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Mitchell v. King Packing Co.

Supreme Court of the United States

Argued November 16-17, 1955 ; January 30, 1956

No. 39

Opinion

 [*260]   [**338]  .  [***283]  CHIEF JUSTICE WARREN delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case like  [****2]  Steiner v. Mitchell, ante, p. 247, raises an issue of coverage under the Fair Labor Standards Act, as amended by the Portal-to-Portal Act of 1947, with respect to work performed before or after the direct or productive labor for which the worker is primarily paid.

The District Court denied to the Secretary of Labor an injunction to enforce compliance with the Act, and the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed. 216 F. 2d 618.

 [*261]  The court below recognized a conflict with Steiner, 1 [****3]  and, although holding that Section 4 controls the situation here, determined, contrary to the holding in the Steiner case, that "the terms 'preliminary' or 'postliminary' cannot be interpreted so as to exclude [from the exemptions from the Act] all activity 'indispensable to the performance of productive work.' To do so would deny effect to the intended meaning of the Portal-to-Portal Act." 2 We granted certiorari to resolve this conflict. 349 U.S. 914.

 [**339]  In Steiner, for reasons therein set forth, we concluded that ] after the enforcement date of the Portal-to-Portal Act activities performed either before or after the regular work shift, on or off the production line, are compensable under the portal-to-portal provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act if those activities are an integral and indispensable part of the principal activities for which covered workmen are employed and are not specifically excluded by Section 4 (a) (1).

 [***284]  The only question to be determined in this case is whether the knife-sharpening activities of the employees of respondent King Packing Co. are within this classification.

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350 U.S. 260 *; 76 S. Ct. 337 **; 100 L. Ed. 282 ***; 1956 U.S. LEXIS 1744 ****; 29 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P69,712

MITCHELL, SECRETARY OF LABOR, v. KING PACKING CO.

Prior History: CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT

CORE TERMS

knives, knifemen, Portal-to-Portal Act, butchering, sharpen, knife, meat, Fair Labor Standards Act, knife-sharpening, indispensable, reversed and remanded, eight hours, compensated, compliance, skinning, Packing, workmen, sharp, terms

Labor & Employment Law, Wage & Hour Laws, Scope & Definitions, General Overview