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U.S. Supreme Court

Employees v. Missouri Pub. Health Dept., 411 U.S. 279 (1973)

Employees of the Department of Public Health & Welfare of

Missouri v. Missouri Public Health & Welfare of Missouri

No. 71-1021

Argued January 15, 1973

Decided April 18, 1973

411 U.S. 279


Petitioners, employees of state health facilities, brought suit for overtime pay due them under § 16(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and damages, which the District Court dismissed as being an unconsented action against the State of Missouri, and thus barred by the Eleventh Amendment. The Court of Appeals affirmed.

Held: Although amendments to the FLSA in 1966 extended statutory coverage to state employees, the legislative history discloses no congressional purpose to deprive a State of its constitutional immunity to suit in a federal forum by employees of its nonprofit institutions, particularly since Congress made no change in § 16(b), which makes no reference to suits by employees against the State. Parden v. Terminal R. Co., 377 U. S. 184, distinguished. The amendments' extension of coverage to state employees is not without meaning as the Secretary of Labor is thereby enabled to bring remedial action on their behalf under § 17 of the FLSA. Pp. 411 U. S. 281-287.

452 F.2d 820, affirmed.

DOUGLAS, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J.,and WHITE, BLACKMUN, POWELL, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined. MARSHALL, J., filed an opinion concurring in the result, in which STEWART, J., joined, post, p. 411 U. S. 287. BRENNAN, J., filed a dissenting opinion, post, p. 411 U. S. 298.

Page 411 U. S. 280

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