Auer v. Robbins

In Auer v. Robbins, 519 U.S. 452 (1997), St. Louis police officers sued the St. Louis Board for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. The St. Louis Board argued, inter alia, that the district court lacked jurisdiction over the suit "by virtue of the Eleventh Amendment." Id. at 456 n.1. The Supreme Court rejected the St. Louis Board's assertion of sovereign immunity, holding that the St. Louis Board is not an arm of the state: The Board of Police Commissioners . . . does not share the immunity of the State of Missouri. While the Governor appoints four of the board's five members, Mo. Rev. Stat. 84.030 (1994), the city of St. Louis is responsible for the board's financial liabilities, 84.210, and the board is not subject to the State's direction or control in any other respect. It is therefore not an "arm of the State" for Eleventh Amendment purposes. Id.