State Bar of Michigan
home member area contact us

michigan legal milestones

milestone home




Legal Milestone List

  The Great Ferris Fire
  Berrien County Courthouse
  Elloitt-Larsen Civil Rights Act
  Milliken v. Bradley
  Elk, Oil, and the Environment
  Whisper to Rallying Cry
  Poletown & Eminent Domain
  Prentiss M. Brown
  Otis Milton Smith
  Freedom Road
  President Gerald R. Ford
  Mary Coleman
  Committee of One
  Milo Radulovich
  Striking Racial Covenants
  Murphy's Dissent
  Conveying Michigan
  Ending Jim Crow
  Pond's Defense
  Mount Clemens Pottery
  Emelia Schaub
  Rose of Aberlone
  Protecting the Impaired
  Laughing Whitefish
  The Uninvited Ear
  The King's Grant
  Improving Justice
  One Person—One Vote
  Eva Belles' Vote
  Constitutional Convention
  Ten Hours or No Sawdust
  Access to Public Water
  Augustus Woodward
  Sojourner Truth
  Justice William Fletcher
  Roosevelt-Newett Trial
  Cooley Law Office
  Baseball Reserve Clause
  Ossian Sweet Trial

20. Mount Clemens Pottery

Michigan's Justice Frank Murphy in 1946 authored an important labor law decision of the United States Supreme Court interpreting the Fair Labor Standards Act arising out of a case involving employee working time. Dedicated on September 1, 1994, at the Riverfront Gazebo by the Municipal Building in Mt. Clemens. Placed at the Macomb County courthouse in Mt. Clemens along the wall by the statue of General Clemens.

Complete Text on Milestone Marker

Mount Clemens Pottery

The Fair Labor Standards Act (the Act) was enacted by Congress in 1938 to regulate workers' hours and wages. The United States Supreme Court interpreted an important provision of the Act in 1946 in a case arising in Mount Clemens.

The Mount Clemens Pottery Company, opened in 1914, was for many years a major area employer. During World War II the company employed about 1,200 workers, who punched timecards upon arrival, but were paid only when productive time began, which as calculated by the company was 14 minutes later. The employees, represented by Edward Lamb of Toledo, sued, alleging a violation of the Act. Bert V. Nunneley of Mount Clemens and Frank E. Cooper of Detroit represented the Pottery. A decision in the employees' favor by the U.S. District Court was overturned by the Court of Appeals.

Justice Frank Murphy, a former Michigan governor and mayor of Detroit, wrote the 1946 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court reversing the Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court held that time spent by employees in walking to work after punching a time clock, and in preparing to start work, constituted working time within the overtime provisions of the Act. The following year, Congress, responding to the Mount Clemens Pottery decision, enacted the Portal-to-Portal Act to relieve employers of the obligation to pay for time spent in nonproductive activities, except where such activities are compensable through custom or contract, notably through collective bargaining.

Placed by the State Bar of Michigan and the Macomb County Bar Association, 1994.



follow us
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on LinkedIn Follow Us on Twitter Follow the SBM Blog


©Copyright 2015

website links
Contact Us
Site Map
Website Privacy Statement PDF
Staff Links

SBM on the Mapcontact information
State Bar of Michigan
306 Townsend St
Lansing, MI 48933-2012
Phone: (517) 346-6300
Toll Free: (800) 968-1442
Fax: (517) 482-6248