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U.S. Supreme Court

Powell v. United States Cartridge Co., 339 U.S. 497 (1950)

Powell v. United States Cartridge Co.

No. 96

Argued December 8-9, 1949

Decided May 8, 1950*

339 U.S. 497


The Fair Labor Standards Act applies to employees of a private contractor operating a Government-owned munitions plant under a cost plus a fixed fee contract with the Government. Pp. 339 U. S. 498-522.

1. Such employees are not employees of the United States within the meaning of the Act. Pp. 339 U. S. 504-508.

2. Such employees are engaged in the production of goods for commerce within the meaning of the Act. Pp. 339 U. S. 509-515.

(a) The "transportation" of munitions of the United States to destinations outside of the state of their production is "commerce" within the meaning of the Act, even though the munitions were transported for use or consumption, and not for sale or exchange. Pp. 339 U. S. 511-512.

(b) The munitions produced were "goods" within the meaning of the Act, even though they were produced for delivery into the actual physical possession of the United States as their ultimate consumer. Pp. 339 U. S. 512-515.

3. The Fair Labor Standards Act and the Walsh-Healey Act of June 30, 1936, 41 U.S.C. §§ 35 et seq., are not mutually exclusive, but are mutually supplementary. Pp. 339 U. S. 515-520.

4. Neither the Act of July 2, 1940, 50 U.S.C.App. §§ 1171, 1172, nor the action of the Secretary of War taken pursuant thereto excludes the applicability of the Fair Labor Standards Act to such employees. Pp. 339 U. S. 520-522.

174 F.2d 718; 174 F.2d 730; 171 F.2d 964, reversed.

The facts and proceedings below are stated in the opinion at pp. 339 U. S. 499-504. The judgments below are reversed, and the causes remanded, p. 339 U. S. 522.

Page 339 U. S. 498

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