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Brock v. Superior Care Inc.

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT


decided: April 5, 1988.

WILLIAM E. BROCK, SECRETARY OF LABOR, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
SUPERIOR CARE, INC.; NATIONAL NURSING SERVICES, INC.; ANN T. MITTASCH, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS PRESIDENT; AND ROBERT M. RUBIN, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS SECRETARY AND TREASURER, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS

Before: NEWMAN and CARDAMONE, Circuit Judges, and GRAY, District Judge.*fn*

Per Curiam:

The Secretary of Labor has moved for clarification of our decision of February 16, 1988, to determine whether upon the remand for entry of a new judgment the Secretary is entitled to recover prejudgment interest. Our prior decision upheld the Secretary's entitlement to collect unpaid overtime wages for the benefit of the employees but disallowed an additional equal sum for liquidated damages. Brock v. Superior Care, Inc., No. 87-6195, slip op. at 1729 (2d Cir. Feb. 16, 1988). The Secretary contends that with liquidated damages disallowed, the judgment should now include prejudgment interest. We agree.

It is well settled that in an action for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act prejudgment interest may not be awarded in addition to liquidated damages. Brooklyn Savings Bank v. O'Neil, 324 U.S. 697, 714-16 (1945); Joiner v. City of Macon, 814 F.2d 1537, 1539 (11th Cir. 1987). Among other purposes, liquidated damages compensate for the delay in receiving wages that should have been paid. In this case liquidated damages were disallowed, not because the purposes to be served by such damages were not implicated, but solely because such damages are not available when the Secretary elects to sue under section 17 of the FLSA. Once we have disallowed liquidated damages, there is no reason to deny the Secretary the opportunity to collect prejudgment interest, which is normally awarded in FLSA suits in the absence of liquidated damages. See Brock v. Casey Truck Sales, Inc., No. 87-6052, slip op. at 1335 (2d Cir. Jan. 19, 1988); Donovan v. Sovereign Security, Ltd., 726 F.2d 55, 57-58 (2d Cir. 1984).

Accordingly, we recall the mandate and modify our prior decision to the extent of authorizing the District Court upon remand to consider the Secretary's request for prejudgment interest under the standards customarily applied to such claims.


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