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Bulloch County Historical Markers

United States vs. Darby Lumber Company


  • Source: David Seibert
  • Marker: United States vs. Darby Lumber Company
  • Location: Zetterower Avenue in Statesboro

United States vs. Darby Lumber Company

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 1941 decision United States vs Darby Lumber Co. is a landmark ruling in American legal history. The case affirmed the federal government’s ability to regulate employment conditions, including a minimum wage, under the Interstate Commerce Clause.

The Darby Lumber Co., founded on this site it 1919 by Fred Darby, became one of the largest, most prosperous, and well-respected employers in Bulloch County. The federal government indicted Darby and several other lumber companies in 1939 for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Although local violations of the act were not widespread, the U.S. Attorney General focused indictments on the southern lumber industry, because it often had challenged the legality of the Act.

For three years the lumber industry opposed the law in federal court. Finally, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the FSLA in 1941, and the Darby Lumber Company agreed to abide by federal wage standards. Since 1941 federal courts often have cited the Darby ruling as a precedent in ruling on labor relations.

Supported by the Jack N. & Addie D. Averitt Foundation