Local Businesses Covered by FLSA if Employees Handle Materials

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently handed down a decision, Polycarpe v. E&S Landscaping Services, Inc., which rejected the argument by several employers that they were not a covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as an enterprise because their business were local in nature. The businesses at issue performed landscaping, construction work, alarm system installation, or shutter installation. The Polycarpe decision reversed a number of trial courts that had erroneously restricted FLSA coverage. It essentially put the Eleventh Circuit in line with all the other federal circuits that have squarely addressed the enterprise coverage issue, including the Third, Fourth Ninth, and Tenth Circuits (e.g., Marshall v. Brunner; Dole v. Odd Fellows Home Endowment Board; Brock v. Hamad; Donovan v. Scoles; and, Donovan v. Pointon). It also put the Eleventh Circuit in line with its prior interpretations of enterprise coverage; namely, Dunlop v. Indus. Am. Corp., which had noted that the FLSA reached retail and service establishments that were otherwise local in nature; and, and Green v. Propane Gas Serv. Inc., which held that the FLSA was “designed to regulate enterprises dealing in articles acquired intrastate after travel in interstate commerce.”

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