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U.S. Supreme Court

Rutherford Food Corp. v. McComb, 331 U.S. 722 (1947)

Rutherford Food Corp. v. McComb

No. 562

Argued April 9, 10, 1947

Decided June 16, 1947

331 U.S. 722


1. Boners of meat worked in a slaughterhouse exclusively for the operator thereof and their work was but one step in a continuous process the other steps of which were performed by persons who were admittedly employees of the operator.

Held: in the circumstances of this case, the boners were employees of the operator of the slaughterhouse within the meaning of the Fair Labor Standards Act, even though they worked under a contract, owned their own tools, and were paid collectively a certain amount per hundredweight of boned beef, which pay they divided among themselves. Pp. 331 U. S. 724-726, 331 U. S. 729-730.

2. Decisions defining the coverage of the employer-employee relationship under the National Labor Relations Act and the Social Security Act are persuasive in the consideration of a similar coverage under the Fair Labor Standards Act. See Labor Board v. Hearst Publications, 322 U. S. 111; United States v. Silk, ante p. 331 U. S. 704. P. 331 U. S. 723.

3. Where the work done, in its essence, follows the usual path of an employee, putting an "independent contractor" label on the worker does not deprive him of the protection of the Fair Labor Standards Act. P. 331 U. S. 729.

4. Determination of the employer-employee relationship within the contemplation of the Fair Labor Standards Act does not depend on isolated factors, but rather upon the circumstances of the whole activity. P. 331 U. S. 730.

156 F.2d 513, conclusion affirmed and direction of judgment modified.

The District Court refused to enjoin alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Circuit Court of Appeals reversed. 156 F.2d 513. This Court granted

Page 331 U. S. 723

certiorari. 329 U.S. 704. Conclusion affirmed and direction of judgment modified, p. 331 U. S. 731.

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