Falk v. Brennan

LOCATION:Office of the Indiana Secretary of State

DOCKET NO.: 72-844
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

CITATION: 414 US 190 (1973)
ARGUED: Oct 11, 1973
DECIDED: Dec 05, 1973

Mr. Andrew L. Frey – for respondent
Herbert V. Kelly – for petitioners

Facts of the case


Media for Falk v. Brennan

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – October 11, 1973 in Falk v. Brennan

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – December 05, 1973 in Falk v. Brennan

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinion of the Court in 72-844, Falk against Brennan, will be announced by Mr. Justice Stewart.

Potter Stewart:

This is a case which is here by way of writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

The Secretary of Labor initiated this action against the petitioners who are partners in a real estate management company for an injunction against violations of various provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 as amended.

The petitioners’ defense was that they are not employers of the employees involved within the definition of the Act, that their business is not a single enterprise subject to the Act’s requirements, and finally that even if their business activities do amount to an enterprise as declined in the Act, they do not have an annual gross volume of sales made or business done of $500,000 or more, and are therefore not within the coverage of the Act.

The District Court agreed with all three of these contentions and dismissed the complaint.

The Court of Appeals reverse that judgment in all respects and we granted certiorari.

For the reason stated in the written opinion, we agree with the Court of Appeals that the petitioners’ business constituted a single enterprise and that they were the employers of the employees in question within the meaning of the Act.

But we hold that the annual gross volume is to be measured by the compensation they receive for their management services, not by the total rentals of the buildings they manage.

Accordingly, we vacate the judgment of the Court of Appeals for further proceedings consistent with the written opinion on file with the clerk.

Mr. Justice Brennan has filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which he has been joined by Mr. Justice Douglas, Mr. Justice White, and Mr. Justice Marshall.