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U.S. Supreme Court

Mitchell v. Lublin, McGaughy & Assocs., 358 U.S. 207 (1959)

Mitchell v. Lublin, McGaughy & Associates

No. 37

Argued October 21, 1958

Decided January 12, 1959

358 U.S. 207


The Secretary of Labor brought this action under § 17 of the Fair Labor Standards Act to restrain respondent from violating the recordkeeping and overtime provisions of the Act. Respondent is a firm of architects and engineers which designs public, industrial, and residential projects and prepares plans and specifications for them. It has offices in Norfolk, Va., and Washington, D.C., and employs 65 or 70 person. Many of its projects and clients are located outside of Virginia and the District of Columbia. Its fieldmen often travel across state lines, and its plans and specifications often are sent across state lines. Its draftsmen, fieldmen, clerks, and stenographers all work intimately with plans and specifications prepared by respondent for the construction, repair, relocation, and improvement of various interstate instrumentalities and facilities, including air bases, roads, turnpikes, bus terminals, and radio and television installations.


1. Respondent's nonprofessional employees are "engaged in commerce" as that term is used in §§ 6 and 7 of the Act, and they are within the coverage of the Act. Pp. 358 U. S. 208-213.

(a) The work done on plans and specifications for instrumentalities and facilities of interstate commerce is so directly and vitally related to their functioning as to be, in practical effect, a part of such commerce. P. 358 U. S. 212.

(b) That a portion of respondent's business pertains to military bases or new construction does not require a different result. P. 358 U. S. 213.

(c) The controlling factor is the activities of the individual employees, and the employees here involved are clearly "engaged in commerce." P. 358 U. S. 213.

2. In the circumstances of this case, injunctive relief would not appear to be improper as a matter of law, but it will be within the discretion of the District Court whether or not to issue an injunction after further proceedings on remand of the case. Pp. 358 U. S. 213-215.

250 F.2d 253, reversed and case remanded for further proceedings.

Page 358 U. S. 208

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