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NLRB v. Hearst Publications, Inc

Citation. NLRB v. Hearst Publs., 322 U.S. 111, 64 S. Ct. 851, 88 L. Ed. 1170, 8 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P51,179, 14 L.R.R.M. 614 (U.S. Apr. 24, 1944)
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Brief Fact Summary.

Hearst Publications, Inc. (Respondents), the publishers of four daily Los Angeles, California newspapers, refused to collectively bargain with a city union representing newsboys, claiming the it was not required to because the newsboys were not their “employees” within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act (Act). The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve the issue.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.


The proceedings began when the Los Angeles Newsboys Local Industrial Union No. 75 (Union) filed petitions with the NLRB, which held hearings and found the newsboys to be employees within the Act. However, Respondents refused to bargain with it, and proceedings were instituted. The NLRB ordered Respondents to cease and desist from its violations and to bargain collectively with the Union. The Respondents petitioned for review, and the Circuit Court of Appeals set aside the Board’s orders, finding that the newsboys were not employees of the newspaper within the Act.


Were the newsboys employees within the meaning of the Act?


Yes. Reversed and remanded. The Board found that the newsboys worked continuously and regularly and relied on their earnings to support their families. Their hours of work were supervised and to some extent prescribed by their publishers or agents. The Board stated that its primary consideration was whether effectuation of the declared policy and purposes of the Act comprehended securing to the individuals the rights guaranteed and protection afforded by the Act, and concluded the newsboys were employees. The Court found that record sustained the Board’s findings and there was ample basis in the law for its conclusion. Dissent. Congress did not delegate to the NLRB the function of defining the relationship of employment. Rather, “employee” was to be interpreted as our common understanding of employee, from decades of tradition. The newsboys were not employees within the meaning of the Act. Concurrence. None printed.


The Court afforded deference to the Board’s conclusions as the administrative body entrusted by Congress.

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