, in each of these investigations defendants cooperated fully with the Investigators and made an honest effort to meet the requirements of the Act.

In fact, defendants were so desirous of complying with the Act that they employed John F. Stroud, a former Investigator of the Wage and Hour Division, to check their books periodically and assist them in complying with the Act. Mr. Stroud first began working for defendants in July of 1950, and at that time he ascertained that defendants' books were apparently being kept properly, but noticed that certain employees were turning in the same number of hours each week.

Due to the nature of the work, it was not feasible for the defendants' supervisory personnel to keep an accurate record of the number of hours worked each week by each employee, and beginning in July, 1950, certain employees were given individual time cards upon which they were to record the number of hours they worked each day and each week. Most of these employees had been working for defendants for a number of years, and were trusted with the keeping of their own hours. At the time the cards were given to the employees Stroud instructed them to keep an accurate record of the actual number of hours they worked each week, and J.L. Toland, defendants' bookkeeper and office manager, typed the following notation upon the backs of the employees' first time cards:

    "In line with your talk to Mr. Stroud in regard to
  your working hours, please fill in the exact number
  of hours you have worked and at the end of each pay
  period please turn in your time card and pick up a
  new card for the next period. J.L. Toland."

Subsequent to that time, and up until April of 1954, Stroud, Toland and N.B. Rutledge, Manager of the Company, each instructed the employees from time to time that they should keep an accurate record of the actual number of hours worked each week. However, some of the employees did not keep an accurate record of the number of hours they worked, but instead recorded the same number of hours every week or every two weeks. There were two reasons for the employees' failure to keep accurate records of the number of hours worked. First, they thought it was unnecessary and was too much trouble, and second, they wanted to be assured of the same amount of pay each pay period, even though some weeks they might not work the required number of hours they thought necessary to entitle them to receive the same amount of pay for each pay period.

3.

In January and February of 1954, Charles F. Routon, Jr., an Investigator of the Wage and Hour Division, made an investigation of defendants' business. He discovered that several of the employees were not recording the actual number of hours they worked each week, and also learned that one of the persons defendants had classified as an executive or administrative employee did not meet the necessary requirements for such an exemption. As a result of this investigation, and the fact that prior investigations of defendants' business had revealed ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.