29 CFR § 784.105 - The 1961 amendments.

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§ 784.105 The 1961 amendments.

(a) The statement of the Managers on the Part of the House in the conference report on the Fair Labor Standards Amendments of 1961 (H. Rept. No. 327, 87th Cong., first session, p. 16) refers to the fact that the changes made in sections 13(a)(5) and 13(b)(4) originated in the Senate amendment to the House bill and were not in the bill as passed by the House. In describing the Senate provision which was retained in the final legislation, the Managers stated that it “changes the exemption in the act for” the operations transferred to section 13(b)(4) from section 13(a)(5) “from a minimum wage and overtime exemption to an overtime only exemption.” They further stated: “The present complete exemption is retained for employees employed in catching, propagating, taking, harvesting, cultivating, or farming fish and certain other marine products, or in the first processing, canning, or packing such marine products at sea as an incident to, or in conjunction with, such fishing operations, including the going to and returning from work and loading and unloading when performed by such an employee.” In the report of the Senate committee on the provision included in the Senate bill (S. Rept. No. 145, 87th Cong., first session, p. 33), the committee stated: “The bill would modify the minimum wage and overtime exemption in section 13(a)(5) of the Act for employees engaged in fishing and in specified activities on aquatic products.” In further explanation, the report states that the bill would amend this section “to remove from this exemption those so-called on-shore activities and leave the exemption applicable to ‘offshore’ activities connected with the procurement of the aquatic products, including first processing, canning, or packing at sea performed as an incident to fishing operations, as well as employment in loading and unloading such products for shipment when performed by any employee engaged in these procurement operations.” It is further stated in the report that “persons who are employed in the activities removed from the section 13(a)(5) exemption will have minimum wage protection but will continue to be exempt from the Act's overtime requirements under an amended section 13(b)(4). The bill will thus have the effect of placing fish processing and fish canning on the same basis under the Act. There is no logical reason for treating them differently and their inclusion within the Act's protection is desirable and consistent with its objectives.”

(b) The language of the Managers on the Part of the House in the conference report and of the Senate committee in its report, as quoted above, is consistent with the position supported by the earlier legislative history and by the courts, that the exemption of an employee under these provisions of the Act depends on what he does. The Senate report speaks of the exemption “for employees engaged in fishing and in specified activities” and of the “activities now enumerated in this section.” While this language confirms the legislative intent to continue to provide exemptions for employees employed in specified activities rather than to grant exemption on an industry, employer, or establishment basis (see Mitchell v. Trade Winds, Inc., 289 F. 2d 278), the report also refers with apparent approval to certain prior judicial interpretations indicating that the list of activities set out in the exemption provisions is intended to be “a complete catalog of the activities involved in the fishery industry” and that an employee to be exempt, need not engage directly in the physical acts of catching, processing, canning, etc. of aquatic products which are included in the operation specifically named in the statute (McComb v. Consolidated Fisheries Co., 174 F. 2d 74). It was stated that an interpretation of section 13(a)(5) and section 13(b)(4) which would include within their purview “any employee who participates in activities which are necessary to the conduct of the operations specifically described in the exemptions” is “consistent with the congressional purpose” of the 1961 amendments. (See Sen. Rep. No. 145, 87 Cong., first session, p. 33; Statement of Representative Roosevelt, 107 Cong. Rec. (daily ed.) p. 6716, as corrected May 4, 1961.) From this legislative history the intent is apparent that the application of these exemptions under the Act as amended in 1961 is to be determined by the practical and functional relationship of the employee's work to the performance of the operations specifically named in section 13(a)(5) and section 13(b)(4).