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tary servitude. The court in its opinion differentiated other cases, and in conclusion said:
The statute of the State here assailed by its terms provides punishment, not for obtaining money or other thing of value with intent. to injure and defraud, but for failure or refusal, without just cause, to perform labor or service under the contract, or for failure or refusal to pay for the money or other thing of value so received upon demand. By making the failure to perform labor or service under a contract a cause for imprisonment, the statute violates the organic law in a manner that is quite similar to, and not distinguishable from, that condemned in Bailey v. State of Alabama. The Alabama statute provided that the failure or refusal to perform the service must be "with intent to injure or defraud." The Florida statute does not contain this element with reference to the failure to perform labor, and is therefore at least as clearly a violation of the Federal law, though the Florida act does not contain other provisions found in the Alabama law that were condemned in the Bailey case.
EMPLOYER AND EMPLOYEE CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT-EFFECT OF CUSTOM "STRAIGHT TIME"-Cormier v. II. II. Martin Lumber Co., Supreme Court of Washington (Oct. 13, 1917), 107 Pacific Reporter, page 1105.-R. Cormier was a logger of 34 years' experience, for the last 24 of which he had been employed as foreman of crews either on the boom or in the woods. He entered the employ of the company named in August, 1912, at the agreed rate of $150 per month "straight time." Near the last of August, 1913, he was ordered by the manager of the company to shut down the camp. IIe testified that he understood that it was to be closed for 30 days, but the manager denied making this statement. Cormier understood that the hiring at "straight time" meant that he was to be paid during all shutdowns, unless at the time of shutting down he was notified that his services were no longer wanted. At any rate, he kept in touch with officials of the company as to reopening, and refused offers from other companies on the ground that he was still in the employ of the Martin Co. In March, 1914, the manager repudiated the agreement as claimed by the employee, and refused to pay him anything more than the balance due on the month of August, 1913. On the trial of the case the plaintiff introduced evidence to support his contention that there was a custom in western Washington that the meaning of the words "straight time" should be as he had interpreted it. The jury rendered a judgment in his favor, though not for the total amount claimed, and it was affirmed by the supreme court. Judge Holcomb delivered the opinion, and in his discussion of the effect of custom said:
Appellant insists that, under the terms of hiring, it had a right to rely upon the understanding that respondent had been discharged
the same as all its other employees; that his employment at $150 per month was a hiring from month to month, which renewed the contract each month that his services were required, and, on the other hand, discontinued it each month they were not required and furnished. That is not the case when such custom as was here relied upon and shown existed. As the usage entered into the contract, respondent's hiring did not cease until it was discontinued by one or the other of the parties. The jury were authorized to find from the evidence that neither party discontinued the employment until March,
EMPLOYER AND EMPLOYEE-CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT-GROUNDS FOR DISCHARGE-Farmer v. First Trust Co., United States Circuit Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit (Sept. 4, 1917), 246 Federal Reporter, page 671.—A. J. Farmer was a mechanical engineer, employed as superintendent of the gas-engine shops of the Milwaukee Motor Co. After serving in that capacity for about two months, a contract for a year was entered into on August 1, 1912, under which Farmer was to superintend and manage the shops, devoting his entire time, and to receive a salary of $6,500 for the year and a bonus of $3 per engine if 3,000 engines were produced during the year at a specified factory cost with the original equipment and certain additional equipment to be installed. The company had a contract with the Imperial Automobile Co. for 2,200 engines during the year, with an option for 1,000 more, the contract deliveries during 1912 being-August, 100; September, 130; October, 260; November, 260; and December, 300. The installation of the new machinery was proceeding, and work on engines was being done in December, but only 190 engines had been delivered, and these were not altogether satisfactory. On December 18 the vice president went to Jackson in response to the complaints of the automobile company, taking Farmer with him. The next day the latter started back via Chicago and was urged to get back to the shop as soon as possible. He said he would reach Milwaukee the same day, as he was only going to stop off to purchase a Christmas present for his wife. Instead he remained at Chicago for personal purposes until the 22d, and then, having contracted a severe cold, was not able to go to the shops, and on the 24th he was dismissed. The company becoming bankrupt, he entered with its trustee a claim for more than $13,000 damages. The findings of the referee on the matter are stated thus:
The referee found that the absence from duty was in no manner on account of his own necessities or of the employer's business, but because of Farmer's own self-indulgence during that time. He found further that his absence and the failure to return to his employment was not such a breach of his contract of employment as to justify his dismissal, and that his conduct during such time was not such as was inconsistent with the nature of his employment, or rendered him unfit
to continue it. He allowed the claim to the extent of $3,862.50 for the balance of the full year's salary, and disallowed it for the rest of the claim, which was based upon the bonus.
Both parties petitioned for review, and the district court disallowed the entire claim; this order was affirmed by the court of appeals, Judge Alschuler delivering the opinion, from which the following is quoted:
It is maintained for appellant that one serving in a supervisory capacity is not so strictly accountable to the employer for his time as is a clerk or a workman, and that Farmer's absence of two or three days without permission was not such a breach of the contract as warranted its termination. The legal proposition, as generally stated, is sustained by the authorities cited from Wisconsin, the State where this contract was made, as well as elsewhere. [Cases cited.] But the applicability of such a rule must depend upon the facts of particular cases.
The difficulties under which the shop was operating were pointed out, and the court then said:
The responsible head was Farmer. He had various foremen under him, but he was the only mechanical engineer connected with the plant, and while in authority it was upon his designing, planning, and direction that success or failure depended. This high-priced man faced obstacles, to surmount which would manifestly require his fullest capacity and undivided attention. Surely this was not a situation wherein the man at the helm might needlessly and with impunity abandon his post that he might tread "the primrose path of dalliance."
EMPLOYER AND EMPLOYEE-CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT-TERMDISCHARGE-DAMAGES-Stewart Dry Goods Co. v. Hutchison, Court of Appeals of Kentucky (Nov. 16, 1917), 198 Southwestern Reporter, page 17.—Mrs. A. L. Hutchison was employed by the company named in January, 1912, as manager of a department of its business. The employment was for a term of one year, at a salary of $1,500, with an understanding that the amount would be increased as deserved. Increases were made to $1,800 and $2,400, the latter in 1914. She continued in the service until August, 1915, when she was discharged, wrongfully as she claimed. She sued the company for damages for the discharge, and a judgment in her favor was entered in the circuit court of Jefferson County. She testified that she had made diligent efforts to secure a position after her discharge, but failed for the reason that contracts for such employment are usually made in January and July. In December, 1915, she went into business for herself, but the attempt resulted in a loss. The judgment of the lower court was aflirmed. Judge Clay delivered the opinion, and first, citing many cases, stated the law to be that where the original hiring is for a period, as one year in this case, and employment continues after
the expiration of that period without any different contract, it is presumed that the contract is renewed for a similar period at the expiration of each successive term. The changes in salary were said to make no difference as to this rule. The trial court had instructed the jury to make no deduction for the time near the close of the year when she was in business on her own account, since she was not profitably employed at that time.
The trial judge had refused to instruct the jury that if the plaintiff was discharged because she did not keep the hours usually observed by the other employees, it should find for defendant. This action was held to be justified, since "no witness claiming to know the terms of the original contract of employment testified to any violation thereof by plaintiff."
EMPLOYER AND EMPLOYEE-EXCLUSION OF PERSON FROM STREETS OF MINING VILLAGE-CONTRACT BETWEEN LANDLORD AND TENANT-Harris v. Keystone Coal & Coke Co., Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (Jan. 8, 1917), 100 Atlantic Reporter, page 130.-Louis Harris, who traded as the Victor Supply Co., brought action against the Keystone Coal & Coke Co. and others for conspiracy, because he had been prevented from going upon the streets of the village of Greensburg and selling and delivering merchandise there. The company stated that its reason for so excluding him was that he persisted in selling to its employees and tenants explosives, which the rules, made for the safety of the employees and property, forbade being stored in the village. A covenant in the leases by which the employees held their dwellings in the village reserved to the company the right to bar objectionable persons from the streets, which were the private property of the company, it owning all the land in the village. The judge in the trial court directed a verdict for the coal company, saying that any right which the plaintiff had must be derived from the tenants, as customers, and that under the terms of the lease the company had the right to exclude him. The supreme court agreed with this view, saying that since the language of the lease was clear, there was no question to submit to the jury as to its meaning, but the interpretation was a question of law for the court. Judge Mestrezat, in the opinion delivered by him, said further:
We know of no principle of law and have been cited to no decision which prevents the enforcement of this contract. The parties had the same right to contract for the control and supervision of the highways in the village as they had to agree to the terms on which the houses and lots were held by the tenants. The entire premises were the private property of the defendant company. It had the right to impose any lawful terms as to any part of the property, and,
the tenant consenting thereto, the contract became obligatory on both parties.
We have not been convinced that, under the circumstances, the restrictions placed upon the streets and alleys of the village are unreasonable, nor that the provision of the lease imposing the restrictions offends public policy. If, as we think is apparent, these restrictions on the use of the highways were inserted in the contract for the purpose of protecting the property of the defendant company and to secure "the peace, comfort and safety" of the tenants, they did not invalidate the lease. These were objects about which the parties could properly contract and about which they, in view of the purpose for which the village was constructed, might well be expected to contract.
The jury would have been justified in finding, under the evidence, that the plaintiff was delivering to the tenants an explosive for storage in their houses, which was dangerous to the tenants and injurious to defendant company's property, and which was forbidden by an order or regulation of the company. This was persisted in for such a length of time as to convince the defendant company and its officers that the plaintiff could not be trusted to go upon the premises. Such conduct clearly justified the plaintiff's exclusion from the premises.
EMPLOYER AND EMPLOYEE-INTERFERENCE WITH EMPLOYMENTCAUSING DISCHARGE BY MISTAKEN NOTICE TO EMPLOYER OF ASSIGNMENT OF WAGES-Doucette v. Sallinger, Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (Nov. 27, 1917), 117 Northeastern Reporter, page 877.— Lawrence Doucette brought action against Nathan Sallinger for interference with employment resulting in Doucette's discharge from his employment with the Heyward Bros. & Wakefield Co. Sallinger transmitted to the company a copy of an assignment of wages appearing to have been given by the plaintiff, but which was really made by another person of the same name. The superior court of Middlesex County gave judgment for the plaintiff, and on appeal this was affirmed. Judge Braley for the court said in part:
It further appears and the jury could find, that the defendant upon being notified by plaintiff's counsel of the mistake in identity declined to withdraw the notice until the plaintiff came to his place of business, and satisfied him that he was not the assignor and debtor. The plaintiff was under no obligation in the forum of morals or of law, to make this journey. Nor was the burden upon him to convince the defendant of his mistake and to satisfy him that he was not the debtor. (Lopes v. Connolly, 210 Mass. 487, 494, 97 N. E. 80.) The purser having insistently held to his course after being notified that he was in the wrong, must take the natural and probable consequences resulting from his negligence or refusal to institute the necessary inquiries, even if when he declined to act damage to the plaintiff might not have been expected or foreseen. [Cases cited.] The defendant not only was notified September 13, 1915, that the plaintiff was an employee of Heyward Bros. & Wakefield Co., and that he had been discharged