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Frances Perkins, Secretary
Isador Lubin, Commissioner


Labor Laws
and Their Adm inistration

Proceedings o f the T w en ty -fou rth Convention o f the
International Association o f Governmental
Labor Officials, Charleston, S. C.
September 1938

Bulletin 7S[o. 666
JUNE 1939

W A S H IN G T O N : 1939

For sale by the Superintendent o f Documents, Washington, D . C.



Price 20 cents



International Association of Governmental Labor Officials:
Review of labor legislation and administration in 1938— President’s
address, by W . A . Pat M urphy________________________________________
W ages and hours legislation:
Administration of the Fair Labor Standards Act, by Elmer F. An­
drews, Administrator of the W age and Hour Division, United
States Department of Labor_____________ ______ ______________________
Round-table discussion______________________________________________
Minimum wages, October 1, 1937, to September 1, 1938— Report of
the committee on minimum wages, by Louise Stitt, chairman_____
Minimum-wage regulation in Canada, by Mrs. Rex Eaton, Depart­
ment of Labor of British Columbia___________________________________
Social security:
Problems of administration in the field of social security, by A . J.
Altmeyer, Chairman of the Social Security Board___________________
Unemployment compensation— Report of the committee on unem­
ployment compensation, by George E . Bigge, chairman____________
Proposed changes in our old-age assistance laws— Report of the com­
mittee on old-age assistance, by Harry R . McLogan,chairman_____
Adjustment of industrial disputes:
W h at State labor departments can do in the field of conciliation, by
John R. Steelman, Director of the United States Conciliation
W om en in industry:
W om en in industry, October 1, 1937, to September 1, 1938— Report
of the committee on women in industry, by Mary Anderson, chair­
m an_____________________________________________________________________
Youth in industry:
Apprenticeship training— Report of the committee on apprentice
training, by Voyta Wrabetz, chairman_______________________________
Supplementary report of the committee on apprentice train­
ing, by Voyta Wrabetz, chairman_______________________________
Child labor:
Child labor in 1938— Report of the committee on child labor, by
Beatrice McConnell, chairman________________________________________
Wage-claim collection:
Wage-claim laws— Report of the committee on wage-claim collection
laws, by E . I. M cKinley, chairman___________________________________












Industrial home work:
Industrial home work legislation— Report of the committee on indus­
trial home work, by Morgan R. Mooney, chairman_________________
Civil service:
Civil service— Report of the committee on civil service, by E. B.
Patton, chairman_______________________________________________________
Factory inspection:
Suggested establishment of a section on factory inspection in the
I. A. G. L. O.— Report of the committee on factory inspection, by
Joseph M . Tone, chairman____________________________________________
Business meetings— Reports and resolutions:
Report of secretary-treasurer_____________________
Report and recommendations of the executive board__________________
Resolutions adopted by the convention_________________________________
Report of auditing committee___________________________________________
Report of nominating committee________________________________________
Appendix A.— Partial report on activities of State departments of
Appendix B.— Organization of the International Association of Gov­
ernmental Labor Officials:
Officers of the I. A. G. L. O., 1 9 38 -3 9_____________________________
Honorary life members______________________________________________
Constitution___________________ - ____________________ ________________
Development of the I. A . G. L. O __________________________________
Appendix C.— Persons attending the twenty-fourth convention of the
I. A. G. L. O ___________________________________________________________






Letter o f Transmittal

U n ite d S tates D epar tm ent of L abor ,
B u r e a u of L abor S tatistics ,
T h e S ecretary

Washington, D. C

., June 12, 1939.

of L abor :
I have the honor to transmit herewith a report on Labor Laws and
Their Administration, 1938, embodying the proceedings of the
Twenty-fourth Convention of the International Association of Gov­
ernmental Labor Officials, which convened in Charleston, S. C.,
September 8, 1938.
I sador L u b in , Commissioner.
H o n . F rances P e r k in s ,

Secretary of Labor




Bulletin 7v[o. 666 of the
U nited States Bureau o f Labor Statistics

Labor Law s and Their Adm inistration, 1938
The twenty-fourth annual convention of the International Associa­
tion of Governmental Labor Officials convened at Charleston, S. C.,
on Thursday, September 8, 1938, and closed Saturday, September 10,
1938. Delegates were present from 27 States and the District o f
Columbia and from 1 Province of Canada.
Addresses of welcome were made by Hon. Burnet R. Maybank,
mayor o f the city of Charleston, and Hon. Olin D. Johnston, Governor
of the State o f South Carolina. Governor Johnston called attention
to the fact that during recent years much progress in labor legisla­
tion had been made in South Carolina. It was one of the first States
prohibiting a longer workweek in certain industries. Sixteen other
labor laws, including a wage and hour bill, had been passed during the
last few years, he said.
President W. A. Pat Murphy ( Commissioner of Labor of Oklahoma)
delivered the presidential address, in which he reviewed the Federal
and State labor legislation passed in 1938 and stressed its importance.
He called attention also to the partially completed report o f a factual
survey of the activities of State departments of labor, prepared by the
United States Bureau of Labor Statistics at the request of the Inter­
national Association of Governmental Labor Officials.
During the first two sessions consideration was given to subjects
of importance in the administration of labor laws, which were pre­
sented in the form of committee reports, followed by general dis­
cussion. The administration of the Federal wage and hour law and
the problems of administration in the field of social security were
topics presented at the next two sessions through papers and round­
table discussion. The part that State labor departments can play
in the field of conciliation was considered at the closing session of the
convention, a paper on the subject being followed by discussion.



19 3 8

The business o f the Association was considered at the opening and
closing sessions of the convention. The president presided at both
sessions on September 8th and at the business session on September
10th. The chairmen of the other sessions were as follow s:
Martin P. Durkin, Department of Labor of Illinois, morning session, September 9.
John W . Nates’, Department of Labor of South Carolina, afternoon session,
September 9.
Maud Swett, Industrial Commission of Wisconsin, morning session, Septem­
ber 10.

The twenty-fifth annual convention will be held in Tulsa, Okla.,
in September 1939.
In the presentation of the proceedings of the 1938 convention the
arrangement is by topics rather than chronologically.

International Association o f Governmental Labor
R ev ie w o f Labor Legislation and Administration in 1938
P r e s id e n t 1 A d d r e s s , b y W . A. P


* M

u r p h y

It is fitting that as we enter the year of the silver anniversary
of the International Association of Governmental Labor Officials, we
meet in the South where so much progress has been made in recent
years in the field of labor legislation and administration. It is doubly
fitting that we meet in this beautiful city of Charleston.
The past 5 years have been outstanding for the advances made
in labor welfare. In that period more State and Federal legislation
affecting labor has been enacted than at any time in the history
of the Nation. During the past 2 years the legislatures of every State
have met. There is hardly an instance where some type of labor legis­
lation has not been adopted.
O f outstanding importance to labor in 1938 is the enactment of the
Federal wages and hours law, known as the Fair Labor Standards
Act of 1938, which will become effective October 24, 1938. The law
provides a minimum wage and maximum workweek for employees
engaged in interstate commerce or in the production of goods to be
shipped in commerce. During the first year, employers subject to
the act must pay not less than 25 cents an hour; during the next 6
years, not less than 30 cents an hour; and after the expiration of 7
years, not less than 40 cents an hour, or the rate (not less than 30
cents an hour) prescribed by the Administrator. The act directs the
Administrator to establish a committee for each industry and requires
him to convene, from time to time, such industry committees, for
the purpose of reaching as rapidly as is “economically feasible,” with­
out curtailing employment, the 40-cent minimum-wage rate.
During the past year Congress also enacted legislation of par­
ticular interest to railroad workers. By congressional mandate a
railroad employees9 retirement system has been firmly established.
Recently enacted legislation for the benefit of this type of worker also
provides for a Nation-wide system of unemployment compensation.
Other legislation of recent origin and of special importance to labor
include the establishment o f a Maritime Labor Board, and the United
States Housing Authority. The following legislation also may be




19 3 8

mentioned: The Civil Aeronautics Authority Act, containing labor
provisions that give to employees of air carriers the right of collec­
tive bargaining; an amendment to the law prohibiting the inter­
state transportation o f strikebreakers; and the Naval Expansion Act,
providing that contracts made after June 30, 1938, for constructing,
altering, furnishing, or equipping naval vessels, must comply with
the provisions of the Walsh-Healey Act.
In addition to Federal action on the subject of the regulation of
hours of labor, a number of States have also been active recently.
Most of this type o f legislation applies to women and children, but
a year ago North Carolina and Pennsylvania adopted comprehensive
laws applicable not only to women and children, but also to men.
South Carolina, during the present legislative year, enacted a law
which limits the hours of labor in manufacturing and other indus­
tries to 12 a day and 56 a week. The law exempts cotton, silk,
rayon, and woolen mills, agricultural labor, and certain occupations
in small towns and rural districts. Many other changes were made
in the laws regulating the hours of labor of women and minors. The
report o f our committee on hours covers these in detail. Among the
States where changes have been made are Arkansas, Connecticut,
Illinois, Louisiana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and New
Changes have also been made in the New York and Ohio laws. The
latter now requires that employees must be given a meal period, and
the maximum hours for boys under 18 and girls under 21 are fixed
at 48 a week. The South Carolina Legislature in 1938 strengthened
the law regulating the hours of labor o f women and minors. In
Vermont the hours of labor for women and children are now limited
to 9 a day and 50 a week. The Virginia law now provides, with
exemptions, that women may not work more than 9 hours a day and
48 hours a week.
Early this year, the Supreme Court of Montana upheld a statute
o f the State fixing 8 hours as a day’s work for retail employees in
certain cities { S t a t e v. S a f e i v a y S t o r e s , I n c ., 76 Pac. 2d, 81). The
Supreme Court o f Pennsylvania, on the other hand, has recently held
the 44-hour law of 1937 unconstitutional as to male employees. The
court held the act to be invalid because it delegated legislative power
to the State department of labor and industry, since the department
was authorized, with the approval o f the industrial board, to estab­
lish a maximum workweek of any number of hours in excess of 44,
and a maximum workday in excess o f that established by the law.
Amendatory legislation affecting child labor w a s enacted by a num­
ber o f States, particularly Missouri, New York, North Carolina, and
South Carolina. The child-labor law o f South Carolina now pro-



hibits the employment o f minors under 16 in any factory, mine, or
textile establishment. Legislation has also been enacted in Vermont,
Indiana, and Connecticut.
Ratification o f the Federal child-labor amendment was considered
during the past year by Massachusetts, New York, and Mississippi,
but in the two former States ratifying resolutions were defeated in
both branches o f the legislature, while in Mississippi no vote was
recorded. In Kansas and Kentucky the validity o f the resolution
ratifying the amendment after a previous rejection by the State leg­
islature has been challenged. In Kansas the supreme court upheld
the ratification, in the case o f C o le m a n v. M i l l e r , and in Kentucky
the court of appeals ( C h a n d le r v. W i s e ) voided the legislative ap­
proval. The United States Supreme Court has granted a review o f
both o f these cases and they will be considered early in the October
1938 term o f the Court.
Recently minimum-wage legislation has received the attention not
only of the legislators of the Nation but also of the courts, especially
the Supreme Court of the United States. As a result o f the Su­
preme Court declaring that the minimum-wage law applicable to
women and minors in the State of Washington was a valid and proper
exercise o f power by the legislature o f that State ( W e s t C o a s t H o t e l
C o . v. P a r r is h , 57 Sup. Ct. 578), many States again considered this
type o f legislation, while the laws of some States which had not been
hitherto enforced were revived. In 1938, new minimum-wage laws
were enacted in Kentucky and Louisiana. This type of legislation
is now on the statute books of 25 States,1 the District o f Columbia,
and Puerto Rico. Most of the laws apply to women and minors.
Only one State (Oklahoma) has a minimum-wage law covering men,
as well as women and children. The Nevada minimum-wage law
protects women only.
In practically all of the States legislation has now been passed
regulating the hours of labor on public works, and requiring that
the prevailing rate o f wages shall be paid.
O f prime importance to labor also are the decisions of the Supreme
Court of the United States upholding the constitutionality of the
National Labor Relations Act, enacted by the Congress in 1935. It
is now recognized that the Federal Government may regulate labor
relations in interstate commerce. As a result of the several Supreme
Court decisions upholding rulings of the National Labor Relations
Board, the definition of interstate commerce has been clarified. For
example, in a case decided on March 28, 1938 ( S a n ta C r u z F r u i t
1 Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York,
North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah,
Washington, and Wisconsin.



19 3 8

Packing Co. v. National Labor Relations Board, 58 Sup. Ct. 656), the
Court held that a company with a limited interstate business was
subject to the National Labor Relations Act, although the com­
pany’s interstate business amounted to only 37 percent of its
Five States now have labor-relations acts. While these laws gen­
erally are similar to the Federal law, they apply only to the labor
relationships o f employees engaged in work of a strictly intrastate
nature. Some o f the State laws have recently enlarged the scope
of their labor-relations laws. The Wisconsin law authorizes the
arbitration o f labor disputes. The New York law has enlarged
the number o f practices deemed to be unfair.
Legislation to protect labor while engaged in strikes and to
diminish the causes of labor disputes has recently been the subject
o f consideration in several States. A State board of mediation has
been established in New York. In Pennsylvania legislative power
was granted to the department of labor and industry to mediate
cases o f labor disputes. An amended Massachusetts law relating to
the board o f conciliation and arbitration gives to the board jurisdic­
tion of a dispute involving any employer. Formerly the board’s
jurisdiction was limited to employers having 25 or more employees.
In South Carolina the duties formerly vested in the State board o f
conciliation have been transferred to the commissioner of labor.
A new anti-injunction law has been passed in Pennsylvania. Such
laws now exist in 22 States. In Utah picketing has been declared
The Supreme Court of the United States has recently decided
several cases of import involving certain rights of labor and kindred
organizations. The Court has held that a labor organization had
the right, under the Wisconsin Labor Code, to engage in peaceful
picketing, even to the extent of calling to the attention of the public
the activities of a nonunion employer (JSenn v. Tile Layers Protective
Union). In another case (L m f v. Shinner), it held that picketing
for the purpose of compelling an employer to operate a closed shop,
and to accept the union as the bargaining agency of the employees,
constituted a labor dispute, and that such picketing could not be
enjoined in view of the Federal anti-injunction act.
Much progress has been made lately in the United States, not
only in the field of labor legislation but also in social insurance. The
constitutionality of the latter type of legislation has become firmly
established by the courts of the United States. As a result o f these
decisions, all of the States now have unemployment-compensation
laws, as well as laws providing for old-age assistance and other types
o f social insurance.



In addition to the progress made in the field of legislation and
the advances inuring to labor as a result of court decisions, there
have been many important changes in the field of labor adminis­
tration. However, the partially completed report of the activities
of State departments of labor which was prepared at the request
o f our executive board by the United States Bureau of Labor Sta­
tistics and briefly mentioned in the presidential address of Mr.
Fletcher at our Toronto convention, shows that we still have a long
way to go if our various State labor departments are to perform their
functions in a manner which meets the ideals and standards of those
of us who are responsible for the administration of labor law. Our
secretary informs me that the members of the association have already
received mimeographed copies of the partially completed report. It
was being brought to completion when the sudden death of Estelle M*
Stewart, who was directing the work, made it impossible for the
Bureau to carry out the plans as originally formulated. However,
at the time when the work was interrupted two of the most im­
portant sections o f the study had been completed—one dealing with
the structure and functions and the other with the inspection activi­
ties o f State labor departments. These are contained in the
mimeographed report above referred to.2
The survey covered the labor offices of 43 States. The information
was obtained in large part from personal interviews with the various
State officials, but was supplemented from State reports, from the
State laws, and through correspondence. The report submitted gives
a general picture of the fields of activity of State departments of
labor and will, I am sure, be useful to States where expansion of
work is contemplated or reorganization is planned.
The report reviews the history o f labor offices. The development
is traced from the period when bureaus of labor statistics were
formed to collect facts on the labor supply; followed by the enact­
ment o f legislation giving labor-law administrators police power
and the right of entry to check on compliance with standards; then
the integration o f services in the interest of labor; and finally the
gradual delegation o f power to labor agencies, at least in a few
States, to issue administrative orders and to make rules and regu­
lations whereby the statutes may be given effect.
It was found that with few exceptions departments of labor are
under the executive direction of appointees of the respective
governors. Multiple-head administration is provided in 6 States,
as compared with a single administrative head in 37 States.

2 This report of the activities of State departments of labor, prepared by E stelle M.
Stewart, of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is reproduced as appendix A on p. 174.



19 3 8

Almost everywhere, the administrators of the State labor depart­
ments felt that the available appropriations were very inadequate
to do the work placed upon them, especially as this work has been
greatly augmented through industrial expansion, new legislation,
and growing economic problems. Boiler inspection is practically
always a self-supporting function, and elevator inspection is nearly
so. Enforcement of bedding laws brings in some revenue, as do
licensing o f certain occupations and private employment agencies.
To keep within the appropriations salaries are often low. The
minimum salary for a commissioner in the reporting States was
$2,400, the maximum $12,000, and the average about $4,000; for an
assistant commissioner the range was from $1,800 to $9,000; and for
a bureau chief from $1,375 to $9,000.
When laws are extended to increase the inspection coverage, funds
are seldom increased proportionately. In one State department,
which restricts its activities to inspection of child labor, only 1
inspector is employed as contrasted with approximately 100 inspec­
tors in each of 2 large industrial States.
Little uniformity was found among the several States in the
method o f allocating inspectors territorially. Some executives prefer
to maintain inspectors in a given area, but the majority practice a
system of rotation. Few factory inspection divisions have a super­
visory personnel other than a chief factory inspector and a chief
boiler inspector. Sometimes the executive head of the labor depart­
ment acts in this capacity.
Selection o f inspectors under a merit system is not widespread,
but application of the system was found to be increasing. For this
increase special mention should be made o f the work of the Division
o f Labor Standards of the United States Department of Labor.
State labor commissioners, however, have expressed a preference for
taking inspectors from the ranks o f experienced mechanics or factory
workers. Again, it is often difficult to fill vacancies owing to the
smallness o f entrance salaries. The annual salary of general in­
spectors in the States that reported ranged from $1,248 to $4,200,
with the average about $1,800. However, there has been an en­
couraging tendency to increased salaries in the recent budgets o f a
few States.
It is my recommendation that the report be printed as an ap­
pendix to the proceedings of this conference. In order to insure
the complete accuracy of the information it would be necessary for
each State department o f labor, as regards references to its own
State, to correct any errors or inadequacies in the preliminary copy
that has been sent to each State for criticism.
Before completing this report, I want to express my personal ap­
preciation, as well as that of the members of the association, for



the faithful work done by the individual members of our committees
in the preparation o f bills that have been submitted to the various
State legislatures and their activities in making both our legislators
and the public conscious of the need for constant improvement in our
labor laws. I want particularly to express my thanks to the com­
mittees o f this association. Each o f them will submit a report in
the course o f this session. They have attempted not only to depict
the accomplishments of the past year but also to point out those
fields o f action to which we must lend all of our energies in the year
to come. I trust that their reports will form the basis for a full and
frank discussion of the problems that we as individual commissioners
have to cope with in the course of our daily work. Only through
such frank discussion and the willingness o f all of us to tell the story
of our own problems and how we have dealt with them can we learn
how effectively to deal with the tasks that face us.
In the last analysis, the function of this association is to make
available to its members knowledge and information which will
enable all of us to do our work most effectively. I look forward not
only to an informative discussion of the committee reports but also,
in those instances where there is difference of opinion, to a vociferous
And, finally, in closing may I quote the words that your ex­
president, Mr. A. L. Fletcher, used in his report last year: “I wish
to thank our executive board for its fine work during the year and
especially to thank our very efficient secretary, Dr. Lubin, for his
work. I f the closing administration may be accounted successful,
the major part of the credit is due to your secretary. I wish also
to say that I deeply and sincerely appreciate the honor of having
served as president of this splendid body of men and women.”

Wages and Hours Legislation
Adm inistration o f the Fair Labor Standards A ct
By E lm er F . A n d r e w s , ! d m in is tr a to r , W a g e and H o u r D i v i s i o n , U n ited S ta te s
D ep a rtm en t o f L a b o r

As with most proverbs, the old saying that the watched pot never
boils is not true. Watched pots do boil. But it sometimes takes
a long time to get them to a rolling boil. The fire needs attention
and fuel. So it has been with us Government labor officials in the
long years of effort to establish basic standards of wages and hours.
There has been an advance here in hours this year, there in, wages
next year, with occasional backsets by the courts, followed by re­
newed efforts at obtaining legislation and adequate enforcement.
Government labor officials generally, knowing how fundamental
wage and hour standards are to the welfare of labor and industry,
and to the health and balance o f our entire society, have never
quit—not even in the darkest days when it was declared that a
woman wage earner should not have her “ freedom to contract5
abridged by the establishment o f a minimum wage for the indus­
try and occupation in which she was engaged. Labor officials
patiently pointed out that such freedom of contract was in fact
freedom to accept whatever pittance might be offered; that with mil­
lions of unemployed competing for the few available jobs, with
fair employers forced to compete with cutthroat employers operat­
ing on basis of sweatshop wages and working conditions, Govern­
ment intervention to protect wage earners, fair employers, the
purchasing power of the masses of our people— and therefore our
consuming markets—was a necessity.
A major factor in bringing the problem of basic wage and hour
standards to the boiling point was, of course, the stubborn con­
tinuance of unemployment throughout the Nation. I f wage and
hour standards were not to be debased to the point where purchas­
ing power and domestic market would provide less and less outlet
for farm products and manufactured goods and services, some meas­
ure o f stabilization o f minimum fair labor standards had to be
established. Without this standard, this stabilization, there would
have been a continuing tendency for the chiseling employer to drive



out the fair employer, exactly as, without a standard of coinage,
base money tends to drive out good money.
The knowledge, the experience, and the well-grounded conviction
of labor officials that wage and hour legislation was necessary on
a national scale was o f powerful assistance in promoting the fair
labor standards bill and in obtaining its enactment in the closing
days o f the past session o f Congress. We, who have heard from
employers and from employees the first-hand stories of interstate
competition in various industries, know that minimum standards
o f wages and hours, as generally applied to the manufacture and
handling o f goods moving in interstate commerce, can work only if
they are applied uniformly throughout the Nation.
Immediately before us is a gigantic and delicate task of providing
for uniform enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act through­
out the United States and Territories, in States which have labor
departments that may be willing and able to take on this additional
task, and in areas where such delegation of responsibility for en­
forcement may not be immediately feasible. I think you will agree
that this responsibility is one not lightly to be undertaken. For
the year beginning October 24, 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act
provides that employees paid less than the minimum rate up to 44
hours per week, and less than time and one-half for overtime above
that figure, may sue individually or in groups and collect double
the unpaid amount, together with reasonable legal expenses and
court costs. As Administrator, I have solicited the assistance o f
employers in enforcement of the act. It is to be hoped that the
fair employers and industries! will be prepared to report promptly
complaints o f violations in their industries. These complaints will
be received, investigated, examined, and acted upon. Because com­
petition based on substandard wages and hours is punishing compe­
tition which has a quick effect on other employers attempting to
sell goods produced under fair labor conditions, any agency charged
with responsibility for inspection, investigation, examination, and
prosecution under the act must be prepared to discharge that
responsibility quickly and accurately.
In the short time I have been on the job as Administrator, a
beginning has been made in the task o f drafting organization plans
for the administration of the law, particularly the machinery for
compliance, which must be set up and in working order prior to
October 24, 1938, when the wage and hour provisions become
May I say at once that I count as the greatest piece of good for­
tune I have had since taking this position the fact that the key
position in the vitally important work of enforcement, that of Assist161045 0— 39 ------ 2



19 3 8

ant Administrator in charge o f Compliance, for the entire United
States and Territories, has been accepted by a former president of
this organization and a progressive labor commissioner— a mam
whose service in his native State has demonstrated to all that he is
a genuine progressive not only in advocating, promoting, and at­
taining the enactment of labor legislation, but in the more prosaic
and difficult task o f day-to-day administration. I refer to Maj. A. L.
Fletcher, commissioner of labor of the State of North Carolina, who
will be on the job with me September 15, 1938.
Before discussing in some detail the plans for the administration
o f the law, particularly the enforcement phase, it is perhaps worth­
while to review briefly the principal provisions o f the act.
The act covers workers employed in industries engaged in inter­
state commerce or in the manufacture of goods shipped in inter­
state commerce. Generally speaking, the act exempts from both
the wage and hour provisions, workers in agriculture and agricul­
tural industries, those dealing with certain perishable products; sea­
men; air transport and electric street railways and local motorbus
employees; fishermen; professional, administrative, and executive em­
ployees ; employees of certain types o f newspapers; outside salesmen;
and employees in retail and service establishments whose business
is largely within a State. Certain other employments are totally or
partially exempt from the maximum-hour provisions alone.
The act has as its declared objective the establishment o f a 40-cent
hourly minimum in as short a time as is economically feasible with­
out the curtailment of employment. It proposes to reach this ob­
jective in two ways. First, it provides for statutory minimum wages
advancing by steps—25 cents an hour the first year; 30 cents for the
next 6 years; and thereafter not less than 40 cents.
In addition, machinery is established for setting higher wages
for individual industries.
The Administrator is charged with the appointment of industry
committees as soon as practicable. They must be equally representa­
tive of workers and employers in the industry, and of the public.
A s they are called upon by the Administrator to do so, such boards
are charged with recommending to him the minimum industry rates
in excess o f statutory rates but not in excess of 40 cents per hour.
The Administrator may approve the recommendation of a com­
mittee and, after a public hearing, issue an order making such
recommendation mandatory; or i f he disapproves, he may resubmit
the matter to the same or to another committee. His approval or
disapproval is to be based on the requirements set forth in the
law and on the facts considered by the committees. As administrators
you will appreciate the implications of this program.



The 25-cent rate may be low, but there is no doubt that it will
offer protection to a very considerable group, while investigations
leading to higher minimum wages are under consideration. During
the period of the 25-cent minimum, we hope that we may carry on
an effective program of education through regular inspections.
The act provides for the reduction of hours to a maximum working
week o f 40 hours at the expiration of 2 years. During the first year,
the basic week is set at 44 hours; during the second, at 42 hours.
Hours worked in excess of these maximum workweeks must be com­
pensated at a rate of one and one-half o f the regular rates paid.
Exemptions from the regular overtime provisions of the act are pro­
vided in the case of certain bona fide trade-union agreements and
in industries declared seasonable by the Administrator, but even in
these cases the overtime rate must be paid for hours over 12 a day
and 56 a week.
The Administrator, in addition to the right o f entry and inspec­
tion, may compel the attendance of witnesses. Designated courts are
given jurisdiction to restrain violations by injunction.
The Administrator, through the Attorney General, may prosecute
for violation of the provisions of the act and minimum-wage orders,
and adequate penalties are provided in case of conviction. Viola­
tions o f the child-labor provisions of the act will be prosecuted by
the Chief o f the United States Children’s Bureau. I might mention
here that I shall not discuss the child-labor provisions of the act.
They are important, but the responsibility for their administration
and enforcement is placed by the act on the Chief of the Children’s
Bureau of the United States Department of Labor.
Employees, individually or in groups, may recover the amount of
their unpaid minimum wages and overtime compensation, as well
as an equal amount in liquidated damages.
So far the pattern o f the law is clear cut. I need not point out
to such a group as this, however, that the Administrator will be
called upon constantly for decisions which will be essential to uni­
form enforcement. Many of these points are already being given
legal consideration. Many of them must be decided by October 24.
There will be the industries which are border-line with respect to
their interstate character. There will be the question of seasonal
industries. There will be the question of learners, and the handi­
At the moment I can state only one general policy in connection
with such questions as these, and that is that we expect to be guided
by what we know to have been the intent of Congress in enacting
this law. That intent was clearly that as many workers as possible
should be given the protection of basic labor standards.



19 3 8

The act places an immediate obligation upon the Administrator,
the enforcement o f the basic wage and hour provisions. Those of you
who have the responsibility for the enforcement of State laws can
realize the weight o f that duty alone. It presupposes that employers
throughout the country have been in the habit of keeping complete
and accurate records of hours and earnings and that they are accus­
tomed to regular inspection.
Unfortunately, this is not generally true even though the com­
pliance with the Social Security Act in the past 3 years has promoted
the orderly keeping o f pay-roll records. Many employers are not
now in the habit o f keeping such records as may be necessary in the
effective enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act. I hasten
to add that it is not proposed to require a great mass o f records and
reports in addition to those now kept by employers. We shall make
every effort to keep record keeping at a minimum, with regard to
the number o f records, the number of columns, and the frequency o f
reporting. It may be that only one or two lines in addition to the
records now required under the old-age-insurance titles of the Social
Security Act may be required.
I f we can administer the law effectively with no information in
addition to that required by the Social Security Act to be kept,
that will be a break for the employers and for us. As a State indus­
trial commissioner, I, like many of you, am keenly aware o f the
obligations landed on employers already in the matter of record
keeping and reporting, and every proposal to add to these burdens
will have to make out a strong case before it is approved. We
will not collect information for the sake of information, but only
for effective administration.
Informing employers as to what record keeping is required and,
equally important, what will not be required, is perhaps our first
important job. Throughout the country employers are asking what
is necessary to comply with the act. So great is the task of distrib­
uting precise information on this point, and of laying the ghosts of
unfounded apprehensions, that I am calling upon organized indus­
try, both employers and labor, to cooperate between now and Octo­
ber 24, 1938, by circularizing its members both as to the basic terms
o f the act and the requirements in connection with record keeping
and inspection and, o f extreme importance, by urging its members
to assist in obtaining a compliance with these provisions from the
Our first interest will be in the equal enforcement of the law
throughout the country. By this I mean that every employer and
worker must be subject to a single interpretation of the law and
o f the rulings and orders issued under it. For this reason, it will



be essential to have from the start, uniform enforcement procedure,
uniform inspection methods, uniform reporting methods, a uniform
conception o f the whole spirit and purpose o f the law.
As State administrators, we have all experienced the difficulty of
dealing with employers whose business is carried on in many States
through branches. They are sometimes justifiably puzzled by the
differences in laws between States, and by the difference in admin­
istrative procedure. We have here an opportunity to extend
throughout industry over the whole country, at one time, a single
pattern covering minimum-wage and maximum-hour provisions.
The States may build upon this foundation to bring about even
higher standards, and to extend them to the industries over which
the Federal law has no jurisdiction.
We are most fortunate in having knowledge of the procedures
which have had practical tests in the various States and have been
found to meet their needs. These will form the basis of our en­
forcement program, and they will be adapted to the practical sit­
uations with which we will be faced. In this process o f adaptation
I feel that we shall be further fortunate if we are able to build up
our administrative techniques on the basis of suggestions which
we hope will be submitted to us from time to time. In this I am
reminded o f the excellent clearance which exists in many State
departments of labor in connection with enforcement of safety and
health regulations. It is the practice in such States for the inspec­
tion staff to bring to the attention of the administrative officer par­
ticular problems arising out of new industries or new processes
which bear upon the safety or health o f workers. In this way, not
only is a remedy supplied almost as soon as the new condition is
found, but every inspector is placed on guard to look for that par­
ticular condition, and to be on the alert for other conditions which
must have their own special treatment. I f we may have such clear­
ance upon the points which undoubtedly will arise under the ad­
ministration o f this new wage and hour law, we may hope that our
procedure will be both realistic and effective.
The law gives the Administrator very complete authority for en­
forcement. He and his designated representatives may investigate
and gather data regarding the wages, hours, and other conditions
and practices of employment in any industry subject to the act;
and may enter and inspect such places and inspect such records and
make transcriptions, question such employees and investigate such
facts, conditions, practices, or matters as he may deem necessary
or appropriate to determine whether any person has violated any
provision of the act. Congress has here clearly given to the Admin­
istrator that authority which all State administrators of labor law




feel to be essential—the free right of entry into work places and
the right o f inspection and of transcription of records relating to
The Administrator is authorized to employ a staff, in accord­
ance with the regulations of the Federal Civil Service Act. He
may further utilize such voluntary and uncompensated services as
may from time to time be needed. He is directed to utilize the bu­
reaus and divisions o f the United States Department of Labor for
necessary investigations and inspections. In addition to these pro­
visions for administration, with the consent and cooperation of
State agencies charged with the administration o f State labor laws,
the Administrator and the Chief of the Children’s Bureau may,
for the purpose of carrying out their respective functions and du­
ties under the act, utilize the services of State and local agencies
and their employees, and may make reimbursements for services
rendered. We have every reason to believe that full provision will
be made for the enforcement of a law which Congress held to be
basic in the control of unemployment and the sustaining of pur­
chasing power.
In setting up his program for enforcement, the Administrator
is faced with two basic truths which he must accept and reconcile.
One is that the law places squarely upon him the final responsi­
bility for enforcement. The second is a point on which I am sure
you will bear me out. No State labor department, including the
one for which I have been recently responsible, was ever fully
enough staffed to insure complete enforcement of all the labor laws
for which it was held responsible.
Our objective in the Wage and Hour Division is a sound and
permanent system of enforcement o f this law. In this work the
inspection and enforcement systems o f the State departments o f
labor will play an active part. In every State in the Union, we
shall be entering a new field with respect to enforcement of wage
and hour regulations for men. Oklahoma alone has pioneered in
this field, but has not yet had the opportunity to put its orders into
practical effect.
Because o f the final responsibility o f the Administrator, he must
make haste slowly in asking States to take on this added task, al­
though in the interest of sound administration the task must ulti­
mately be very largely theirs.
Without question, States will need to be reimbursed for the ad­
ditional expense incurred in additional enforcement and this is
provided for in the act. I f the expense were all that were involved,
undoubtedly the program of State participation could go forward
as rapidly as the Congress made funds available. That, however,



is only one item to be considered. In the interest of uniform en­
forcement, there must be a complete formulation of enforcement
standards. The Wage and Hour Division cannnot draw up and
present such a formulation as a final pattern in the brief time avail­
able before the effective date o f the act. There will be an adminis­
trative program, of course, at that time. It will be based upon the
procedures which have stood the test of administration throughout
the States.
This administrative program must be adjusted to meet the prac­
tical situations which will arise, and it must be fitted into the regu­
lar enforcement programs of State labor departments so that it will
interfere with them as little as possible.
We are all agreed upon the desirability of avoiding the multi­
plicity o f governmental inspections. However, as an administrator,
I should not presume in the first instance to place the whole burden
of this task in its formative period upon the already burdened
State departments of labor.
The Wage and Hour Division plans to work closely with State
departments of labor from the very beginning. It will direct its
energies toward helping the States to equip themselves to carry on
a regular program of enforcement. In this task, I am planning
to utilize the services of the Division of Labor Standards which,
because of the nature of its work, is familiar with the administrative
procedures now existing in the various States. As rapidly as is pos­
sible, we shall work toward more complete State participation in
In the planning of this program there will be many questions of
common interest on which I shall solicit your aid and the benefit
of your experience. We shall need to insure a high standard o f
personnel in this work; we must define that standard. We must
be sure of sound training in what will, for the majority of such
staffs, be a new field. And, having given this training, we must
insure some sort of continuity of service, so that the benefits o f that
training may not be lost; so that both labor and industry may count
upon a stable group of administrators who are constantly building
up their inspection skills upon the sound foundation of tested pro­
All of us, I think, feel the challenge o f this latest step forward.
It is the first measure which has set up a specific set of standards
from which every start may move forward. It leaves to the States
the whole field of standard setting in the industries for which the
Congress may not act.
We could not ignore, if we would, the many complexities of this
task o f administration. I want to express my deep appreciation of
the efforts which are being made by organized labor to clarify the



terms o f the act to its membership and thus aid in enforcement, and
o f the cooperation which has been evidenced generally by industry.
O f the sympathetic understanding and aid of such a group as this
I am assured, and I look forward with eagerness to the sound
accomplishment o f our joint enterprise.
R ou n d -T able D iscussion

Mr. D u r k in (Illinois). Mr. Mooney, will you lead in the discus­
sion, please ?
Mr. M o o n e y (Connecticut). Mr. Andrews, one question is whether
or not your administration, in the various regulations which it will
promulgate, will prohibit or make attempts to regulate home work.
Mr. A ndrew s , I certainly believe in the regulation of home work
and not in its prohibition, and we will have to count upon the States
and State home-work laws to help us out. I think that if we get
a legal staff which is broad-minded enough, we may be able to con­
strue the law as regulating manufacture in the home if it enters into
interstate commerce. I know that some of our friends in Puerto
Rico feel that home work would come under the law.
Mr. D u r k i n . I think that we ought to hear from Mr. Andrews’ as­
sistant, Major Fletcher.
Major F letcher . I am not in a position today to talk a great deal
about this program and this work that I am going to undertake
under Mr. Andrews’ direction. I am approaching the problems with
an open mind and with a sincere desire to do a good job. How w ell
I am going to succeed, only time can tell, but I believe in the Fair
Labor Standards Act o f 1938 with all of my heart. In my own
State I have worked toward that end for the last 6 years, and I
propose to apply to my new duties in the national set-up the same
sort of effort, the same sort of energy, that I used in my smaller job
in North Carolina.
I think I speak for Mr. Andrews when I say that we would like
to hear from every labor commissioner here today his ideas about
how this cooperation between our national organization and his
State organization can be worked out most effectively. I know that
a problem is uppermost in your minds this morning. I have already
heard from a great many commissioners throughout the country who
are anxious to cooperate w,ith the Wage and Hour Division of the
United States Department of Labor in the enforcement of this law.
Many of you, I know, have ideas as to what form that cooperation
should take and how it could be worked out, and I, for one, should
be delighted to hear from you, either here or privately, as you wish.



Mr. A n d r e w s . I do not know of any State labor commissioner who
did not write me almost immediately after my appointment offering
his cooperation and assistance, and I want to thank all of you who
wrote to me. I appreciate those letters, and if the law is a success
and effectively administered, it will be because you make it a success.
Mr. D u r k i n . A t this time I should like to call on Miss Katharine
Lenroot, Chief o f the Children’s Bureau.
Miss L enroot (Washington, D. C.). I am very happy to have
this opportunity to talk informally for a few minutes about the
child-labor provisions of the act, the administration of which is
placed in the Children’s Bureau of the Department of Labor.
I think the report of the child-labor committee has reference to
some of the provisions of that act and I know that they are familiar
to you. We have been able to announce to the press that some of
the first steps in the organization of the administrative machinery
in the Bureau have been completed and have received the approval
o f the Civil Service Commission. A ll of the positions, o f course,
are subject to civil service.
The Industrial Division of the Children’s Bureau for many years—
practically as long as the Bureau has been in operation—has had
charge o f all o f the studies, investigations, and advisory service given
by the Bureau in matters pertaining to the employment of children
and young persons, and it seemed logical to us to centralize in the
Industrial Division the new responsibilities of the Bureau under
the Fair Labor Standards Act. This has meant, of course, the
necessity of planning for enlarged personnel and some reorganiza­
tion of the Division. Miss McConnell, who since 1935 has been the
Director of the Industrial Division, will continue as Director of the
enlarged Division and will have two Assistant Directors, one in
charge of administrative activities and the other in charge of re­
search activities. We have been very fortunate in securing as the
person to have charge of the administrative activities, pending civilservice examination, Mrs. Elizabeth Coleman, who has been on Mr.
Andrews’ staff in New York State. She has been with the New York
State Department of Labor for about 13 years.
We plan to have specialists, field representatives, and regional
consultants on employment certification and inspection and other
administrative activities.
Then on the research side, inasmuch as the act places on the Chief
o f the Children’s Bureau the responsibility for finding, and by order
declaring, certain occupations hazardous or detrimental to the health
and well-being o f young persons between the ages o f 16 and 18 years,,
we must provide for adequate research services as a basis for the
continuing responsibilities of this nature. There may also be the



necessity o f some research service as a basis for regulations per­
mitting the employment, as the act authorizes, o f children 14 and 15
years o f age in nonmanufacturing and nonmining occupations *the
products o f which enter into interstate commerce.
Accordingly, we hope, as appropriations become available, to have
specialists in different fields for the study of occupational hazards,
accident hazards, and health hazards, as they relate to children of
the ages covered by the act; and we shall provide, under that sec­
tion of the Industrial Division, for continuing research activities,
particularly in fields not affected by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Our responsibilities, o f course, continue as a general agency for re­
search and for service in all fields pertaining to the employment of
children, as well as in other fields pertaining to child welfare.
A member o f the Solicitor’s staff in the Department of Labor has
been assigned to us for help on legal matters. Just as Mr. Andrews
referred to his legal staff as studying aspects o f coverage relating
to the portions of the act coming under his jurisdiction, so we
have had to give very careful study to many legal questions arising
in connection with the interpretation of the child-labor provisions
o f the act. O f necessity, there will be opportunity for the closest
coordination between Mr. Andrews’ office and our office, both with
regard to legal interpretation, which must be uniform in all matters
that affect both divisions, and also wdth reference to administrative
In the matter of declaring occupations hazardous, it is our policy
to proceed cautiously. We must be sure that we have facts justify­
ing the declaration of any particular industry or particular occupa­
tion within an industry as especially hazardous or detrimental to the
health or well-being of young workers. We are just now considering
the steps which should be followed in these determinations, and I
think we shall have some announcements of regulations to present
to the Secretary o f Labor for her approval very soon. It will be
necessary to follow some procedure whereby there will be an oppor­
tunity for a public hearing and discussion of proposed orders by the
parties who will be affected by those orders. O f course, time will
be given for adjustment, and every effort will be made to acquaint
industries throughout the United States with these determinations
in advance, so that they will be running no risk in continuing to
employ young people of 16 to 17 years of age until the time declared
as the effective date of the order and published sufficiently in advance
so that they may have every protection.
We in the Children’s Bureau are, of course, very anxious that young
people shall not be deprived of employment upon which they have
come to depend in any arbitrary manner or in advance of these very
careful determinations. We also hope that as time goes on there



will be an opportunity to consider, in connection with these respon­
sibilities, not only particular hazards or dangers that may be found
to exist in particular occupations, but also the general social setting
within which these young people find employment, the alternatives
to employment that may exist, and the general social as well as
industrial results of action taken to exclude young people under
18 from certain occupations.
We shall, of course, rest very heavily upon you for cooperation
in administering these provisions of the act. The first Federal Child
Labor Act o f 1916, which was in effect for 9 months in 1917 and 1918,
was administered, as you know, almost entirely on the basis of rela­
tionships developed between the Children’s Bureau and the State
labor departments and employment certificating agencies. We shall
build up our field staff with the view, not of putting into the field a
large staff working independently of the State labor departments, but
o f making available, in States where the departments are not now
in a position to assume added responsibilities, people who can
act promptly and effectively. However, they will be people who can
and will cooperate with you, with the objective always in mind o f
strengthening the facilities within the State so that the protection
afforded by this national act may be developed in a way that will
strengthen State standards, encourage improved State standards, and
result in unified administrative policies to the greatest extent possible.
We shall have particular matters to discuss with you through
correspondence or otherwise in the very near future. We hope to make
available to you promptly information as to all matters that will have
a bearing upon our cooperative relationships. The matter of im­
provement in State legislation is dealt with in the report of your
child-labor committee. Improvement is needed particularly with ref­
erence to school-attendance laws, which will need to be considered
with the view of bringing them more into line with the age standards
established under this act, and the laws relating to hazardous
The Children’s Bureau feels that the responsibilities under this act
constitute a tremendous opportunity and a tremendous challenge,
and that together we can go forward on a basis which while giving
due weight to the necessity of securing uniform observance o f the
standards set up in the act, will, above all, take into consideration the
physical and the educational, the social and the industrial, aspects
o f the welfare of the children and young people involved.
Mr. K rogstad (Michigan). I think you stated, Mr. Andrews,
that certain employments are totally or partially exempted from
the maximum-hours provision alone. W ill you kindly explain that,
please ?



Mr. A n d r ew s . Those are the seasonal industries.
Mr. K rogstad. I think you made the statement in connection with
retail stores.
Mr. A n d r e w s . Retail stores generally will be in intrastate com­
merce, I think, and therefore exempt from all the provisions o f
the act.
Mr. K rogstad. Does the statement mean that certain concerns are
under the law as far as the hours are concerned but not so far as
the wages are concerned, or vice versa ?
Mr. A n d r ew s . I f an industry is purely intrastate, it is not under
the law at all. Is that what you have in mind ?
Mr. K rogstad. N o. I think you said certain employments are totally
or partially exempted from the maximum-hours provisions alone.
Mrs. B eyer (Washington, D. C.). Railroads, for instance, are cov­
ered by the wage provisions but not by the hour provisions. I un­
derstand that the wages of 25,000 railroad workers will be affected
by the wage provisions.
Mr. A n d r e w s . Yes; that would be one example, the principal ex­
ample. There are certain occupations specifically exempted, you
know— agriculture, domestic service, and so forth.
Mr. K rogstad. Yes; I understood that.
M r . M cM a h o n (Rhode Island). Concerning the question of deal­
ing with union agreements, there are many laws in the States per­
taining to industries where union agreements exist. Where the ex­
piration date of such an agreement is December 31, and no further
agreement is entered into between the union and the management,
the minimum being established at 35 cents and the hours in the
agreement at 40, what position will the workers be in as regards
reverting to the minimum in the act of 25 cents and the maximum
of 44 hours?
Mr. A n d r e w s . The act certainly is not intended in any way to
reduce wages or increase hours, and where there are union agree­
ments which call for higher wages than the minimum or for shorter
hours than the maximum that are permitted under the act, the
employer should observe the agreement with the union and the
law would not affect it. O f course, if the union agreement called
for lower wages than might be set by an industry committee or even
lower than 25 cents— and I cannot imagine any union agreeing to
anything less than 25 cents—that agreement would not be valid*
The agreement would have to comply at least with the minimum
requirements o f the law. I hope that unions will not accept any
cuts in any way on account of this law. It is intended not only to raise
the lower wages but to encourage the higher brackets to go higher*



Mr. B ell (British Columbia). I have listened with keen interest
to Mr. Andrews’ exposition of this very important piece of legisla­
tion, and while it is essentially a United States measure, there are
certain aspects of it that are of particular interest to me because
they have a similarity to some problems that we have encountered
in administering similar legislation in the country from which I
come. Mr. Andrews has undertaken a big job, but he assumes his
task with a record and a background in the administration of labor
legislation w^hich augurs well for the successful administration of
this act.
I notice in a summary of this act reprinted from the Monthly
Labor Review that provision is made, as it is in practically every
minimum-wage law, for the employment o f apprentices and handi­
capped workers at a lower rate. Then further on, I notice this in
the pamphlet: “ No classification may be made on the basis of age or
sex.” The point that has occurred to me is this, and it is one which
we have encountered in British Columbia: In applying that section,
in the early stages of our administration of our minimum-wage
laws, we attempted to take care of the younger people and the older
and handicapped people by individual permits. Later on, we found
that that could be more conveniently done by the exemption of a
percentage. For example, in our sawmill industry we have a mini­
mum wage of 40 cents an hour. We found it helpful to insert a
provision whereby 10 percent of the total number of employees in
the plant might be employed at the rate of 30 cents per hour. That
eliminated the necessity of individual permits and took care of that
particular class as a group.
So far as apprenticeship is concerned, we find that in many of
our industries no opportunity for apprenticeship in the real mean­
ing of the term exists. For example, in the sawmills the young
men or boys going to work do not learn a trade in the true sense
of the word. The work is fairly heavy and hard, and we find very
few young boys employed in those plants, so that the 10-percent
exemption takes very good care of them.
However, in another branch of the woodworking industry, the box­
manufacturing industry, we find that is an industry which offers
wide opportunities for the employment of younger boys, as the work
is lighter. In dealing with box factories, we found it advisable and
helpful to deal with those younger boys by classifications, so that
while we also have a minimum wage of 40 cents an hour in the box­
manufacturing industry, we have taken care o f the younger people
therein by fixing a minimum of 25 cents an hour for boys under
18 years, 30 cents an hour for boys between 18 and 21 years, and
40 cents an hour for all employees over 21 years of age.



We have found that to work very well in that particular type o f
employment, and the question that I should like to ask, as a matter
of information, is: W ill the administrators of this act be prevented
from following that plan, even if they thought it advisable to do
so, by reason o f this section which I notice here, “ No classification
may be made on the basis o f age or sex.”
Mr. A n d r ew s . Mr. Patterson, who is in charge of apprentice train­
ing in the Department, has made a study of this problem, and I
think he will have some very helpful definitions that will guide us
m determining apprentices and their handling. Do you want to say
something on that point, Mr. Patterson?
Mr. P atterson (Washington, D. C.). Yes. In regard to appren­
tices, the idea o f giving an individual exemption to each apprentice
seemed to be a very cumbersome procedure under the National Re­
covery Act, so that it is hoped, although things are still in a formative
stage, that there will be some arrangement whereby those who are
duly registered as bona fide indentured apprentices with authorized
apprenticeship agencies will be exempt. We hope that we can carry^
out a plan which will not prevent the training o f bona fide apprentices in numbers which can be absorbed, and at the same time will
not make the procedure so cumbersome as it was under the National
Recovery Act. Mrs. Beyer and the others who are working on this;
are trying to plan something that will get away from the mistakes*
we made under the National Recovery Act and still permit appren­
ticeship to go on. The plan has been talked over with Mr. Andrews,,
but it has not been finally decided upon.
In the matter o f tolerance, although that is not specifically an ap­
prentice subject, it has seemed to me that tolerance is subject to*
a great deal o f abuse. Five or ten percent tolerance for learners and
apprentices enables employers to put on that number of young work­
ers in an industry, regardless of whether or not they are needed.
So that that idea has been somewhat in disfavor here, Mr. Bell.
As this conference goes on I hope that the various labor commis­
sioners will express themselves on the best arrangement for appren­
ticeship, because surely we need their advice.
Mr. M cK i n l e y (Arkansas). Would it be reasonable to believe that
in States where there are apprentice laws, and an apprentice is
defined in the law itself, we can recognize that definition of an
apprentice ?
Mr. A n d r ew s . O f course, we would have to deal with that question
the same as with State minimum-wage laws. I f a State minimumwage law establishes a higher minimum than may be established by
an industry committee, the State law would obtain. The same thing
applies to hours. A higher State standard would take precedence



over the Federal act. But if the Federal standards are higher than
the State, then the Federal standards will be effective. That will
apply to apprentice laws also.
Mr. B ell . In British Columbia we have an apprenticeship act aa
well, and in every minimum-wage order we have a section which,
says that the minimum wage shall not apply to any apprentice who
is indentured under the provisions o f the apprenticeship act. But
the point that I am making is that in some industries there is no
opportunity for apprenticeship within the real meaning of the term,
but there is opportunity for the employment o f young persons. In,
the box factories to which I referred we have refrained from dealing
with those young persons under the apprenticeship act because a boy
might work in a box factory for 10 years and yet he would not b&
a tradesman when he finished. However, we want to make some,
provision for his employment at the work that is available in that
plant, and in doing so the only possible way that we have been
able to provide for him has been by classification, according to his.
age, at the lower rate. We have found that the most practical way
o f dealing with that particular class. I was just wondering if it is,
going to be necessary for the Administrator o f this act to follow
hard and fast the provision laid down that no classification may ba
made on the basis of age, even if that were found to be an adequate,
way o f providing for the employment o f younger persons. That,
of course, is a matter that you will probably find out as you proceed,
but I just wanted to give you the benefit o f our experience in that,
Mr. A n dr ew s . Thank you very much, Mr. Bell. Personally, I
really have not gotten around to that question at all. I have to de­
pend upon Mr. Patterson and Mrs. Beyer for advice.
Mr. N ates (South Carolina). I should like Mr. Andrews to ex­
plain what relationship will be established between State depart­
ments o f labor and the administration of this new wage and hour law,
and what will be expected of the State labor departments.
Mr. A n dr ew s . Before I knew anything about having this job and
while I was still in New York State, I thought the problem over a
good deal as to how we could handle it there. As we tell our inspec­
tors in New York State, they are probably the only representatives
o f the State government that many people o f the State ever see.
Therefore, they should be dignified, courteous, and effective. I f
this law is going to be a success, we will have to have that type o f
people in the field. And so we hope, through mutual conferences
and discussions, to build up a staff that is truly representative of the.
State as well as the Nation.



19 3 8

You will all agree, I think, that it is very difficult to have a high
morale among employees when they know they are going to be on
the job only as long as a particular party is in power, and so I think
that you all believe in civil service. We will have to work out
very carefully a method of setting up the right type of organiza­
tion with the right type o f personnel. I hope to have you all in
Washington sometime soon, perhaps at the time the Secretary of
Labor is calling the meeting to discuss State minimum-wage laws,
so that we can get together and find out just how far the Govern­
ment can go in setting up high standards of personnel.
Mr. M u r p h y (Oklahoma). Mr. Andrews and Major Fletcher, the
Department of Labor of Oklahoma is going right down the line
with you. We are going to cooperate with you 100 percent. I am
not in a position to offer any suggestions now, but I want you to
know that you have the wholehearted cooperation of the Depart­
ment of Labor of Oklahoma.
Mr. D u r k i n . Mr. R . C. Nyman, representative of the Kendall
Mills, Paw Creek, N. C., has some questions to ask now, I believe.
Mr. N y m a n (North Carolina). O f course, as an employer’s rep­
resentative, I am very much interested in the wage-hour law. Mr.
Andrews, recently, in a newspaper article, you were quoted, or per­
haps misquoted, as saying that of course there would be differen­
tials. I have not found anything in the act providing for the
maintenance of wage differentials. I f there is such a provision in
the act, I should like to know where it is, and I wonder if you can
tell me.
Mr. A n d r e w s . The act very carefully avoids mention o f differen­
tials as a geographical matter. But the wage committees in setting
rates for regions, shall we say, or industry groups, have to take into
consideration various factors, such as the cost of transportation,
living costs in a particular territory in which an industry is located,
wages for like or comparable services, and so forth, so that might
permit the use of the term “ differentials.”
In New York State under a minimum-wage act we have estab­
lished differentials, just in that one State. Metropolitan areas have
one rate and up-State areas another. Even in one State it is some­
times desirable economically to have differentials under a mini­
mum-wage law, and that is the way we can reach it under this
particular act.
Mr. N y m a n . That clears up the question I had in mind. What
about differentials between jobs rather than differentials between
different branches of an industry?
Mr. A n d r e w s . Take the textile industry, which has a very broad
coverage, for example. You certainly cannot have differentials



between a weaver and somebody doing cutting W something o f
that kind. The best legal advice I have gotten so far is ’that it will
be possible to have, say, one minimum for sweepers and perhaps
another for all other employees in an industry in a particular locality.
Mr. N y m a n . I see. In other words, you would have a minimum
for one job throughout all the branches of an industry?
Mr. A n d r e w s . We th in k th at is possible.
Mr. N y m a n . The law would not provide for having percentage
differentials in any particular branch of an industry?
Mr. A n d r ew s . That is right.
Mr. D u r k i n . Are there any other employer representatives or rep­
resentatives of organized labor here who wish to ask some questions ?
Mr. B rew er (North Carolina). My name is S. P. Brewer; I am
Carolina’s administrator for the Textile Workers Organizing Com­
mittee. I was very much interested in a point to which my good
friend, Mr. Nyman, made reference, as we are engaged in collective
bargaining with him at this time. W ill it be possible for the tex­
tile industry to establish minima by occupations—I presume that
that is what he had reference to— or will it be the duty of the indus­
try committe to establish a minimum for the entire industry, say, o f
35 or 40 cents? Would it be within the power of the industry com­
mittee to establish minima by occupations rather than by the entire
industry—for instance, a sweeper, 30 cents an hour, a weaver, 40
cents an hour—or would the minimum be applicable to the whole
industry ?
Mr. A n d r ew s . O f course, it is very definitely the intent of the
law not to have a great series of minima. After all, that would
be a very dangerous thing to do, because it would tend perhaps
to bring about a situation where the minimum would become the
maximum for a particular occupation. At the present time, we
think that underwear may be included in the textile industry, for
instance, but we would not think that if we did not also think that
we could say that there might be one minimum up to the cuttingup process and another minimum from the cutting-up process on.
Do you see what I mean? That, of course, will have to be studied
by the industry committee, with the help of the best legal advice
it can get. The Administrator, you know, has nothing to do with
it. The recommendations regarding the minima come entirely from
the industry committee; then the Administrator either accepts or
rejects the recommendations. It is entirely up to the industry
committee to reach its own conclusion without any influence from
the Administrator.
161045°— 39------ 3



Mr. B r ew er . I have heard quite a bit of discussion from time to
time concerning accidents that might arise within an industry. I am
wondering if it is within the power of the industry committees to set
up any kind o f provision for work in excess of 44 hours a week; that
is, in case o f a break-down or something like that. As I interpret
the law, it is 44 hours a week and nothing more, regardless of what
the circumstances might be, and that question has been presented.
Under the National Recovery Act certain employees, in case o f
break-downs, were permitted to work extra hours, provided, o f
course, the time was taken off at some other time or the average was
not more than a certain number of hours. But i f I understand this
act, it is a rigid and inelastic 44-hour week for the first year.
Mr. A n d r e w s . No, sir. It is 44 hours at regular pay; for any
hours in excess of 44, time and one-half. It is not a rigid 44-hour
week. That is a common misunderstanding o f the act. I f em­
ployees work more than 44 hours, they must be paid time and onehalf for the hours worked in excess o f 44.
Mr. B r ew er . I understood that phase, but under the National
Recovery Act there were certain exemptions without the penalty
o f overtime.
Mr. A n d r e w s . The hours provision is that they can work 44 hours
at regular pay, but they can work as much longer as they wish as
long as they are paid at the rate of time and one-half.
Mr. B r ew er . I am glad to know that.
Mr. M ori a r t y (Massachusetts). Is it actually set that they are
to be paid in moneys or are they to be allowed to take time off in a
slack season to make up for the overtime they have worked?
Mr. A n d r e w s . That is one o f the questions on which we are trying
to get some legal opinion. There are agreements where employees
are given time and a half off; for instance, if they work an hour
overtime during the week, they are given an hour and a half off.
I think the newspaper guild has that arrangement in a great many
cases. That is something that we will have to get legal opinion on
before we can give any definite answer.
Mr. B r ew er . I have been reading many newspaper articles which
try to explain this act, and my own feeling is that the newspaper
interpretations of the act are going to confuse many people. Most
o f the local papers are running a series of articles, and, as I have
told them, I find that one day they make one statement and the next
day they contradict it.
Mr. A n d r e w s . S o far as interpretation o f the act is concerned, the
Division has not issued any statement at all on interpretations.
Whatever you read is not official, from the Division, so I ask you



to be patient and not become alarmed until you see the official rules
and regulations.
M r . M o r iar ty . May I ask i f whatever arrangements are made by
you as Administrator are going to be made so that we in our respec­
tive States may prepare legislation prior to January 1, when the
legislature in my State meets, so that our department may help. It
is very easy for me to come here and say that I will give you every
consideration, but maybe I am not in a position to give you every
consideration because of the laws and the constitution of my State.
I can give you every moral support, but in order for you to be able
to use my department to the extent that you might desire, I might
have to arrange legislation to be taken up at the next legislative
Mr. A n d r e w s . Would you have to change the constitution of your
State, too? All I can say is that we certainly will give you all the
moral support we can in order to have appropriate legislation en­
acted. I hope that in my own State we will change our minimumwage law by just taking out the words “women and minors” and
substituting “ employees,” so that men will be covered as well as
women and minors. We will be very glad to do all we can to help the
commissioners o f labor pass whatever legislation they want in their
Mr. C hr isto ph er (North Carolina). Mr. Andrews, my name is
Paul It. Christopher. I am technical adviser of the Textile Workers
Organizing Committee. I should like to ask what, insofar as you
know at this time, will be the definition for the textile industry,
which this committee of 15 will classify or work on? I understand
that right now underwear is being considered, in addition to cotton,
rayon weaving, and silk, including silk throwing. That is one ques­
tion I should like to ask. Another is this: speaking of different
minima, we had the experience under the National Recovery Act,
o f course, that the minimum tends to become the maximum, and now
we are being told by any number of manufacturers throughout the
South that the same tendency will no doubt recur. I wonder if it
is in the province of the committee to recommend to you minima for,
say, unskilled, semiskilled, skilled, and highly skilled workers, and
if you might break the industry down into cotton, yarn, cotton weav­
ing, silk and silk throwing, and underwear, for instance, if under­
wear is included.
Mr. A n d r ew s . I do not know. I think that it is felt that it would
be inadvisable to have very many minima. You are talking about
throwers, finishers, and so on and so forth. This committee, which,
by the way, now is up to 21, will be aided by technical advisory com­
mittees for those branches o f the textile industry which cannot be



directly represented, because to do so would make the main com­
mittee too large, but when this main committee comes to the question
o f throwers o f silk, finishers, and so forth, this technical committee
will sit in with the main committee. Whether that means that for
silk throwing the rate might be higher than for the finishing o f
textiles, I do not think anybody can tell yet. That will have to
develop as the industry committee studies the subject. I have the
feeling that it is better for labor to have the possibility that certain
branches of the industry may have a higher rate than other classes,
because o f the greater skill needed in those particular branches of
the industry.
You are right about the coverage, but I cannot give you a defini­
tion. We cannot officially give it out until after we have had further
conference, with labor officials mostly. But I am glad you mentioned
that thought of the minima bringing down the scale of wages. I
have heard that argument. Twice we passed a minimum-wage law in
New York State while I was there, and the opponents—they were
very few—always used these arguments: First, that a minimumwage law for women and minors caused loss of employment to them
(our studies show that that is not s o ) ; second, that establishing a
minimum wage in an industry brings down the higher brackets to
the minimum (the opposite is true). The tendency is to bring up
the whole structure. People who are getting 80 cents an hour will
go up to 90. Those arguments are very old, but those of us who are
from New York State know that they are not true. Dr. Patton will
bear me out in that. Minimum-wage laws do not result in any such
Mr. C h risto ph er . Here is a point with which those of us who are
concerned with the organized end of labor are concerned. We know
definitely that right now— and I am sure Mr. Nyman will bear me
out in this— an increase in the required man-hour productivity is
taking place, so that with the employers who have to raise wages
to even a 25-cent level and others who may be able to maintain their
present level of rates above the minimum, that is going to take
place. The committee, as I understand the law, will not have any
power at all to consider that end of the question. It does not pertain
to wages or hours, but nevertheless it is a very important factor, as
we see it.
Mr. A ndrew s . O f course, there is a pious wish or intent expressed
in the bill that nothing in the act shall tend to decrease wages. I
have heard that argument in New York State, also, about minimumwage laws, that work will be speeded up, and so forth. It has not
worked out to be true there. I think as we go along, if we make this
law work, the employers will see that it is an advantage to them,



and they will feel that it is not necessary to try to evade the spirit
o f the law. I have been getting some very fine communications from
employers. I think they believe that after all it is not going to be
such a terrible thing and may perhaps even be a pretty good thing.
Mr. C h r istoph er . I do not want to appear pessimistic, Mr.
Andrews, and I hope that your optimism is rewarded with good
Mr. A n d r e w s . You may be interested in knowing, Mr. Christopher,
that your name has been suggested to me as a member of the textile
Mrs. B eyer . From the standpoint of administration, I am hoping,
and I am sure others here will agree with me, that these wage orders
will be kept as simple as possible. We all know—all who have
checked pay rolls to see whether they comply with the law—that any
differential, no matter what it is, makes it almost impossible to tell
whether or not there is violation. As soon as you permit an excep­
tion, you have to check on every one of those exceptions individually
to see whether they really are in compliance with the law. It takes
the heart out of an inspector to sign that something is correct when
he knows very well that he has not been able to interview every
person who is listed below the minimum to find out whether he
should be there. Whenever you permit differentials in wages, you
are opening the door wide for violations.
We know that the National Recovery Act fell because it was not
enforceable. W e do not want to permit the same thing to develop
under this act. After all, it establishes a minimum wage. I think
we should always bear in mind that this is a minimum-wage act
upon which the unions can build. I f we try to make it a wage­
fixing measure, we will run into all types o f difficulties, and I think
that in the long run the unions will not thank the Government for
going into the field of wage fixing. I hope that it will be borne in
mind by the various groups in setting up these wage committees and
in recommending wages to the Administrator that they must be en­
forceable. Otherwise they will fall by their own weight.
Miss S t it t (Washington, D . C.). I am wondering if the pro­
vision o f the law itself which limits the minimum wage to 40 cents
does not preclude, to a large extent, differentials on the basis o f skill.
A wage board cannot go above 40 cents. Therefore, does not that
preclude any very great differential on the basis of skill ?
Mr. A n d r ew s . That is right. We do not think of that as applying
particularly to skilled workers, but mostly to the unskilled.
Miss S t it t . I was thinking about the question that Mr. Christo­
pher asked a moment ago, whether you were going to set wages on



the basis of unskilled, semiskilled, and skilled labor. It seems to
me that that provision precludes the setting of wages on the basis
o f skill to any extent.
I should like to ask, if I may at this time, whether the Administra­
tor has thought at all about the possibility o f making these industry
committees permanent, or whether they are to be committees that will
be brought into existence to make a recommendation for today and
then go out of existence. I had the opportunity of spending some
weeks in England this summer and spent some time in the Trade
Boards Division of the Ministry of Labor. I think the thing about
their practices which impressed me most was the fact that the British
trade boards are permanent entities. The members in that way
become thoroughly familiar with the industry. The problems of
the industry are brought to them year after year, and they con­
sider and reconsider those problems, and make modifications in the
wage orders on the basis o f their very intimate and close knowledge
of the industry. That is the thing that impressed me more than
anything else about the British system, and I wondered if we were
going to give any consideration to the possibility of having per­
manent industry committees.
Mr. A n d r e w s . I think the act intends that they shall be perma­
nent. O f course, if a member should get out o f the industry or
change his industry, somebody would have to step into his place.
But I hope that these industry committees will do much more than
just recommend minimum wages. I hope that because of their
knowledge o f the industry they will be able to recommend adminis­
trative rules and regulations to guide us in enforcement.
Mr. B e ll . I can support most wholeheartedly the statement made
by Mrs. Beyer. I trust I was not misunderstood when I spoke a
few minutes ago about classification. I was chiefly concerned about
the young people.
I trust I may not be considered presumptuous, coming as I do
from a far distance and a comparatively small field, when I say
that my suggestion would be to keep away from differentials. The
simpler you can make the orders, the more you will be able to en­
force them. I f you attempt to make orders fixing a series o f rates
for different classifications, you will have confusion indeed. That
has been our experience in the field in which I have worked.
I can certainly support Mr. Andrews also when he says that the
minimum wage does not become the maximum. I f you fix a sound
foundation, you can very well leave the higher structures to be
looked after by mutual arrangement and negotiation. I think that
is a sound principle upon which to proceed. It is a principle that
we have tried to follow and have found very successful.



Mr. C h a p m a n (Ohio). I should like to know whether or not it
will be necessary for State legislatures to enact legislation in order
to help cooperation between the Federal and State departments o f
Mr. A n d r e w s . Possibly Mrs. Beyer knows more about that than
I do at the present time. There is to be a meeting on the 12th o f
this month in Washington to discuss that very subject. In New
York State it will not be necessary to pass any legislation at all.
We help out in the Walsh-Healey Act, as possibly you do in Ohio.
Mr. K rogstad. Have you under consideration, Mr. Andrews, the
preparation o f a letter to all labor commissioners advising them
just what information you will require to aid you in administering
this law?
Mr. A n d r e w s . I am afraid that you will receive a great many
o f those. I know you are anxious to know a great many things,
and we are trying our very best to tell you as quickly as possible.
Mrs. B e y e r . In connection with the question raised a little while
ago regarding State legislation, the greater number o f the States,
I believe, would be able to accept Federal funds as long as they
do not require State matching, but there are others where that would
require legislation. Might it not be well to draw up a very simple
draft o f what type o f legislation might be necessary in the States,
so that they will have something to work on in preparing their
own legislation?
Mr. A n d r ew s . I th in k that w ould be fine.
Mr. N y m a n . With further reference to differentials, how do mini­
mum-wage laws! function with respect to differentials within a State,
between States, or between geographical sections of the country?
I can see where it might be desirable for different minimum wages
for different geographical sections, but I find it difficult to see why
there should be different minimum wages in rural or urban sections
within a State.
Mr. A n d r e w s . I should like to have Miss Papert, who is in
charge of minimum wages in New York, speak on that.
Miss P apert (New York). We had two minimum-wage laws in
New York State. Under our first law, in 1933, which was not based
on cost of living but upon fair value, differentials were established
on the presumption that the cost o f living was less in smaller com­
munities. Under the second law, where the cost of living was one
o f the factors that each wage board had to consider, the New York
Department o f Labor made a study of the cost of living in com­
munities o f various sizes in New York State. These communities
ranged in size from 10,000 population up to New York City with



19 3 8

7,000,000. I have here some of the figures on the results of that
survey, made in, September 1937. We are now planning to reprice
that budget. Before I give the figures, let me make this clear:
In pricing our cost of living, we took the same standard of living
for each community. We priced in each community goods o f the
same quality, food of the same quality, clothing of the same quality.
Certain standards o f adequate housing were set up by consulta­
tion with experts. We found that while the cost of living varies
to some extent by size o f community, it is not necessarily less in
the smaller communities.
In communities of 10,000 to 25,000 population, for a woman liv­
ing alone— for the same standard of living, I Tvant to emphasize
that—the cost was $1,228. In communities of 50,000 and under
100,000 population it w as $1,188; in other words, it was less. In
New York City the cost w as $1,192, so that while the cost in New
York City was slightly more than in cities of 50,000 to 100,000
population, it was less than in cities o f 10,000 to 25,000. In other
words, when you talk to people who live in smaller communities
and they tell you they can get a good house for $25 a month, they
are very likely to forget that, as compared with a city dwelling,
they have to provide their fuel and have certain other expenses
that a city dwT
eller has included in his rent bill. Our studies show
very definitely that cost of living does not necessarily vary accord­
ing to the size of the community.
Mr. A ndrew s . May I say further that the act as passed by Con­
gress does not give us much choice as to saying whether there shall
be one minimum for all the country, because it says that we must
take into consideration such items as the cost of living, the cost of
transportation, the cost of comparable labor in the locality, and so
forth. Whether we believe in it or not, that is the way the act is,
and it is from that basis that the industry committees must work
in establishing rates.
Mr. M o r to n (Virginia). I want to assure M r . Andrews and Mr.
Fletcher that it is the disposition of my department to cooperate
100 percent, just as far as is humanly possible under our laws, and
at the same time to tell you that the appropriation in Virginia for
enforcing State laws is far insufficient. While we want to cooperate
with you and while I am very much pleased wfith the expression of
Mr. Andrews’ desire for our cooperation, I am fearful of duplica­
tion that might develop in the event the administrator appoints
separate inspectors. I do not know just how much is going to be
expected o f the department in Virginia; I am here to get instruc­
tions and to learn what is expected.



We are very proud of our hours law in Virginia and had thought
it was going a long way to help reduce hours for women in industry,
and we still think so, but because of its exemptions, the benefits
expected have been reduced.
There is one other thought to which I want to call attention. The
statement has been made that there was a scarcity of carpenters.
As evidence, the fact was cited that the average age is 10 years
higher than it was 5 years ago. That might be true in Virginia
also, and there is a reason for it. I want to say, first, there is very
little shortage of trained workers in Virginia except as to those
employers who are not willing to meet the scale. You often see
in the paper that some employer says he cannot get mechanics.
Generally, he could get them if he were willing to pay a fair rate.
The reason for the average age being higher is that mechanics
are unwilling to put their sons into a trade in which they cannot
find regular employment at a living wage.
In connection with the apprentice report, I do not believe there
is any need for providing for a great number of apprentices, but
rather to provide for better training of those who are already in
the industry and those who might come in.
Mr. D u r k i n . Where the different States have minimum-wage laws
and w ages have been fixed and orders are in effect, and such orders
call for a higher minimum than 25 cents, what steps are necessary
in order to raise the minimum in that particular industry and
how soon can it be done?
Mr. A n d r ew s . D o you mean, Mr. Durkin, where you have a mini­
mum higher than 25 cents and you want to go still higher, say, 35
cents ?
Mr. D u r k i n . N o ; where you want the State minimum for that
industry to be set up throughout the country. How can the rest
o f the country be brought up to the level of the wages set as the
minimum for the State ?
Mr. A n d r ew s . I f the business was in interstate commerce and you
found it necessary to establish a minimum wage in your own State,
it would be natural for the national administration to tackle that
industry as one o f the first industries to be considered. Thus you
would have relief from competition in local areas by the Federal
act going into effect and establishing a rate higher than 25 cents.
Mr. D u r k i n . W ill it be necessary for the employers to take the
initial step in order to raise the rate or for the State to make it
known to you? For instance, in Illinois in the cotton-garmentj
industry, in the manufacture of house dresses, ladies’ aprons, and
the like, we have a 39-cent minimum. Our companies are competing
with like companies throughout the country. They may feel, because



19 3 8

other companies in the same industry are permitted to pay 25 cents,
that they will be at a disadvantage in competition. W ill it be neces­
sary for the employer to call that to your attention, or should the
State representatives who have the enforcement of such an act
under their control ?
Mr. A n d r e w s . The act does not require that attention be brought
to any particular industry, but it is not at all inappropriate for either
labor or industry to ask us to hasten the appointment of an industry
committee for certain industries.
Mr. D urkin . Dr. Patton, do you have anything to say or any
questions to ask ?
Dr. P a t t o n (New York). British Columbia experience has indi­
cated cost of living to be a nebulous basis upon which to determine
minimum wages. Mr. Bell has had a good deal of experience in
the determination of minimum wages, and has given consideration
to the cost-of-living factor. We would appreciate a further state­
ment from him.
Mr. B eld. I may say that in dealing with that nebulous subject,
we may sit up, burn the midnight oil, devise and design the most
perfect form of law that we can possibly conceive, but when we
start to put it into operation and administer it, we will find that
after all our best guide is our own common sense.
We started out in British Columbia in 1934, with our new and
revised labor legislation, to improve conditions for the workers as
far as we possibly could. When we made the original minimum-wage
orders, certain employees came to me and questioned the rates that
we had fixed on the basis of the cost of living. When we started
out, the wages were very low in our sawmill industry, which was
the first industry with which we dealt. As the result o f years of
depression, wages had come down considerably, and it was no un­
common thing to find wages as low as 25, 27 or 28 cents an hour
for full-time male workers in sawmills. The first order we made
was for 35 cents an hour, and some of these workers came to me
and said: “What do you mean by fixing a minimum wage of 35
cents an hour? Do you expect a man to live on that? What about
the cost of living?” I said, “ What is the cost of living?” “Well,”
they said, “take the Labor Gazette.” I said: “ Never mind the Labor
Gazette. Let’s get down to facts. How much were you getting
before we put this order into effect?” “ Twenty-three cents an hour.”
“And you are alive?” I said. “ Yes; if we weren’t we wouldn’t be
here.” “Well,” I said, “you must have been living, if you are alive,
on 23 cents an hour. N owt we are going to give you 35 cents an hour.
You will be able to live that much better, and in due course, if we
can possibly manage it and conditions will warrant it, we will raise



it a little more. In the meantime, be on your way, brother, and
don’t talk to me about the cost of living.”
Miss P apert . T o take the cost of living undifferentiated is what
a Supreme Court member called a “ vague and nebulous standard,”
and, o f course, the human race is pretty hardy. There are all kinds
of cost-of-living budgets. There is the relief budget that the relief
agencies set up. Those budgets are very low ; we have consulted
them. They are designed and intended only for people on subsistence
levels. The purpose of our minimum-wage laws is to raise the level
for low-wage groups.
We realize that the adequate standard that was set up is much
higher than existing wage levels in New York State, but as far as
the “nebulous” part o f it is concerned, we tried in New York State
to consult with all the authorities in the various fields. For instance,
the Bureau o f Home Economics has worked out scientific standards
for food. There is a maintenance standard and there is a moderate
standard and a very high standard. We consulted with food experts
in New York State. When considering housing, which is one of the
most difficult subjects, we had to take into account existing housing
facilities. When our agents went around to price housing, one of
the standards set up was that the dwelling should not have any
rooms without windows. Another was that every family should have
a private bath and toilet. You would be surprised to learn how
many houses were eliminated because they did not meet these stand­
ards, not only in New York City but in a great many communities.
You can have any kind o f cost of living. My cost of living and
that o f anybody else here would be very different. We are talking
about a general level. You can have as many levels as people have
incomes. That is no measure of how well they live, how adequately
they live, and that, after all, it seems to me, is the basis of this
whole question o f minimum wages.
Mr. L u b i n . In our discussion on minimum wages, this same ques­
tion was raised, and I asked Mr. Bell about the criteria that they
used in his Province in fixing minimum wages. I think one of the
outstanding features of this law, which makes it different from any
other law that has been, passed by any of the States, for example,
is the fact that the cost of living is only one of the factors involved.
The law specifically says that the wage rate shall not be such as will
cause unemployment, which means, I think, in simple terms, that
the ability o f the industry to pay must be taken into consideration
and that the Administrator cannot approve any wage which might
cause people to go out of business and cause workers to lose their
jobs. Just how the Administrator is going to determine that is,
o f course, something that nobody knows. Miss Stitt has tried and



19 3 8

found it next to impossible to tell how much an employer can afford
to pay. That factor has to be borne in mind, however, and it is a
factor over which the Administrator has no control.
There is another factor in the situation which has to be con­
sidered, namely, the ability of the employer to get into the market,
or freight rates, and you in the South know what that problem is.
For almost 50 years now the United Mine Workers, in their agree­
ments with employers, have made specific provision for differentials
based not only upon the quality o f the coal but on freight rates as
well. A mine that happens to be so located that it cannot sell its
coal in competition with another, because o f the higher freight rate,
is permitted to pay a lower wage rate than its competitor.
I think that the whole concept of differentials has to be clarified.
The purpose of differentials, as I understand the law, is not to give
anybody an advantage over anybody else, but to make it possible for
people to stay in business and for employees to keep at work. In
other words, if the wage rate fixed by a board in one plant is
going to be lower than in another, it is going to be so only because
that wage rate will permit that plant to stay in business and not
give it an advantage over somebody else. The idea is not to say:
“We will give you a lower rate so you can get business away from
the other fellow.” The idea is : “We will give you a lower rate so you
can stay in business, with labor costs and freight costs and other costs
which will make is possible for you to compete on terms o f equality
with some other firm.”
I think that the whole question of the cost o f living has been
overemphasized, because it is only one of a dozen factors that must
be taken into consideration by these wage boards. I think further
that these wage boards, being made up as they are of an equal num­
ber of representatives of employers, employees, and the public, will
be in a position to thrash out all of these problems, and under the
powers given the Administrator, he will be able, before approving
a recommendation from any of these boards, to check up, if he wants
to, the books of employers to be sure that by giving an employer a
lower wage rate he is not giving him an advantage over his com­






Minimum Wages, October 1, 1937, to September 1, 1938
R eport


C o m m it t e e


M in im u m

W a ges,



o u is e

S t it t 1

( U n ited

S ta te s

D e p a r t m e n t o f L a b o r ) , C h a irm a n

A year ago the minimum-wage committee of the International Asso­
ciation of Governmental Labor Officials reported greater progress
in the field of minimum wages than had been made in any other
year since 1923 when the United States Supreme Court declared the
District of Columbia law unconstitutional. On March 29, 1937, the
Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the minimum-wage
law of Washington and reversed its decision in the District of Colum­
bia case. This n ew ruling was the signal for State activity. Four
new laws were passed in 1937; two States received appropriations for
the first time for the enforcement o f existing laws. The laws of
two States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, which had
previously been held unconstitutional were in 1937 declared valid by
rulings of the attorneys general. A t the time of our last meeting
22 States and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico had minimumwage laws.
Minimum -Wage Developments in 1938

As bright as the record was for 1937, that of 1938 overshadows that
of any previous year, for on June 25,1938, the President of the United
States signed the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which provides
for minimum wages and maximum hours for both men and women
working in interstate commerce throughout the United States. This
is without question the most important piece of minimum-wage legis­
lation enacted in the history of the United States and probably the
most far-reaching legislation of its kind in the world.
The States, too, have made progress during the year. In spite
of the fact that this was a nonlegislative year, the legislatures of
only 5 States which had not previously enacted minimum-wage laws
being in regular session, the number of State laws increased from
22 to 25. The most significant thing about these new laws is that
2 of them were enacted by Southern States—Kentucky and Louisiana.
Kansas was added to the list of minimum-wage States through a
decision o f the attorney general of that State, who ruled that the
Kansas law which had been declared unconstitutional in 1925 is now
The extent to which the States have increased the protection o f
minimum-wage legislation for woman workers during the past year
is better indicated by the number of new State minimum-wage orders
issued during the year than by the number o f new laws which have
been passed. Twenty-five new wage orders, bringing the benefits



19 3 8

o f minimum-wage laws for the first time to approximately 90,000
women, have been issued by 10 States and the District of Columbia
since September 1937. In addition to these new orders, Massachusetts
and Minnesota revised earlier orders raising the rates for more than
100,000 women.
Cost>of^Living Studies

A very important part of the work of State minimum-wage depart­
ments during the past year has been the making o f investigations to
determine the cost of living of employed women. In 1923 the United
States Supreme Court held it unconstitutional to require an employer
to pay a woman a living wage irrespective of the value o f the services
which she rendered. Out of deference to this dictum of the Court,
several States, which passed minimum-wage laws during the depres­
sion, required that the wage should equal the value of the services
rendered, but put little emphasis on cost of living. The legality o f
the cost-of-living principle was reestablished when the Supreme Court
found the Washington law which incorporates that principle con­
Several o f the minimum-wage States set about immediately to
determine what it costs a self-supporting woman to live at a socially
acceptable standard. Some of the States, such as New York, Penn­
sylvania, Colorado, and Arizona, have made very extensive and scien­
tific investigations. The amounts which have been thus determined
so far range from $975 a year or $18.77 a week in Colorado, to $1,192.46
a year or $22.93 a week in New York. These data have furnished valu­
able guides to those wage boards which are endeavoring to establish
fair minimum wages, and will go far to refute any contention which
may be made in court that minimum wages have been set unreasonably
Guaranteed Weekly Wages

A new principle has been established by some of the wage orders
issued in 1938. It is that of the guaranteed minimum weekly wage.
The laundry wage board of New York took the lead in this new
movement. It found that the irregularity of work in the laundry
industry affected unfavorably the earnings of the workers as well as
the prosperity of the industry. Therefore, it recommended that a
weekly wage be paid workers irrespective of the number o f hours
worked. The hope was that this provision would have the twofold
result o f assuring the workers o f a certain amount each week upon
which they could base their expenditures, and serve as an incentive
to employers to regularize their work and thereby stabilize



Since the beginning of the year four States—Colorado, Connecticut,
Minnesota, and New York—and the District o f Columbia have incor­
porated the principle of the guaranteed weekly wage, sometimes in a
modified form, in wage orders or recommendations. In some orders
the same wage must be paid for all hours of work up to 40, in others
hours from 17 to 44, or from 25 to 45, entitle the workers to a full
week’s wage. In the remaining orders the spread of hours is not so
great. It is going to be extremely interesting to watch the effects
of this innovation upon the regularity and amount o f employment
and upon the welfare of the workers.
Minimum-Wage Cases

Although the United States Supreme Court has declared State
minimum-wage legislation for women constitutional, persons un­
friendly to this type of legislation have not abandoned resort to the
courts as a means of invalidating or rendering ineffective such laws.
At the present time 3 States are involved in minimum-wage litiga­
tion—Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Utah. Because o f the futility of
challenging the constitutionality of minimum-wage laws for women
in relation to the Federal Constitution since the Supreme Court’s
decision in the Washington case, there seems to be a tendency on
the part o f employers either to attack the administrative procedure
followed by the State in establishing wage orders and to petition the
courts to enjoin the State against the enforcement of such orders,
as in the case of Minnesota, or to claim the incompatibility o f the
law with the State constitution as was done in Utah. Although the
Oklahoma case hinges largely upon the question of the constitutional
right o f the State to fix minimum wages for men, 9 o f the 10 counts
against the State pertained to matters of administrative procedure.
Probably one o f the most important responsibilities of minimumwage administrators at the present time is to safeguard the gains
which have been made in legislation by scrupulous observance o f ac­
cepted techniques in administration. Wage surveys, cost-of-living
studies, democratic wage-board deliberations, public hearings, are all
time-consuming and expensive. But if public confidence in admin­
istrative government is to be developed, court cases avoided, and
when unavoidable won by the State, action must be based upon
scientific investigation and finding o f fact, and no detail o f demo­
cratic procedure must be ignored.
A committee appointed by the Seventh Minimum Wage Conference
last fall to canvass the possibilities of reducing the amount of work
involved in preparing wage reports and cost-of-living studies for



minimum-wages purposes suggested some short cuts, but strongly
recommended that States relinquish not one whit their zeal in prepar­
ing such reports. Such studies, to quote from the committee report,
must be “ sufficiently detailed to serve as court evidence in case a
wage order should be challenged on the ground that its provisions
were not based upon findings of fact.”
The Relation of State Minimum-Wage Laws to the Federal Fair Labor
Standards Act

As has been said before in this report the passage of the Federal
Fair Labor Standards Act is the most important single event in the
history o f minimum-wage legislation. It is important from the point
o f view o f this conference, not only because of the great benefits
which it promises millions o f workers in the United States but be­
cause o f the many questions which it raises which this conference
may want seriously to consider and discuss.
Naturally, one of the first questions asked by State minimum-wage
administrators after the passage o f the act was: “What is the rela­
tion o f the new Federal Fair Labor Standards Act to our State
minimum-wage laws?” The Federal act itself furnishes a partial
answer to this question. However, except for a few conditions set
down in the act, the relationship between the Federal Government
and the States must be a matter of policy, which will require thorough
discussion and careful development.
The first point concerning the relationship o f Federal and State
laws which is clear from the act itself is that the Federal law does
not cover strictly intrastate industries. Therefore, there is no doubt
about the responsibility o f the States for establishing minimum wages
for workers in these industries. In the second place, the Federal law
does not prohibit States from establishing minimum wages for inter­
state industries. Section 18 specifically states that “no provision o f
this Act or o f any order thereunder shall excuse noncompliance with
any Federal or State law or municipal ordinance establishing a mini­
mum wage higher than the minimum wage established under the Act
or a maximum workweek lower than the maximum workweek estab­
lished under this Act, * *
As the Federal act applies only
to interstate industries, it is clear that there could be conflict be­
tween Federal and State rates only in interstate industries, and that
section 18 recognizes the right of States to establish rates in those
industries. The third point regarding Federal and State relation­
ship, authority for which is also to be found in that portion o f
section 18 just quoted, is that States may establish higher rates for
employees engaged in interstate commerce than those established by



the Federal Government. Participation of State labor departments
in carrying out the provisions of the Federal act is also provided
for in the Fair Labor Standards Act. The extent to which the A d­
ministrator of the Federal law will utilize the facilities of State
labor departments is, o f course, a matter of policy.
A question which will require careful consideration in this mat­
ter of relationship is the policy to be followed by the States in the
immediate future in exercising their right to establish minimum
wages for manufacturing industries. State minimum-wage admin­
istrators have long realized the delicacy of the problem of establish­
ing State minimum wages in industries which cross State lines and
the care that must be taken not to disturb the fine balance of inter­
state competition. It was awareness of this problem which led the
Seventh Annual Minimum Wage Conference last fall to recom­
mend that a committee be appointed to suggest a policy to be fol­
lowed by the States in establishing minimum wages for manufac­
turing industries. The committee thus appointed recommended that
the conference method be used by States contemplating issuing wage
orders for the same manufacturing industry. It was hoped that
informal discussions on the part of State administrators previous
to calling wage boards might help in establishing standards by the
States sufficiently uniform to prevent unfair interstate competition.
This recommendation of the committee has been carried out in the
case of the candy industry. A conference was held of administrators
of minimum-wage States in which the candy industry is important.
Wages paid by the industry in those States were compared, the gen­
eral characteristics of the industry discussed, and serious considera­
tion given to the standards which should be established by each
State in order to secure the greatest benefits for all. It may be high­
ly desirable for the States to continue with this procedure, even un­
der the new Federal law, in industries which are concentrated in a
few States most or all o f which have minimum-wage laws.
Future State Minimum-Wage Legislation

It is earnestly to be hoped that the States will as rapidly as pos­
sible take steps to provide the benefits of minimum-wage legisla­
tion for the millions of workers who are yet unprotected by either
Federal or State laws in spite of all the progress we have made.
Twenty-three States are yet without any type of minimum-wage
legislation. The legislatures of 21 of these meet in regular session
during the coming year. What a wonderful thing it would be if
1 6 1 0 4 5 ° — 39 -------




19 3 8

each o f these should pass this winter a minimum-wage law for its
Since the passage o f the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, the
question of the type of minimum-wage bill which State legislators
will want to introduce into their legislatures this coming winter be­
comes a more complex one. In the past all minimum-wage laws,
except that o f Oklahoma, have applied only to women and minors,
and have been for the most part similar to the Washington law re­
cently upheld by the United States Supreme Court, or modeled after
the standard bill drafted by the counsel of the National Consumers
This year some o f the States probably will consider the advisa­
bility o f enacting State legislation following the pattern of the
Federal act. The advantages o f legislation similar to the Fair La­
bor Standards Act which appeal so strongly to most of us are the
wide coverage, including men as well as women, the inclusiveness
o f the industrial conditions which it regulates, wages, hours, and
child labor, and the establishment of an immediate minimum wage
through the flat-rate provision.
To those who have worked and hoped for years for the passage
by 48 States of hour and minimum-wage laws and the prohibition
o f child labor, the extent of the gains secured by this single piece
o f Federal legislation seems indeed near to miraculous. There is
little doubt that within the near future, with the impetus given by
this new law to labor legislation in this country, every State will
have enacted legislation to supplement the Federal law for the con­
trol of long hours, low wages, and the unwholesome employment
o f child labor.
In deciding what form State wage and hour legislation shall
take in the immediate future, the important thing to consider is, of
course, not only how rapidly the benefits of wage and hour legisla­
tion can be extended, but how permanent the gains can be made, as
well as how best the substantial ground which has already been
won through 30 years of slow and painful struggle can be pre­
With the hope that fruitful discussion of this matter may follow,
I should like to suggest a few points which States considering the
introduction of fair labor standards acts into their legislatures next
winter may wish to consider.
First, it must be remembered that the new law, in spite of all its ap­
parent assets, is as yet untried. The strength and weaknesses of any
piece o f legislation are revealed only through experience in admin­
istering it. A year under the expert administration of the newly
appointed Administrator of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act



will disclose the extent to which the new law is workable and the
modifications which may be necessary to make it completely effective.
Some States may consider it economical to let the Federal Gov­
ernment, with its great resources, be the laboratory for 1 year and
do the necessary experimenting with this new type of legislation.
A second point, which constantly rises to plague us, is that the
constitutionality o f a minimum-wage law which covers men has not
yet been determined. We all feel more hopeful today than ever be­
fore that the courts will uphold this type of legislation. We all
probably welcome a case which will remove the uncertainty in the
matter forever. However, States which have passed minimum-wage
laws, the constitutionality of which has been established, almost
certainly will be unwilling to risk what they have gained by substi­
tuting a fair labor standards act for their present minimum-wage
law, or by amending it to conform with the Federal act until the
constitutionality of that type of law has been thoroughly established.
Minimum-wage States which feel that they are ready to extend the
benefits of minimum-wage legislation to men may prefer to do this
by passing supplementary legislation, allowing their present laws for
women to remain unchanged for the time being.
It has been suggested that the passage by a substantial number of
States o f fair labor standards acts may have a salutary effect upon
the courts. The existence of a considerable number of such State
laws, it is argued, may convince the judges that the principles in­
volved are the expression of the will o f the people, and may curb
any natural tendency to find this type of legislation, either Federal
or State, unconstitutional. That might prove to be the case. How­
ever, States now without minimum-wage legislation, which want to
be assured that their venture into this field will bring permanent
results, may be able to take advantage of present sentiment favorable
to minimum-wage legislation and pass both the fair labor standards
bill and the standard minimum-wage bill for women and minors.
Then, if our hopes for favorable court decisions in respect to the
first bill are not realized, the protection for women so urgently re­
quired will, nevertheless, remain. Even though the constitutionality
o f the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act should go unquestioned or
be quickly established, the presence of the two laws on the statute
books could do no harm.
O f course, the fact cannot be overlooked that the very inclusive­
ness, both as to coverage and the variety of problems regulated,
which so strongly recommends the Federal act to us, may increase
the difficulty of securing passage by some of the more conservative
States. When such is the case, and legislators in such States show
r disposition to enact a simple minimum-wage law, they most cer-







19 3 8

tainly should be encouraged to do so. A half a loaf is infinitely
better than no loaf at all.
States which are considering the fair labor standards type of
law will doubtless weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the
flat-rate provision. The advantage of establishing immediately for
all workers a floor to wages is a very great one. The danger is that
the rates fixed in the laws by the States may be so low that few
workers will be affected by them. State legislators, realizing that
for all practical purposes they are fixing wages for the service in­
dustries, might be tempted to set a rate even lower than the 25 cents
established by the Federal act for manufacturing. The provision fo r
industry committees to raise the wage above the basic rate may not
altogether counteract the effects of the low flat rate. A ll State
minimum-wage administrators who had any experience in establish­
ing minimum wages during or immediately after the N R. A. codes,
remember how divinely right and just the code rates became in the
minds of employers, and how difficult it was to persuade them when
serving on wage boards to cast their vote for minimum wages in
excess of these amounts.
Another point which States must consider in connection with the
flat rate is the enormous task of enforcing at one time a minimum
wage upon all employers covered by the act. Funds must be pro­
vided at the outset for a staff o f inspectors sufficiently large to cover
all the industries in the State, and all the members of such a staff
must be trained at the same time. Laws which provide for the
establishment o f wages industry by industry, without regard to a
basic rate fixed in the law itself, permit o f the development o f staff
and techniques gradually as the application o f the law is extended
to additional industries, A ll o f these matters require careful con­
sideration by those responsible for drafting State labor legislation.
Each State, o f course, must analyze its own needs, its own resources^
and, as far as possible, predict the attitude o f its own courts toward
labor legislation; then, no doubt, it will adopt those principles and
draft them into a law which seems best designed to serve the welfare
o f its citizens.
M inim um -W age Regulation in Canada
B y M rs . R e x E a t o n , B ritish Colum bia D ep a rtm en t o f L a b o r
[Read by Adam Bell, Deputy Minister of Labor of British Columbia]

Since the last meeting of the International Association o f Govern­
mental Labor Officials, there have been no new minimum-wage stat­
utes enacted in Canada except amending acts in Alberta and Mani­
toba, but under the Quebec and Ontario statutes o f 1937 applying;



to both males and females the first orders have been made and in
Alberta the first regulations have been issued under the Male Mini­
mum Wage Act, 1936.
In summary, it may be stated that minimum-wage orders have
been in force for some years for female workers in most classes of
industrial and commercial establishments in all the Provinces but
New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. A t the present time
there is legislation applying to both sexes in all Provinces but
Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. In New Brunswick the Fair
Wage Board may fix minimum wages and maximum hours in any
trade or industry, but the existing orders relate only to particular
The application of minimum-wage orders to male workers has
hardly passed the experimental stage except in British Columbia.
In that Province minimum rates have been gradually established
since 1934 in several industries or occupations, including logging,
woodworking, construction, shipbuilding, fruits and vegetables, bak­
ing, road transport, and retail and wholesale trade. In Saskatche­
wan and Manitoba, the same orders apply to both males and females.
In Alberta, one order fixes minimum rates for all male workers except
in agriculture or domestic service, but sawmilling and kindred indus­
tries in rural districts are exempt and special rates apply to these
In Quebec, a new order under the act of 1937 applies to both male
and female workers in most classes of employment except in rural
districts, where the earlier orders relating to females in commer­
cial and industrial establishments are still in effect. Under the
Quebec order the same rates apply to women and men.
In Ontario, only one order has been made, applying to male as
well as female workers in the textile industry and the rates vary
with the sex of the worker.
In Alberta, Ontario, and Saskatchewan there are statutes called
industrial standards acts which enable the government to give
legal effect to a schedule o f wages and hours agreed upon at a con­
ference o f representatives of employers and employed in any trade
or industry. The conference is called and presided over by a
Government officer. A similar act in Nova Scotia applies only to
the building trades in two towns. The Collective Labor Agreements
Act in Quebec is a collective-bargaining measure enabling the gov­
ernment to make legally binding on all in the industry the wages,
hours, and apprenticeship conditions of a collective agreement be­
tween an employer or employers and a trade-union or unions or
group o f employees.



193 8

In Manitoba, a 1916 act providing for fair wages on Provincial
government works was amended in 1934 to bring private construc­
tion o f over $100 value in towns of more than 2,000 people within
the act and to enable the government to apply the act to such
works in any part of the Province. In 1938, the act was extended
further to enable minimum wages and maximum hours to be fixed
in barber shops, beauty parlors, in printing, engraving, and dry
cleaning, and in any other industry which the government may
bring under the act. The procedure for arriving at the wages and
hours to be fixed in these industries is similar to that under the
industrial standards acts in other Provinces. No regulations have yet
been made under this legislation.
Dealing now in detail with the minimum-wage orders issued
during the last year, the Alberta male minimum-wage order, which
does not apply to persons governed by the industrial standards acts
or to casual workers employed otherwise than for the purpose o f
the employer’s business, fixes minimum hourly rates according to
age and experience. For persons employed by the week or longer
period, the minimum is 21 cents for a minor with less than 2 years’
experience and 33% cents for a man over 21 with 1 year’s experi­
ence or one under 21 with 2 years’ experience. For men employed
by the hour or day, the hourly rates vary from 23 cents for a minor
with less than 2 years’ experience to 40 cents for an adult with 1
year’s experience or a minor with 2 years’ experience. Special orders
fix other rates for persons employed in sawmills, box factories, and
woodworking plants in rural districts more than 10 miles from a
town or village of less than 1,000 population.
Under the Alberta Minimum Wage Act applying to women, the
orders in effect since 1925 have been revised, but the minimum
weekly rates remain the same and apply to a 48-hour week, but
regular full-time employees may not be paid less than for a 40hour week. In factories, laundries, restaurants, and shops, the min­
imum is $12.50. In offices, beauty parlors, theaters, garages, gaso­
line stations, and for elevator operators and in telephone exchanges
in towns o f 600 or more, the minimum is $14. Lower rates apply
to inexperienced workers. I f overtime is worked in excess of 1
hour a day or in excess o f 48 hours a week, time and a half must
be paid.
In Saskatchewan, too, minimum-wage orders were revised during
the year, the rates remaining about the same for experienced work­
ers, those for inexperienced employees being slightly higher in some
cases. Dance halls and theaters are covered for the first time.
The minimum rates vary from $14 in shops, $13 in factories, barber
shops, and beauty parlors, to $12 in theaters, and apply to all hours



worked in excess of 43 in a week. Slightly higher rates are fixed
for part-time and overtime work.
In Quebec, a general order effective until March 31, 1939, fixes
minimum rates for persons employed in cities and towns in com­
mercial and industrial establishments, motor transport, garages,
hotels, restaurants, and hospitals. Minimum rates are also estab­
lished for teachers and persons employed by municipal or other
corporations. The order provides for a weekly rest day or its
equivalent. In industrial and commercial establishments, rates are
fixed on an hourly, monthly, and yearly basis, the highest weekly
rate being $12.50 for 48 hours, $14 for a 54-hour week, and $15.75
for a 60-hour week. These rates apply to the city of Montreal and
must be paid to at least 60 percent of the employees. Not more than
25 percent o f the workers may be paid about $2 less a week and
not more than 15 percent, a still lower rate. The Province is divided
into four zones for the purpose of the order, of which Montreal is
one. Lower minima are fixed for each of the other zones. Female
workers in Quebec may not be employed more than 55 hours a week
in a factory or 60 hours in a shop except in emergencies. Overtime
beyond the hours to which the rates apply must, in most cases, be
paid for at the rate of time and a half.
In addition to the general order, later orders in Quebec apply to
the silk and cotton industry and to certain other classes of workers
in some places where there had been disputes as to wages. The
Quebec Fair Wage Act provides for joint “conciliation committees”
which are to report to the Fair Wage Board their conclusions con­
cerning wages, hours, and the employment of juveniles.
In Ontario, the only order made under the Minimum Wage Act,
1937, applies to both men and women in the textile industry. Under
this order, the minimum weekly rate for adult males is $16, for adult
females, $12.50. The latter rate is in line with the minimum-wage
order for women in factories in Ontario that has been in effect
for some years. Lower rates are fixed for boys and girls. The
rates apply to a 48-hour week in cities of over 50,000, to a 50-hour
week in cities between 10,000 and 50,000, and to a 54-hour week in
smaller places. For the first 2 hours in excess of the regular daily
hours, one-fortieth of the weekly wage must be paid. For any
additional overtime, payment must be made at the rate of time
and one-half.
D is c u s s io n

Mr. L ubin . There are one or two questions that are of signifi­
cance to which I personally should like answers and in which I
think others might be interested.



19 3 8

I notice that in Miss Stitt’s report nothing was said about the
question of differentials, whereas in the report that was read by
Mr. Bell there w as evidence of a large number of differentials in
Canada. There are problems, first, of differentials by sex and,
secondly, o f differentials by zones within a given State.
The Federal law permits wage differentials not only geographi­
cally, in the sense that each city may theoretically have different
rates, but, as some people interpret the Federal law, those differ­
entials can be almost unlimited in number. The significant thing
in the Canadian report w as the differentials in hours as w ell. I
think a good case might be made for wage-rate differentials if the
cost o f living is emphasized. But when you come to the question
o f hours, it seems indefensible that you should permit longer hours
in one city than in another, and that you should permit differen­
tials in hours on the basis of size of community.
I should like both Miss Stitt and Mr. Bell to give us some infor­
mation as to how far the States ought to go on this whole question
o f State differentials.
Miss S t i t t (Washington, D. C.). You are asking a very difficult
question, Mr. Lubin. A ll I can say is that our minimum-wage con­
ferences have tried as far as possible to discourage differentials.
T o get a scientific basis for making differentials in wages is ex­
tremely difficult. Some of the States have been making very scien­
tific cost-of-living studies, and have found almost no difference in
the cost of living in various parts of the State or in communities
o f various sizes, in spite of the fact that they have priced with the
utmost care. New York found that even though there was some
slight difference in the cost of living, it was somewhat higher in
some o f the smaller places than in New York City itself; so that
there seemed, on the basis of that, no justification from the cost-ofliving point o f view to establish differentials. People have come
to think that, because wages and standards of living are lower in
small communities, the cost of living is lower, and therefore the
minimum wage set should be lower and thus perpetuate differen­
tials that have become established by custom. But the tendency,
based on scientific cost-of-living studies, is away from that rather
than toward it.
Mr. B ell (British Columbia). In answer to Mr. Lubin’s question
on this very important problem of differentials, I may say that in
Canada it is, to a large extent, something that we have inherited.
There are, o f course, different kinds of differentials. We have, for
example, the differentials that exist between different Provinces.
In some Provinces there is a difference in the rates fixed in certain
zones as compared with certain other zones within the same Prov-



ince, the rates being governed sometimes by population of certain
localities. Then in other Provinces we have very few differentials.
The differentials between the different Provinces, as I say, have
to a large extent been inherited. Some Provinces started out on
their minimum-wage legislation ahead of others. I think it may
safely be said that the tendency is for wages to be higher in the
West than in the East, and when the Provinces started to fix mini­
mum wages for women we found that higher rates were fixed in
British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba than, were fixed in
Ontario and Quebec. The difference was not very great, but it
was there.
In Quebec and Ontario, the general practice is to fix higher rates
in the larger cities, such as Montreal and Toronto, and lower rates
in the rural districts. We have not followed that plan in British
Columbia, and while we have not followed it, it is not because we
have not considered it. But here again we have a different prob­
lem, you might say, in British Columbia as compared with Ontario
and Quebec. Our basic industries in British Columbia are mining,
lumbering, fishing, and fruit growing, which is a part of agricul­
ture. In our lumbering industry we find that some of our biggest
sawmills are in the sparsely populated districts. In the larger urban
centers, such as Vancouver, we have sawmills too, of course, but
some of the biggest sawmills in the Province are in comparatively
small towns. So that we would not be following a sound proce­
dure, so far as British Columbia is concerned, if we tried to fix
a higher rate for more populous centers, when our biggest indus­
tries are quite often in the rural districts.
The same thing applies to our fruit and vegetable industry. How­
ever, I notice that Ontario and Quebec, in their fruit and vegetable
industry, follow this principle of differentials. They have a higher
rate for employees in the fruit and vegetable industry in the larger
centers than they have for such employees in the rural areas. I
do not known why they follow that plan or how they arrived at that
decision. I wish that some of them might have been here today so
that I could ask them that question, because their set-up must be
quite different from ours. Our largest canneries are all in the areas
where the fruit is grown, so that if we were to fix a higher rate for
employees in the canneries in Vancouver than we did for employees
in canneries in the areas where the fruit is grown and where the
largest canneries are, we would be giving a very unfair advantage.
We would be developing a very unfair situation, because the biggest
part o f the industry would enjoy the lowest rate.
That is about all I can say on this matter of differentials. In
British Columbia we have tried to keep away from it on general



19 3 8

principles, apart from the fact that it would be economically unwise,
and from the standpoint of minimum wages unfair, for us to do
so. Some mention has been made of the cost of living. I find the
cost of living a very uncertain and nebulous yardstick, and so far as
our Province is concerned, the cost of living really is not a principal
factor upon which we could base any variation of rates.
Miss P apert (New Y ork). On the question of differentials, in con­
nection with our wage boards we have found that employers in the
areas which already have higher wage levels are quite anxious that
those levels be maintained in all other areas with which they are
competing. For example, the laundry employee in New York City,
where the wage level is sometimes higher than it is outside of New
York City, is very anxious that the same wage level apply to all com­
peting areas; that is, areas from which laundry owners come into
New York City for laundry work. The same tendency, I think, would
be discernible in any other branch of service or manufacturing
One reaction I had to Miss Stitt’s report is, that where States have
separate boards for each industry, there will be, judging from the
reaction we have had since the passage of the Federal wage and hour
bill, a very strong tendency to consider 40 cents an hour as the top
beyond which wage boards may feel they should not go, especially
in industries which have some interstate competition.
Mr. L tjbin . I should like to ask a question as to whether, in dis­
cussing probable bills to be passed in the States, any consideration
has been given to the productivity of labor, which is one o f the
criteria used in the Federal act. Apparently5 the outstanding factor
in State laws is cost of living. How about the other factors that
have been mentioned in the Federal law?
Miss S t it t . They have not been ignored by State administrators
nor by the Women’s Bureau nor by other agencies working in this
field. The task has seemed to be beyond us; that is, the task of using
productivity as a means of determining what the minimum wage
shall be. The States have not yet felt that they have the technique
for doing it, or that there is sufficient similarity in the actual jobs
that men and women are doing to compare the actual productivity
of a woman with that of a man on a job. Many of the industries
for which minimum wages have been set are service industries, for
which there is no piece rate, and therefore it is very difficult to
measure productivity. I f you are thinking about the net profits
and that kind of thing, it is next to impossible to determine whether
they have increased or decreased because of a minimum wage. Too
many other factors have influenced profit and loss.



We have considered studying industries for which a minimum wage
has been established and one for which a minimum has not been
established to find out whether the minimum wage has driven firms
out of business, or whether the profits have been higher in the one
case than in the other, but the difficulty in getting records for long
enough periods and records sufficiently comparable to enable us to
make a comparison that would really be of any value in determining
the effect of minimum wages has been insurmountable. We have not
ignored the possibility, but we have been baffled by the impracti­
cability of it.
Mr. B e l l . I might say that our experience has been that the
minima we have fixed for men have in the majority of cases been
in a class of work in which women were not employed, as for ex­
ample, in our sawmill industry, which I repeat is one of the most
important industries in our Province. When we started out to fix
a minimum wage for male employees in the sawmill industry, the
question of female employees was not involved because there are no
female employees working in the sawmills. In any industry where
both sexes are employed, we have, I think, met the problem to a
fairly satisfactory extent, in that we have a section in our female
minimum-wage act which says that no male employee employed in
or about the work usually done by a female shall be paid less than
the legal minimum fixed for that female employee; so that at least
keeps them on an equal minimum in any industry or occupation
where both sexes are to any exent in competition.
Again reverting to the male minimum-wage question, our mini­
mum in every case has been fixed on the principle of a minimum
wage. For example, to refer again to our sawmill minimum wage,
at the present time we have a minimum wage of 40 cents an hour.
We started out with 35 cents and last year we raised it to 40 cents.
That is the minimum for that industry. But it is by no means the
common standard or the uniform wage in the industry, because it
applies to what might be termed the lowest paid workers in the
industry, or what is sometimes referred to as common labor. The
more highly skilled employees, such as sawyers, edgermen, planer
men, and I might mention 125 different others because there are
that many different jobs in a sawmill, all get correspondingly higher
wages, based on the 40 cents an hour that we have fixed.
Mr. L u r i n . May I ask why you raised the minimum from 35
to 40 cents; what were the criteria you used ?
Mr. B e l l . The industry became a little more prosperous.
Mr. L ltbin . The ability of the industry to pay had nothing to
do with it?



19 3 8

Mr. B e l l . It was based on the ability of the industry to pay. Tho
market for British Columbia lumber in Great Britain was extended.
Lumber prices went up a little bit, and we had very little difficulty
in getting all employers to agree to the increase to 40 cents an hour
that we were proposing. As a matter of fact, in some of the better
equipped and more prosperous sawmills, they voluntarily raised their
minimum to 50 cents an hour, although the legal minimum was 40
cents. But, as I have mentioned, it was to a large extent, if not
entirely, based upon the ability of the industry to pay, in considera­
tion of improved conditions in the industry.
Mr. Z i m m e r (Washington, D. C.). I should like to ask one ques­
tion. In Canada has any question been raised as to the jurisdiction of
the Provinces in respect to control over wage-and-hour legislation ?
Mr. B e l l . There was, Mr. Zimmer, until that point was decided.
In 1935 the Dominion Government of Canada passed a minimumwage law, an hours-of-work law, and a one day’s rest in seven law.
Some of the Provinces contested these measures from the standpoint
of legislative jurisdiction.
In the meantime, the Government
changed. The Government which passed these laws went out of
office and a new Government came in—I am speaking of the D o­
minion Government now. The new Government referred these mat­
ters to the Supreme Court of Canada for a judicial opinion. The
Supreme Court of Canada was almost equally divided in its ruling,
so that the matter then went to the Privy Council of Great Britain,
which is the highest court in the Empire. The decision of that
court was that the Federal acts were unconstitutional in the light of
the British North America Act, which is the constitution of Canada,
and that legislation with respect to minimum wages and maximum
hours of work was exclusively within the scope of the Provinces.
That is the position from a legal standpoint at the present time.
Mr. Z i m m e r . In looking over this report, I notice that some of
the Provinces have laws covering road transportation. May they
also reach out into railroad transportation ?
Mr. B e l l . N o ; the British North America Act has certain sections
which place certain things exclusively within the jurisdiction of the
Dominion, and inter-Provincial means of transportation is a Federal
concern, not a Provincial one. Any Provincial act or order or regu­
lation applied to road transportation would be applicable only to
transportation systems within the confines of the Province.
Mr. Z i m m e r . Has there been any challenge to any of these Pro­
vincial acts in respect to industries that may be strictly inter-Pro­
vincial ?
Mr. B e l l . Not to my knowledge. There has not been in British
Columbia and I am not aware of any in any other Province.



I should like to ask Miss Papert from New York about the ex­
perience of New York with regard to laundries. We have followed
the principle—in fact, all the Provinces in Canada have tried to fol­
low the principle—of a weekly guaranty for workers. The matter of
part-time employment was becoming such a serious affair and was
making such inroads into our minimum standards that something
had to be done about it. Some Provinces have fixed a minimum
weekly w age. Others, such as British Columbia, have fixed a higher
rate for part-time workers. Generally speaking, we have tackled
the problem in Canada either from the one angle or the other.
Some reference was made to the laundry industry, and I am par­
ticularly interested in that because I understood from the paper that
was read that in New York they had fixed a minimum weekly wage
for laundry workers. We have not yet reached the point of fixing
a higher hourly rate for part-time workers in laundries, because in
the discussions we have had with employers in that particular industry,
they argued that there were certain conditions peculiar to that industry
at the present that were not to be found in other industries and which
made them unable to pay a higher rate. They spoke, for example,
o f the downward trend in the whole laundry business. They attrib­
uted that to a large extent to new methods of handling domestic
laundry, the almost universal use of the electric washing machine
in the home, and matters of that kind. I am interested to know if
you had any reaction of that sort in New York.
Miss P a p e r t . We have had arguments similar to that; for example,
the contention that every home would be a competitor. That is
what we were told. But we must remember that in the large cities
the electric washing machine takes up a lot of space, so that the
housewife in the large city is not so apt to own a washing machine
as is the housewife in a smaller town.
In the laundries we have a guaranteed weekly rate for power
laundries for the places that do the washing and ironing, and also
for the supply plants and the wholesale plants. I do not know whether
you have both powder and hand laundries in your State. We have
them largely only in New York City. The hand laundry sends its
work out to a power laundry; that is, to a laundry that washes the
clothes. Then the clothes are sent back to the hand laundry for hand
finishing. The hand laundry sometimes also does the flat work.
Hand laundries that regularly employ fewer than three women full
time may employ part-time workers. In larger hand laundries and
in power laundries we have no part-time provision. The part-time
provision may apply to one male minor—that is, the delivery boy—
and to one extra woman worker, when the laundries have extra work
during the week that they do not anticipate. Laundries using part-



19 3 8

time workers must pay them at the rate o f 40 cents an hour, and
must guarantee the regular woman workers $16 a week. In New York
City the guaranty for all other laundries is $14 a week or at the
rate o f 35 cents an hour.
In beauty shops we also have a guaranteed workweek, but there
we have the combination of a higher part-time rate plus a guaranteed
weekly wage. The higher part-time rate is on a daily basis, to take
care o f the week-end work.

Social Security

Problems o f A dm inistration in th e Field o f Social Security

A .



ltm e ye e


Chairm an o f th e Social S ecu rity B oard

I feel very much at home to be participating in a gathering such
as this. I see about me the familiar faces of veterans who have
labored for many years in the field of labor-law administration.
May I suggest that we belong to a rather select group; that is, a
group that understands that there are such things as problems of
administration, which is the subject I have been asked to discuss.
Most o f the people of this country have given no more thought to
administration than they have given to breathing, and they take
it just as much for granted. In other words, while everyone is
affected by the results of good or bad administration, no one except
those o f us charged with the duty o f administration really give any
thought to it or have any realization o f its importance.
As a former great teacher of mine was in the habit of saying*
“ Administration really is legislation in action.” A law itself is a
dead thing. Life can only be infused into it through the efforts
o f those charged with the administrative responsibility o f making
certain that it does accomplish its beneficent purposes. I f they suc­
ceed their success is taken for granted; in fact, is not even recognized
as success. But, if they fail, then they are damned from all sides
without much understanding as to the difficulties with which they
may have been confronted. However, I did not come here to com­
miserate with you over the hard lot of administrators, but to discuss
with you not only the solved but the unsolved problems of adminis­
tration arising under the Social Security Act.
As you know, the Social Security Act really consists of 10 separate
and distinct programs which are administered on the Federal level
by 4 different agencies. These programs can be classified under
2 heads: Welfare and social insurance. I take it that you are
interested in the social-insurance provisions, since these provisions
have a close relationship to the laws which you administer—in fact,
are a species of labor legislation, since they are enacted primarily in
the interests o f the workers o f this country.




19 3 8

I should like to discuss first the Federal old-age-insurance pro­
gram. This is the only program in the Social Security Act which
js administered wholly by the Federal Government. A ll of the other
provisions are directly administered by the States although par­
tially financed as well as coordinated by the Federal Government.
The Federal old-age-insurance system, as you know, will not be in
full operation until January 1, 1942, when monthly benefits will
commence being paid as a matter of right to insured workers.
However, the old-age-insurance taxes on both employers and em­
ployees have been in effect since January 1, 1937. Lump sums are
payable to covered workers who become 65 years of age before Jan­
uary 1, 1942, and to the dependents of covered workers who die
before that time.
There are two Federal agencies concerned with the administration
o f this system. The Bureau of Internal Revenue collects the taxes
and the Social Security Board directs the payment of benefits. It
is, of course, most essential that these two Federal agencies work in
the closest harmony, as I shall explain later.
The first task confronting the Social Security Board was to devise
a system of accounting to keep track o f all the wages paid to covered
workers during their lifetime, since benefits are calculated upon the
basis of such wages. Because of the vast number of persons covered
who have similar or identical names, it was necessary to obtain identi­
fying information from each of these workers and to assign an
account number to each one. The question next to be decided was
how to obtain this information and assign these account numbers
with the minimum expenditure of time and money on the part o f
the Government, the workers, and their employers. In this connec­
tion, it was also necessary to decide whether an attempt would be
made to obtain this information before tax collections started or in
connection with tax collections. After many months of study and
deliberation, it was decided to undertake the task before tax collec­
tions commenced, and to do it through the Post Office Department.
Many informed persons both in this country and abroad insisted that
it was an impossible task, especially if undertaken before tax
collections commenced.
It was planned to undertake the task in November and December
o f 1936. During the closing weeks of the national campaign which
ended on November 2, a concerted Nation-wide attack was made on
the Social Security Act, carried on chiefly through the insertion o f
printed propaganda slips in workers’ pay envelopes. However, in
spite of this attack, the greatest peacetime voluntary furnishing o f
individual information was accomplished at a very low cost and a
minimum o f inconvenience and confusion. Applications for account



numbers have been received from more than 40,000,000 workers and
accounts have been set up in their names at our Baltimore head­
quarters. There are 470,190 Smiths, 253,750 Browns, 232,540 Joneses,
and 348,530 Johnsons included in these accounts. I think that it is
safe to say that there are probably not more than a few hundred
persons in this country who do not have their names duplicated
many times over, even including their middle names, so that it would
have been utterly impossible to keep accurate account of the wages
earned throughout the years without further identifying information.
The acid test as to whether or not it would be possible to keep
accurate account came when millions o f reports from employers
started flowing in after having been checked by the Bureau of In­
ternal Revenue. Although it was to be expected that the first em­
ployer reports would contain more mistakes and be more incomplete
than later reports, it was possible to post 97 percent of the employer’s
reports without making request for further information. As subse­
quent reports come in they undoubtedly will be more accurate and
complete, thus increasing the percentage that can be posted as a
routine matter. O f course, none of this could have been done without
the extensive use o f the latest type of mechanical equipment. Even
with the use o f such equipment there are 3,891 persons employed at
the task. However, the annual cost per worker of keeping his in­
dividual record is less than 20 cents, and it is expected that this
-cost can be constantly reduced as time goes on.
Besides setting up a records division in Baltimore to do what has
been described as the biggest bookkeeping job in the world, it was
also necessary to set up a field organization which would serve em­
ployers and workers covered by the Federal old-age-insurance system.
Today, there are 319 field offices and this number will gradually
increase between now and January 1, 1942, when the law goes into
full effect. These field offices, besides furnishing necessary informa­
tion to employers and employees, develop the claims for lump-sum
benefits that are being made. To date, there have been 200,000 of
these claims certified for payment. I think it can safely be said,
on the basis o f experience to date, that the Federal old-age-insurance
organization is not only capable o f handling the present administra­
tive load, but capable of being easily expanded to handle any in­
creased administrative load that Congress is likely to place upon it
through extending the coverage o f the system, commencing benefit
payments sooner, or liberalizing and increasing the types of benefits.
So much for the Federal old-age-insurance system.
Probably the other type of social insurance contained in the Social
Security Act, namely unemployment compensation, is of more im­
mediate interest to you, since that is a system which is administered
161045°— 39------ 5



19 3 8

directly by the States although encouraged and financed through
provisions o f the Federal Social Security Act. When the studies
leading to the enactment of the Social Security Act were under
way, three choices were possible as regards the sort of unemploy­
ment-compensation system that should be set up. It would, o f
course, have been possible to have left the entire matter to the States.
However, since only one State (which, with pardonable pride, I may
say was my home State of Wisconsin) had enacted an unemploy­
ment-compensation law", it was not likely that rapid progress would
be made because of the fear of unfair competition on the part o f
employers operating in States that failed to act. As you know, even
in the field o f workmen’s compensation, where the enactment o f
such laws relieved the employers of common-law liability which was
becoming increasingly burdensome, it has taken a long time to extend
workmen’s compensation throughout this country and even today
there are two States without workmen’s compensation laws. More­
over, many o f the workmen’s compensation laws that have been
passed are wholly inadequate in furnishing substantial protection to
injured workers.
The second choice that lay open was a straight Federal system o f
unemployment insurance. This choice had supporters at the time
and has supporters now. Certainly as a blue-print proposition it
would have been possible to write a uniform type of law and lay
out a plan o f administrative organization that would have been clearcut and direct. However, a big question is, Would it have been pos­
sible in the first place to get agreement on a uniform Federal law?
A t the time the Social Security Act was under consideration there,
was much difference of opinion as to whether or not the law should
allow credit to individual employers or individual industries for
favorable employment experience.
But, even assuming that agreement could have been reached on
the provisions o f the law itself, a bigger question is, Would it have
been possible to set up a national organization operated directly from
Washington? In my opinion, it would have been utterly impossible.
Some one may say that the fact it was possible to set up a national
organization to administer the Federal old-age-insurance system is
proof that it would have been possible to set up a national unemploy­
ment-insurance system. However, in reality the administrative prob­
lems arising under the two systems are entirely different.
In the case of old-age insurance, a person becomes 65 years of age
only once. In the case of unemployment insurance it may be necessary
to deal with the same individual a dozen times during the course o f
a single year. In the case of old-age insurance the worker’s rights
depend upon the amount of wages credited to his account. In the



case o f unemployment insurance the worker’s benefits depend not
only upon his past earnings but upon the circumstances connected
with his separation from his last job, and the circumstances connected
with his continued unemployment. To be specific, it is necessary to
determine whether he was discharged, and if so whether he was dis­
charged for cause. It is also necessary to determine whether he is
able, and willing, to work, whether or not there is a suitable job
available to him, and wdiat constitutes a suitable job. All of these
considerations plunge us into the most intricate employee-employer
relationships, which, certainly at the outset, could not have been
decided satisfactorily in the individual case by remote control from,
Washington. O f course, it may be said that the central agency in
Washington could have delegated authority to local agencies. How­
ever, if that were done it would, o f course, be necessary to promulgate
appropriate rules and regulations so that the law would be applied
consistently throughout the length and breadth of this land. In
other words, it would be necessary to limit strictly the discretion of
the local agency, thereby running the risk of compelling decisions,
which might prove to be wholly unreasonable in the individual case.
The third choice was a cooperative Federal-State plan, which was
finally adopted and is now in effect throughout this country. Under
this plan, as you know, the Social Security Act enables the individual
States to enact unemployment compensation laws without fear of
unfair competition, because a uniform Federal tax is payable by em­
ployers regardless of where they operate, but against which may be
offset the contributions which employers pay under State unemploy­
ment-compensation laws. Employers are allowed to offset only 90
percent o f the Federal tax and with the remaining 10 percent the
Federal Government is able to finance the cost of administration of the
State unemployment-compensation laws. When the Social Security
Act was passed, its critics contended that this plan would not induce
the States to pass unemployment-compensation laws, that if they did
pass such laws they would be illiberal and in any event would be de­
clared unconstitutional. All of these criticisms have proved to be
unfounded. Now the critics bemoan the fact that some of the States
are experiencing difficulty in paying claims promptly. I am frank
to say that the most vociferous critics have been persons who have had
no administrative experience whatsoever, and therefore can have no
comprehension of the administrative difficulties involved. The in­
evitable administrative difficulties in the inauguration o f any law
affecting millions o f persons were tremendously increased by the
fact that the benefits first became payable in 22 States in January
o f this year when there was widespread unemployment; not only the
usual seasonal unemployment, but unemployment due to the reces-



19 3 8

sion which commenced in October. These State agencies had only a
few months to set up an administrative organization. Within those
few months it was necessary for them to select an entirely new body
of personnel, train this personnel, and develop administrative pro­
cedures. The great wonder is, not that there was some delay and still
is some delay in the payment of claims, but that they have been able
to do as good a job as has been done. I think that few people in this
oountry realize that since the first of the year 3,000,000 employees have
drawn unemployment-compensation benefits and that a quarter o f a
billion dollars has been paid out to these workers. Currently there
are 1,500,000 employees receiving checks averaging $10 a week. I
submit to you that that is no small accomplishment. I further submit
to you that all of the administrative difficulties with which the State
agencies were confronted would have been increased in geometrical
proportion. That is to say, the task confronting a single Federal
agency would have been not only 51 times as great, but probably 51
times 51 as great. In other words, in my opinion, it would have been
an impossible task and instead of having a system which has gotten
under way fairly well, we would have had a complete break-down at
the very outset, which would have discredited unemployment com­
pensation for all times.
It may be that in the course of time it will be found desirable to
adopt a national unemployment-insurance act. I f so, it will be pos­
sible on the basis of experience gained by State agencies. Conceivably,
it might even be found desirable to place the program on an individual
State basis just as in the case o f workmen’s compensation. Such a
course is extremely unlikely, because unemployment is a problem
that knows no State lines and must be attacked on a Nation-wide
front. But if this course were followed it would necessarily involve
the repeal o f the tax provisions and grants in aid provisions now con­
tained in the Social Security Act. However, I think that the greatest
progress can be made in bending our energies toward improving the
present Federal-State system. Certainly there is everything to gain
and nothing to lose in following this approach, because we are con­
stantly gaining more experience and in the meantime are actually
paying sizable benefits to millions of workers.
We all recognize that the development o f desirable Federal and
State relations is a most difficult task which can be accomplished only
through the joint effort on the part of State and Federal officials to
face their common problems frankly, to maintain mutual trust and
confidence in each other, and to be prepared to learn from each other.
Moreover, Federal-State relationships are necessarily much more diffi­
cult in the field of social legislation than in other fields, such as for­
estry and highway construction, where millions o f individual citizens



are not immediately affected in their every-day activities. In the case*
o f unemployment compensation the difficulties are even greater, due
to the fact that the entire cost o f administering the State unemploy­
ment compensation laws is financed by Federal grants in aid. The
Federal Government, of course, will not be out o f pocket so long as
the Federal grants in aid do not exceed the 10 percent o f the total
unemployment compensation taxes which go into the Federal Treasury.
However, the fact that an individual State- is not required to match
in any respect the Federal grants, and neither the governor nor the
State legislature is required to pass upon the reasonableness of the
expenditures o f the State agencies, does mean that the Social Security
Board is charged with entire responsibility of making certain that
the cost of administration is reasonable, although complete responsi­
bility rests with the State agency as regards such administration.
But the most difficult period in establishing desirable FederalState relations in the field o f unemployment compensation will soon
be completed. As precedents are established, as general standards
and policies are more clearly defined, and as administration becomes
more stabilized, the Federal-State relationship can be placed upon a
more automatic objective basis. In the beginning it has been neces­
sary to deal with individual State situations in great detail. In­
evitably there are differences o f opinion, not only as regards these
details, but as regards the general standards and policies that are
hammered out as a result of such detailed considerations.
The Social Security Board, o f course, does not undertake to in­
fluence the selection, tenure o f office, or compensation o f individual
State employees. However, it does require that adequate objective
personnel standards be defined and maintained by State agencies.
Great progress has been made in this regard by the State agencies.
In addition to the civil-service laws in 11 States, 25 unemploymentcompensation agencies have adopted a systematic merit system for
the selection o f personnel. Specifications and conditions surrounding
the purchase o f equipment, space standards, and travel standards also
have been developed or are in the process o f being developed. As
these objectives are attained, the Federal activity in relation to
finances can be shifted to a large extent from scrutiny of individual
items to general cost analysis, administrative surveys, and field audits,
merely to insure that funds granted are expended in accordance
with the Social Security Act and the general standards and policies
prescribed by the Board. Not only will it be possible to permit
budgets to be submitted on a semiannual basis or even an annual
basis, instead o f the present quarterly basis, but it will also be possi­
ble to approve o f such budgets by categories instead of by individual
line items and eventually to approve of such budgets on practically



a lump-sum basis, calculated as a percentage of collections and for
benefit payments. It goes without saying that this is a “consummation
devoutly to be wished” not only by the State agency, but by the
Social Security Board, because the Social Security Board will then
be in a better position to carry out its primary function of serving
as a clearing house for the information and experience distilled from
State operations, and as a coordinating agency so that these State
operations may be effective on a Nation-wide basis.
As I have already indicated, not only is there this problem of
Federal-State relations, but there is the problem of integrating the
activities o f different Federal agencies operating in the same field. In
the case o f unemployment compensation, the Bureau of Internal
Revenue collects the Federal portion o f the unemployment-compen­
sation taxes. Its rulings and interpretations as regards coverage and
tax liability are of direct concern to the State agencies, since they
determine whether an employer, who may or may not be subject to
a State unemployment-compensation law, is subject to the Federal
tax, whether an employer is entitled to offset contributions made under
a State unemployment-compensation law, and if so, in what amount.
Another Federal agency which is directly concerned in the admin­
istration o f unemployment compensation is the United States Em­
ployment Service. The Social Security Act provides that the pay­
ment of unemployment compensation shall be made “ solely through
public employment offices or such other agencies as the Board may
approve.” The Social Security Board has never approved of any
other agencies, recognizing the desirability of unemployed workers
maintaining contact with the labor market through public employ­
ment offices. The Board does not require a State agency to affiliate
its employment service with the United States Employment Service.
However, it is the Board’s policy to require a State administrative
agency to provide for a basic employment service equivalent in amount
to those that would be available if the State matched the maximum
annual apportionment available under the Wagner-Peyser Act. The
result has been that all of the State agencies in the past have entered
into an affiliation agreement with the United States Employment
The Board recognized the necessity of close cooperation with the
United States Employment Service in order that the State agencies
would not be confronted with the dilemma o f being required to observe
two sets o f general standards and policies promulgated by tw^o Fed­
eral agencies. The Board, therefore, suggested to the Secretary o f
Labor that a joint agreement be consummated whereby it was agreed
in effect to act as if they were a single agency, jointly and concur­
rently, with respect to all matters affecting a State employment



The result has been that a Nation-wide employment service has
not only been maintained, but has been greatly strengthened and
expanded, rather than separate State employment services being
created which would either replace or duplicate existing opera­
tions under the Wagner-Peyser Act. Moreover, in spite o f the fact
that the local employment offices have been overwhelmed because
of the unexpectedly large volume o f claims, the placements by the
employment services in the States paying claims have shown a
greater percentage of increase than placements in nonbenefit paying
There are other large problems of administration which I should
like to discuss with you if time permitted. These would include
the possibility and desirability of closer cooperation between the
State agencies and the Federal Government in the collection of
unemployment-compensation taxes and old-age insurance taxes.
However, the collection of the Federal taxes is a responsibility of
the Bureau of Internal Revenue and not of the Social Security
Board. Moreover, it is a highly complex subject. A ll I can state
is that progress has been made and will continue to be made in sim­
plifying and making more uniform the tax provisions, with the end
in view of reducing to a minimum the burden placed upon employers
as regards record keeping and reporting. In all of our attempts to
solve our administrative problems and improve our administration
wT are, of course, faced with the necessity of doing so at the same
time we meet the heavy day-to-day administrative burden, involving
as it does ever-changing problems. In this respect we are somewhat
like a man trying to shave himself at the same time he runs to catch
a train. Neither operation can be as highly successful as if they did
not have to be carried on simultaneously. However, progress has been
made and will continue to be made so that the beneficent purpose
of the Social Security Act may be ever more completely achieved.
I know that that is the desire not only of the Social Security Board
and o f the other Federal agencies concerned, but also of the State
agencies which have borne the full heat and burden of the day.
D is c u s s io n

Mr. B ash or e (Pennsylvania). Not being the administrator of the
old-age assistance provisions of the Social Security Act, what
remarks I have to make will deal specifically with unemployment
In the splendid address of Mr. Altmeyer, he said that unemploy­
ment-compensation payments since the first of the year amount to
a quarter o f a billion dollars, and the number of employees who
have drawn those benefits is 3,000,000. Pennsylvania has received 20



percent o f that quarter o f a billion dollars, or approximately
$55,000,000, benefiting approximately 1,000,000 employees, so that
I recognize the great problem of the millions that he spoke about.
I think we might discuss unemployment compensation from the
inadequacy or, may I say, the impracticability of our present acts,
which restrains us so that in many respects we are unable to do that
which we would like to do.
I was greatly pleased to hear Mr. Altmeyer state that he is looking
forward to the time when we will get away from a quarterly budget
and perhaps have a lump-sum appropriation. That is music to my
ears. I do not know whether it is music to your ears or not, but,
frankly— and I do not say this in criticism of the Board, because
I recognize its responsibility and the responsibility of the Employ­
ment Service—I often wonder whether it recognizes the tremendous
responsibility placed upon the State administrator in having to sub­
mit quarterly budgets in advance o f knowing what he is going to
do. Then when the budget comes back, he finds that there has been
wholly overlooked a very important item. All of you have had
that problem to face, I am sure, and particularly those who are
paying benefits. I f steps can be taken immediately whereby we can
reach that millennium o f a lump-sum appropriation, I am sure there
will be a sigh o f relief in the States.
A ll o f these intricate problems in the administration o f this act—
the tremendous problem of personnel, the differences of opinion as to
whether or not this person or that person is the proper one to ad­
minister certain functions,, the question of whether or not we have
received such an appropriation as we are entitled to or we think we
should have in order to administer adequately the act—do not admit
o f a full and free discussion here today. They call for more intimate
conferences with the Board and the Employment Service. But when
Mr. Altmeyer talked about integrating Federal agencies, probably he
was throwing out a hint that we should have integration o f State
agencies in the matter of the administration o f this law.
So far as Pennsylvania is concerned, personally, I think we are very
fortunate in that the entire administration of unemployment compen­
sation and employment service is in the department o f labor and
industry under one administrator, the secretary of the department. I
recognize from discussions held with other administrators that they
have many headaches because they have different administrators for
unemployment compensation and the employment service. It seems
to me that ought to be discussed particularly. I make no secret of
the fact that personally I think every effort should be ftiade to con­
solidate the agencies in Washington in one department o f the Federal
Government. O f course, I think it belongs in the Department of
Labor and should be administered by that agency. Yet that raises, I


know, many questions and problems.


It is significant, and I think it
is something this meeting should take cognizance of, that the execu­
tive committee on unemployment compensation thinks otherwise.
While I am a member of that executive committee, I am in the minor­
ity on that question.
Mr. G iv e n s (New Y ork). In commenting on Mr. Altmeyer’s very
graphic picture o f where we stand, and how we have gotten there,
with reference to the social-insurance aspects o f the social-security
program, I feel very much like the person who wants to jump on
horseback and ride in all directions. For those o f us who are in this
program at all there are so many questions which call for discussion
and comment that it is very difficult to know just where to begin. A t
any rate it seems to me that we can say a few things about the present
status o f the: program, which may provide a platform from which to
consider where we are going. I should like to confine my remarks,
as Mr. Bashore did and for the same reasons, to the unemploymentcompensation phase o f the program.
In considering the unemployment-compensation program, I think
we can say definitely that the peculiar devices embodied in the Social
Security Act have been eminently successful in stimulating the enact­
ment o f legislation, so that we now have to deal with the problem on a
national scale. I f we jire baffled and puzzled and disturbed by some
o f the practical administrative problems and problems of coordina­
tion and planning next steps at the present time, at any rate it is a
very great step forward to have those problems to deal with rather
than confronting the question of unemployment compensation merely
as a theoretical possibility.
It seems to me that there are three major questions suggested in
Mr. Altmeyer’s speech which confront all of us in this field at the
present tim e: First, how is this program going to develop as regards
a really effective cooperative technique between the States and the
Federal Government ? In other words, what form and in what gen­
eral direction shall we expect Federal-State relations to develop in
this field ? Second, how are we going to deal with the immediate and
pressing problems of procedure and detailed administrative technique
which now have become uppermost as we confront the second initial
stages of the program, and how are some o f these detailed problems
going to be solved in a proper setting as regards the major questions
o f policy and the social direction o f the program? Third, how are
we going to work out proper relative weighting o f the importance o f
the twin aspects o f the merged program o f unemployment compensa­
tion and employment service? Each of the State agencies, I think,
without exception, confronts the task of carrying forward these dual
functions, functions which are closely related and closely tied up, and



yet which at various times can be so interlocked that the question as
to which gets priority and which gets' the emphasis is a very real one.
Sometimes there is not much choice in the matter. I do not think
there is much choice at the present time.
With reference to the kind of Federal-State relationship that we
are going to have, I wr very much interested in Mr. Altmeyer’s com­
ment to the effect that the program might evolve in either of tw o
directions in the future, either toward a national system or in the
direction o f State responsibility rather than increased Federal re­
sponsibility. Inasmuch as the initial framework embodied in the
Social Security Act at present has facilitated the enactment o f laws
in all the States, can we not expect, as we go farther in actual adn
ministration, that in all probability the program must evolve either
toward increased State responsibility or toward a more effectively
coordinated or integrated Federal-State system ?
When I say that, I do not mean a consolidated national system
on the pattern o f the old-age insurance administration. That has
sprung into being out o f one single piece o f initial legislation with­
out any cooperation from the States, as was well justified by some of
the peculiar aspects o f the old-age insurance problem. But in the
field o f unemployment compensation, as Mr. Altmeyer has pointed
out, there is a day-to-day, detailed, intimate contact with the in­
dividuals covered, which is handled through the field offices o f the
various agencies and which requires development of administrative
techniques in detail at the point of contact with those individuals.
That contact can be capitalized most effectively where the people
who are doing the job are responsible for operation, for detailed
decisions, and for the development of details o f policies in carrying
out the legislation.
How can we set up the proper techniques and machinery—as a
federation of States, as parts o f a national system—for learning
from the experience in all jurisdictions? Most of the techniques
and procedures have been developed under very great pressure; in
fact, they were developed virtually under emergency conditions.
Unemployment compensation represents in a very exemplary form
the peculiarities of a public-administration job where you have to do
the whole thing at once. You cannot take little bites out o f it one at
a time until you find out how the job can be done, as is probably
more nearly the case with certain other types of labor legislation.
(For example, in the administration of minimum-wage legislation, it
is not necessary to treat all industries at once. You can take one at a
time and work out the technique and expand the coverage until steps
can be taken with an increasing degree o f assurance.) In creating
unemployment-compensation coverage and placement-service coverage
for an entire community at one stroke, it is necessary to adopt pro-



cedures with literally no time to wait for experiment. That neces­
sarily means that many mistakes are made, and many decisions made
under pressure will have to be rectified and modified. That is the
stage, I think, which we are now entering as we near the end of the
first year o f benefit payment and the first year of an attempt to
operate a Nation-wide placement service through cooperating States.
Therefore, it seems to me that the largest single question in this
entire area is as to how the responsibilities for decisions in the de­
velopment o f policies, in the development o f standards, in the elimi­
nation of discrepancies in the details of operations between the States,
can be most properly approached. To find those techniques we must
take full advantage o f such machinery as the committees of our in­
terstate conferences, of such bodies as this, and set up studies and
exchanges o f personnel in such a fashion‘that the detailed experience
is not lost.
Generalization from experience can be facilitated by the work of
the central staff bureaus o f the Social Security Board, whose per­
sonnel is getting out through the States. The exent to which that
is effective is limited to the extent to which these people are able to
spend time in close contact with the administrations in the States.
Likewise, the State personnel needs to have an increasing degree of
contact with the work o f the Social Security Board, which operates
at a different level, where the task o f appraisal and of critical anal­
ysis o f experience is undoubtedly to be the dominant one.
On that point I should like to raise for discussion a concrete sug­
gestion. Unemployment compensation represents a direct service
offered to a community, as distinct from the regulative type of labor
legislation. As such, it deals with a problem which, as Mr. Altmeyer
has said, is not confined within State jurisdictions. Unemployment
is not a local phenomenon. Its causes are not local, even though the
people happen to live in different communities and have to be dealt
with by machinery set up within the communities. I f that is the
case, is it not worth while to try to use all the past experience that
the Federal Government has had and also to try new experiments in
some organized way to facilitate direct interchange of personnel
between the Federal and State agencies ?
The principal barriers to the exchange of personnel on a temporary
basis between Federal and State agencies, or the working out o f
other joint personnel arrangements, are State barriers and not Fed­
eral. I f that is the case, would it not be worth while for the Federal
agency to encourage States, in terms o f certain specific suggestions
as to how thesei things can be worked out, to adopt the necessary
enabling legislation so that Federal people could be put in the admin­
istrative units o f the States for definite periods of time, and selected



State personnel could be brought into Washington to participate
in some of the staff activities ?
It seems to me that we have an opportunity here, and perhaps a
need which has never been confronted in any other field, for actually
welding State administrations on a workable basis into something
like a unified Federal-State administrative procedure. Thus the ad­
vantages o f local autonomy in various respects would not be lost,
and yet through coordinating Federal authority an increasing na­
tional responsibility could be assumed in the formulation and en­
forcement o f standards. Probably the need for simplification o f
procedures will force an increasing degree of Federal responsibility
for guidance and for the setting and maintenance of standards.
In connection with simplification, it will probably be necessary in
many States, and on the national level as well, to reconsider pro­
cedures in such a way that we may be in danger of making decisions
on policy which we do not wish to make or decisions which commit
us to policies which ought to be confronted independently of adminis­
trative considerations. For example, the whole question of the earn­
ings formula for the determination o f benefits is likely to be
questioned on administrative grounds, to the exclusion o f policy
considerations. In connection with the simplification o f procedures,
I should like to suggest that that is not the only proper way of tack­
ling that question. We should not merely ask ourselves: “ Is our
procedure too complicated because we have a formula which requires
complicated operation?” But we should also ask ourselves: “Why
did we adopt an earnings formula in the first place? Do we still
want the kind o f unemployment compensation which is based upon
the direct relationship of benefits to past earnings in the fashion
in which these present formulas were developed? I f so, can we do
the job, and are we willing to pay for it, granting that we can do
it much more cheaply and efficiently than any State is doing it at
the present time?” I f we do not ask these questions as we reconsider
questions o f procedure, because administrative frictions and difficul­
ties now have the center o f the stage, then we are likely to make
decisions solely on administrative grounds and not on grounds of
broad social policy and] in terms o f the kind o f a system we really
want and the effect we want it to have on the insured or protected
Mr. Altmeyer has referred to certain questions relating to the
budget. In that connection I should like to underscore some of the
things that Mr. Bashore said. State agencies doing an integrated
job and dealing with two Federal agencies in getting the money for
doing that job, necessarily find it extremely difficult to segregate
sharply for a period o f time and to follow through commitments



made regarding the use o f personnel for insurance activities, on the
one hand, and for placement activities on the other hand. During
a period o f pronounced unemployment, benefit payment must have
the center o f the stage because it is mandatory, and every effort must
be made to clear the benefit claims which must be handled. This
means that as unemployment lifts, as conditions change, it may be
possible to use for placement work personnel previously used for
insurance activities. A t the present time that takes the form, prob­
ably, o f restoring the normal functions of placement people who
have been used for insurance work. But at any rate, the fact that
two different agencies are setting the standards and insisting on
performance at the Federal level, complicates rather than simplifies
the operation o f trying to make the budget consistent with actual per­
formance in meeting the standards o f the affiliated Federal bodies
which are not integrated at the top.
I should like to make one incidental reference to the so-called 10percent rule, which has been a byproduct o f the fact that there is a
90-percent credit against the Federal tax to covered employers in
the States. It is obvious that although the 10-percent margin pro­
vides specific funds which derive from this legislation and are avail­
able for administrative costs in the States, that 10 percent represents
a percentage which the Social Security Board is not undertaking to
make strictly uniform among the States. There is a good deal o f
talk about 10 percent being the normal maximum cost, the justifiable
cost, o f administration of placement service and unemployment in­
surance in the States. I have no substitute. I am not saying that
there is any other figure that we could put forward at the present
time, but I should like to make the point in that connection that
the comparisons which are being made in some quarters are based
upon the cost o f other types of labor legislation, and also upon the
cost o f certain types of private administration. We are in the pe­
culiar position in which any percentage which is used as a norm
includes an indeterminate amount of developmental work on the
placement side which is not necessary for the strict administration
o f unemployment compensation as such. To oversimplify the case,
while unemployment compensation laws and the Social Security Act
are based upon the theory that the work test must be applied before
benefits are paid, there is no way of evaluating just how much effort
must be exerted to apply that work test or how extensive the place­
ment activities should be in order to carry out that mandate. In
other words, i f a comparison were made with workmen’s compensa­
tion, a proper comparison would include saddling on workmen’s
compensation the cost o f a directly operated safety-first or preventive
campaign, because in a sense placement has the same logical relation-



ship to the insurance features of our present program that a safetyfirst or accident-prevention campaign would have to workmen’s
compensation proper.
Mr. Altmeyer has very aptly referred to the predicament in which
we find ourselves when we try to reconsider our procedures and
the ideas on which they are based while we are in the midst of
the job. Probably the employment-service aspect will be mate­
rially clarified if we are fortunate enough to have a definite lift in
the employment situation, because if the number of registrations for
benefits is reduced, obviously there will be time and energy to devote
to the employment-service aspects of the job.
M r . M orton (Virginia). In Virginia, the commissioner o f labor,
b y virtue o f his office, has to serve as one member o f the unemploy­
ment-compensation commission, and in handling that phase of the
work we have been handicapped some in not being able to get the
approval o f our budget until we are far into the quarter. This
quarter, I think 6 weeks passed before we got the approval. That
has bothered us some, and as a result this quarter our appropria­
tion was materially reduced. We had to put off more employees
than would have been necessary had we been advised in the begin­
ning o f the quarter.
I know it is a big job and it is something new and I can under­
stand the reason for delay, but I would like to know if it is not
possible to reduce that time and get our budget quicker from now on.
Mr. A l t m e y e r . When did you submit your budget?
Mr. M orton . Thirty days prior to the beginning of the quarter.
Mr. A l t m e y e r . Are you speaking of the unemployment or com­
pensation budget?
Mr. M orton . I am speakin g o f the benefit section.
Mr. A l t m e y e r . I do not know what held it up.
M r . M orton . Y


know th at it was held u p ?

Mr. A l t m e y e r . No, I did not know.
Mr. M orton . We were 6 weeks into the quarter before we got the
approval of the budget.
Mr. A l t m e y e r . I do not know why it was held up in that partic­
ular case. I agree with you that it should be passed upon and
approved before the beginning of the quarter.
Mr. L tjbin . I want to ask a question. I f it proves embarrassing,
Mr. Altmeyer can either give us the answer off the record or answer
indirectly. One of the things that is bothering many of the members
o f this Association, and it was particularly emphasized by Mr.
Bashore, is the need for some sort o f coordination of all the activities



within a given State affecting the welfare o f labor. Does the Board
itself have any policy looking toward that end? The great majority
o f these commissioners have no relationship at all to the question of
unemployment compensation, due to the fact that that is frequently
under an independent body, divorced from the State department of
labor. In a few instances, of course, as in the case of the Commis­
sioner o f Labor of Virginia, the commissioner is a member of such
,an independent body, and in some instances, unemployment compen­
sation comes within the province of the State department of labor as
such. Could you clarify that issue? Is there anything in the mind
o f the Board itself looking toward a consolidation of such activities,
so that there will be some central authority within the State which
will have charge of all the labor activities within that State?
Mr. A l t m e y e r . About half of the agencies are within or connected
with the State labor department and half are not. The Board as
such could not undertake to dictate or suggest to a State what it
should do in that respect.
Mr. M u r p h y . In Oklahoma, the unemployment-compensation serv­
ice and the employment service are both under the supervision and
direction o f the commissioner of labor. We have, of course, a head
for each division. We have with us today our legal counsel, Mrs.
Kathryn Van Leuven, and I am wondering if Mrs. Van Leuven
would give us a few words about our operation.
Mrs. V a n L e u v e n (Oklahoma). Mr. Altmeyer has just stated one
thing that I had in mind, namely, that the situation in the States is
coming, and in many States has come, to the time for a decision as to
the amalgamation of unemployment compensation with employment
service. I f w e are to pay benefits and successfully carry the heavy
loads with which the States are now faced, these services must be
amalgamated into a service under one agency for service to unem­
ployed people.
In that connection, it has been decided very recently in Oklahoma
that the employment service shall take the initial claim for benefit.
That is rather contrary to my education along the line. I have
always felt that the unemployment-compensation personnel should
have that duty, for, to my way of thinking, from the time a person
says, “It is my desire to file a claim for benefit,” the problem becomes
one of adjustment. I have been fearful, although Mr. Altmeyer has
today allayed some of those fears, that the employment service, hav­
ing for years been engaged in that service, would regard the taking
o f the benefit claim more or less as a routine matter—the filling out
o f a form. That would precipitate into the central office a great many
claims—so many, in fact, that we would have a bottleneck in the
State agency. Therefore, I think it is very necessary that the per-



sonnel o f the employment service, if they take the claims, should
be specially trained by unemployment-compensation persons in that
particular duty, and that the various States should be allowed im­
mediately in( their budget the necessary funds to put on that person­
nel and to begin that training. When you consider that you educate
employment personnel over a period of 3 years for the normal em­
ployment-service work, you know that you cannot educate them in
3 months to do the unemployment-compensation work in regard to
taking the initial claims for'benefits and do it adequately.
The one thought that the commissioners o f labor should be asked
to take home with them, I think, and I speak from practical experi­
ence in the administration of unemployment compensation, is to
start a missionary service through the department o f labor, in cooper­
ation with labor organizations, to educate employees as to their priv­
ileges and their responsibilities under unemployment-compensation
laws. A t the same time, employers should be educated as to giving
to their employees the necessary information at the time of separation
from jobs. They should be convinced o f the feasibility of patroniz­
ing the local employment offices in the selection o f personnel for jobs
that may be open. Only in that way can we hope to avoid this bottle­
neck o f claims. Just as many people as get jobs through the em­
ployment service are eliminated from the benefit problem. O f course*
the great problem in the States, as I understand it, in the payment
of benefits is the great number of claims that are filed that could not
possibly be passed on favorably. The filing of such benefit claims
can be discouraged through proper education of employees. The
expenditures for administration can thus be reduced and the time
needed to run the claims through can be cut.
Mr. D a v ie (New Hampshire). Mr. Givens, if I got your idea
correctly, you feel that one of these two agencies should be absorbed
by the other. There are a lot of employment men here who have
done employment-service work, and I feel that we can go along up to
a certain point. Now, what is that point of cleavage under our pres­
ent set-up ? I f we are going to do absorbing, let us absorb the unem­
ployment-compensation job under the employment service, that being
the older.
Mr. G iv e n s . Mr. Altmeyer stated it much better than I could when
he said that what he thought we needed in this merged job or com­
bined job of servicing the unemployed was a system o f field offices*
which conceivably could have an entirely different name from the
traditional name. I do not care myself so much what the name is so
long as we do the job. We are to administer an unemploymentcompensation system under which a condition precedent to the pay­
ment of benefits must be the requirement that the agency undertake



to offer employment, if such employment can be located, before bene­
fits are paid. This is a device, first, for conserving the fund, and
second, of course, for forcing the agency to do something much more
important than paying benefits to the individual, namely, to assist
him toward reemployment. I f we are going to provide that kind o f
service as a precedent to the payment of benefits, then it is obvious
that the operation of the placement function is very closely inter­
twined with the operation o f the insurance function as it touches the
individual. The agency which takes care of the insurance function
is the agency which has to assure itself that the so-called work test
or suitable^employment test is effectively applied.
In a number of States, the field offices are in effect offices of the
combined enterprise. They are the offices where the individual comes
either for filing a benefit claim or to register for a job. In fact, one
and the same contact on the part o f a covered worker who has benefit
rights in contact of registration for benefits and/or employment.
In providing this merged service it is very difficult to so budget
as to satisfy the requirements of two unrelated Federal agencies
which have two unrelated sets of responsibilities at the Federal level*
when at the State level the job is actually being merged. Have I
answered your question, Mr. Davie?
Mr. D a v ie . Yes; you did very well. However, it is not satisfactory.
I do not need to tell Mr. Givens that New Hampshire stands in the
front ranks in the administration of unemployment compensation,
and we have had a very fine coordinated effort. We agree so well that
representatives of the unemployment-compensation insurance step
right into our office to make that registration, and it works out
very nicely. The point I want to make is that I have worked for a
good many years with the people in the employment service, and I
think we should be careful before we go into this coordination matter
and see what will best fit our respective States.
I want to admit right here that we are not so large industrially as
New York, and you meet entirely different conditions in some things
than we do. I believe in coordination where it is possible, but when
we have as fine a trained force in employment service as we have
throughout the United States, and when the unemployment-compen­
sation laws require the unemployed to register with the employment
service and it is its duty to put such a man in a job, which relieves
the payment of unemployment compensation, I think we ought to
approach that with the utmost care. That is the point I want to
Mr. G iv e n s . I realize that it is a mixed matter, but it seems to me
that at both levels the two functions should be merged because they
1 6 1 0 4 5 ° — 39 --------6



have to be administered in such very close interrelationship. It may
be in the smaller jurisdiction that you can coordinate where in the
larger ones you have to merge. That I would not be able to say.
Mr. D a v ie . That is why I want you to be careful.
Mr. S cott (Tennessee). In our State, we have had absolutely no
conflict. Our placement records in the employment-service offices
do not indicate whether or not a person is a claimant or recipient of
unemployment-compensation benefits, and there is no discrimination
whatever with respect to placement.
We provide each local office with a list of covered employers, and
one o f the questions on our claim blank calls for the worker to prowide information as to who his employers were for a definite period
in the past. By the use o f those methods we receive remarkably
few obviously ineligible claims, and have found that a simple matter
to handle even under the present somewhat awkward situation. I
am sure this is also easily done in other States where the labor de­
partment administers unemployment compensation and also has
jurisdiction over the State employment service. W e have had very
little friction and we have used the employment-service personnel
exclusively for taking claims. We have unemployment-compensa­
tion personnel in the district offices only—in seven offices in Tennes­
see—where we have a field deputy with the necessary clerical help.
Mr. Y oijng (Colorado). The legislature gave the employmentservice office to the industrial commission and also unemployment
eompensation. Previously we had had a head for each department.
When this consolidation had to be brought about, we conceived the
idea o f placing an executive director over the head of both depart­
ments, who was to be responsible directly to the industrial commis­
sion. Both of the directors of those two departments must report
to this executive director, who is the head over both departments.
We told the three o f them to get together and work out this consoli­
dation, and they have done it in splendid shape. They have gotten
together and worked out a scheme that I think is going to work out
splendidly. I believe it is going to bear good results. It seems to
me that that is one way out o f the dilemma.
Unem ploym ent Compensation
R eport


C o m m it t e e


U n e m p lo y m e n t

C o m p e n s a tio n , b y





ig g e

( S o cia l S e c u r it y B o a r d ) , C h a irm a n

In the past year the system of unemployment compensation in this
country has come into more or less full fruition in 28 States which
have begun to pay benefits to unemployed workers. Twenty-three
o f these began payments in January of this year, and five more have



started payments since then. Eighteen will begin payments in Jan­
uary 1939, and the last ones will come in next July. Over a billion
dollars has been collected in contributions and deposited in the Un­
employment' Trust Fund by the various States, and over a quarter
of a billion has been withdrawn and used to pay benefits. The
following tables present, in summary form, the most important facts
regarding persons covered, contributions made, benefits paid, etc.
Most of this information is as of June or July, and several States
have begun payments since that time. Also, not all States collect all
o f the data in which we might be interested, and some of the tables
are incomplete to this extent. In the main, however, the activities
in this field are fairly well represented by the tables attached. In
some of these tables the States have been grouped into two classes—
one of which collects contributions monthly and the other quarterly.
Comparisons are valid only between States in the same group.

T a b l e 1 . — Status o f State unem ployment com pensation fu n d s as o f J u ly 81,
[Data reported by State agencies,1 corrected to August 23, 1938; in thousands of dollars]


Month and year
benefits first

Benefits charged to State accounts

Amount2 change Index 3 tions and Collec­ Interest July
tions i
June 30,

Ratio of benefits

July 1938


To contri­
butions To cumu­
collected lative col­
Percent­ since lections
benefits and
first interest
Amount change
from payable (percent)
June (percent)


s +1.7

107.8 $819,187 $805,100

$14,087 «$217.808



s -2 .2



230, 748
8, 724
3, 863
5, 347
1, 610
5, 947

-1 .2
-2 .2
—1. 7

110.3 332,001 325,890
143. 5 12, 875 12, 674
107. 5
3, 695
3, 630
5, 811
91. 5
110.8 164, 315 161, 467
97.6 14, 978 14, 739
9, 238
67.4 12, 565 12,372
6, 599
142.1 32, 605 32,069
2, 222
58. 6 15, 204 15,004
113.6 42, 213 40,990

6,111 e 100,767
2,848 57, 583
9, 256
1,223 6 5,860



fi -6 .6
-9 .3
-4 .5
-5 .7

75. 7
76. 7
o 62. 4


88, 202
14, 672




4, 746



-8 .1


12. 2
38. 3

12, 618
3, 083
100, 456
23, 639
32, 818

479, 210
12, 410
98, 743

19 3 8

States on monthly contribution
basis, total________________
District of Columbia _ __ Jan.1938--. . .
_ .
Louisiana7__________ _ _ .do
M ississippi___ __ .
Apr. 1938 _
Jan.1938 __
New Hampshire __ _
New York______ ________ ____do___________
North Carolina_____ ___ ____do___________
Oregon________ ____ __ ____do___________
Rhode Island 7________ _ ___do _____ __
South Carolina______
July 1938____ _
Texas________ __________ Jan.1938_______
Vermont . __ ___________ ___do . __ __
-do _____ _
West Virginia. _____ ___
Wisconsin________ . ___ July 1936________
States on quarterly contribution
basis, total-------------------------Alabama7_____ ______ Jan. 1938 __
Arizona_________ ___ ___ __ __do -. _
__ __do__ _
Connecticut___________ __ ___do
Indiana................................... Apr. 1938............



Total funds available for bene­ Cumulative collections July
interest credited as of
fits as of July 31, 1938



Massachusetts 7.
Pennsylvania. _

July 193$________
_ _______
July 1938________
Jan. 1938_ _____


_do _ _______
------ do _________
------ do

7, 334

-3 .9
-7 .2


10, 787
5, 675
15, 783
65, 668
17, 350
11, 212


15, 773
3, 460



-1 .2


45. 9

6 Percentage change computed on basis of 25 States paying benefits in June and July.
6 Does not include benefits approximating $2,263,000 paid by Wisconsin from July
1936 through Dec. 31, 1937. This amount, however, is included in computation of the
ratio shown in the last column.
7 Employee contributions of 1 percent are collected in Alabama, California, and Massa­
chusetts; a 0.5 percent contribution in Louisiana; and 1.5 per cent in Rhode Island.
8 Benefits were first payable in July.
9 For Wisconsin, contributions and benefit payments are cumulated since Jan. 1, 1938,
instead of July 1, 1936, when benefits were first payable.


1 All data reported by State agencies except “interest.” Interest earned on funds in
State accounts in the unemployment trust fund is credited by the U. S. Treasury in the
last month of each quarter.
2 Represents sum of balances at end of month in State clearing account and benefitpayment account and unemployment trust fund account maintained in the U . S. Treasury.
3 For all States, the index is based upon the funds available for benefits as of the end of
the month prior to that in which benefits w^ere first payable, except for Wisconsin; for
this State, the index is based upon the funds available as of Dec. 31,1937.
4 Includes contributions, plus penalties and interest collected from employers. Employer
contributions of 2.7 percent are collected in all States, except the District of Columbia,
Michigan, and New York. In these States, the rate of employer contributions is 3 per­

10, 617
15, 584
64, 661





2 .— U n e m p lo ym e n t c o m p en sa tion statistics, b y S ta tes, as o f J u n e SO, 1 9 3 8


Contributions depos­
ited in State clearing


Deposits in State
benefit account2


Benefits charged to Net balance
State benefit ac­ in unem­
count 3
trust fund as
of June 30,
1938 4

Total for States re­
porting_________ $379,534,630 $28,112,492 >3,420,000 $38,310,000 $179,231,567 $39,342,935 5$881,868,479
28, 764 4,250,000 750,000 3, 967,459 974,198
502, 582
I, 585,311
17, 541 1, 200,000 200,000
961,142 168,609
3, 615, 757
1,094, 710
25,217,198 143,368 I2,’266,’666 1,806,666 ’6’883,"245’ 2,560,"6U” 80,674,426
Colorado_________ 1,678,546
66,317 7, 750,000 500.000 7,548,296 1,285, 587 12,658,171
Connecticut______ 5, 534, 204
Delaware________ 1,064,192
District of Colum­
825,000 175.000
bia..---------------- 3,166,020 484,737
Florida__________ 2, 581,042
4,369, 744 589,443
848, 728
651, 599
84, 778,436
663,763,004 434,477
Illinois .
6,872, 747 419, 334 2, 500,000 1,700,000 2,012,242 1,528, 573 27,239,223
13,411, 50892, 742
1.500.000 250.000 1,499,948 430,048
4,391, 763 716, 759
7,081 2, 700,000 400.000 2, 590,411 575, 771
4,682, 793
40,026 6.300.000 1,500,000 5,755,081 1,149, 297
16,882,310 130,404 15,000,000 2, 000,000 12,847,618 2,876, 786 44,058,076
62,033, 523
19,177,296 3,321,964
5,077,140 118,160 5,000,000 500,000 4,862,459 901,081 II,
1,127,529 201,458
338,607 201,407
Missouri.................. e 17,961,479
909, 722
Nebraska________ 1,740, 668
New Hampshire... 1,297,152 224,474 2,070,000 260,000 1,657,857 320,764
14,210,640 1,172, 534
New Jersey___
New Mexico . . .
New York____
54,498,647 11,186,993 50,000,000 10,000,000 47,348,213 10, 717,199 99,647,681
North Carolina.
4,641,474 756, 949 5, 575,000 1,875,000 4, 760,430 1,133,830
8,438, 923
North Dakota..
19,406, 780 178,696
3,319,852 604,028
9, 764,592
2,803,191 482,968 4,000,000 450,000 3,839,363 546,039
4,655, 568
33,841,575 445, 955 38, 500,000 9.000.
37, 281, 559 7,978, 734 66, 553,927
Rhode Island.
3,903,520 1 626,856 6,800,000 1.000.
000 553 774, 999
1 Includes contributions, interest, and penalties received from employers and deposited during the speci­
fied period in the clearing account of the State agency. The following States are on a monthly collection
basis: District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New
York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont,
Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The remaining States collect contributions quarterly. Quar­
terly collections are made during January, April, July, and October; deposits in other months represent
delinquent collections or delayed deposits.
2 Funds withdrawn by the States from the unemployment trust fund for benefit payments. Because of
the lapse of time required for transfer this figure may differ from that reported by the Treasury Department
for withdrawals from the unemployment trust fund.
Data reported by State unemployment-compensation agencies, corrected to July 29, 1937; represents
benefits actually charged to the State benefit account; because of the time which may elapse between the
issuance of a check and the charging of the payment to the State benefit account, this figure may differ from
that in table 4 for amount of benefit payments made during the month.
4 From U. S. Treasury Department, Office of Commissioner of Accounts and Deposits; includes earnings
credited quarterly.
6 Includes $40,561,886 credited by the United States Treasury to the unemployment trust funds of 18
States and 2 Territories which had no law in 1936 but which enacted a State unemployment compensation
law during 1937.
6 Includes collections on pay rolls for entire year 1937.




2 — U nem ploym ent com pensation


statistics, by States, as o f J u n e 30, 1938—


Contributions depos­
ited in State clearing

South Carolina___
South Dakota.........
Utah_____ _______
West Virginia_____




Deposits in State
benefit account


Benefits charged to Net balance
State benefit ac­ in unem­
!trust fund as.
of June 30,

$1,932,901 $301, 916
1 1,367,040
26,049 $3,500,000 $500,000 $3, 344,421 $565,663
10,694,892 1,865,028 3, 900,000 800,000 3, 704,620 928,129 1 25, 731,494r
7,206 1.725.000 300.000 1, 530,227 217,647
676,167 7 146, 724
545,676 0 63,250
575,000 8 50,000
30,329 2.950.000 950.000 2,609,029 682,965
3,556, 385
4,481,681 767,307
4,327,182 750,236 8,600,000 2,400,656 7,964,172 1,781,870
8,124, 941 1,312,400 5,550,000 900,000 5,127,500 800,660 33,273,614

7 Preliminary and subject to revision.
8 From U. S. Treasury Department, Office of Commissioner of Accounts and Deposits.
« Benefits paid.
10 Includes $40,054 in benefits charged in January, April, and May, not previously reported.

T able


3 . — U nem ploym ent com pensation: Claims fo r benefits, by States, M a y and J u n e 1938


[Data reported by State agencies,1 corrected to August 2, 1938]


All claims

Total unemploy­
ment 3

Number of continued claims filed 2

Partial unemploy­
ment 3

Arizona____________ _ _ . _ California____
____________ _ Connecticut - ... ____
District of Columbia_________________
_____________ _____
Maine _____ ____ . . . . . .
Maryland____________ ___ _______
Massachusetts________ ... ___...
Minnesota_____________ _______ __
Mississippi_____ ______________ ...
New Hampshire.__ _____. .. ._ ______
New York______ _____________ ...
North Carolina______________________
Oregon_______________________ ____
Pennsylvania _. __________________
Rhode Island___________ ______ ...
Tennessee________ ____ _____ ______
Texas.................................... ........ ........
Utah___________________ _____ ___
Vermont_______ _________ ________
Virginia___________ _______ ______ _
West Virginia____ _____ _____________
Wisconsin__________________ ________





9, 364
8, 566
13, 776
26, 741
2, 358
15, 759

14, 599
6, 554

10, 744
12, 590

28, 719
18, 258
24, 793
20, 758

0 24
5, 629
4, 206
10, 573
10, 663
7, 652
6, 553

0 30
3, 722
0 111
04, 229
3, 438
4, 262

Total unemploy­
ment 3

Partial unemploy­







21, 914
33, 775
310, 904
107, 706
769, 780
171, 375
237, 757
30, 972
13, 266
87, 987

84, 994
162, 969
12, 234
132, 267

131, 464
385, 755
38, 726
769, 780
170, 523
9, 397
215, 278
96, 016

158, 305
08, 296
76, 632
186, 638
97, 784

3, 869

50, 702

193 8


All claims


Number of initial claims filed 2


4Break-down of claim for benefits for total unemployment and for partial unemploy­
ment not available.
5 Data not reported.
6 No provision in State law for payment of benefits for partial unemployment.
* Figures on claims for partial unemployment are not available; hence totals for all
claims are not ascertainable.
« Data available are not comparable with data for other States.


1 Data reported by State agencies; by August 2, 1938, report for June had not been re­
ceived from Indiana.
Number of claims filed in local offices or directly with central offices. An initial claim
is a first application for benefits in a period of unemployment; a continued claim is a claim
repeated weekly following the filing of an initial claim, during a period of unemployment.
Some States, however, do not immediately disallow a claim if a worker fails to report to
the local office for 1 to 4 weeks following his initial claim; a claim filed after such a period
is considered a continued claim, although the intervening weeks are not compensable.
In a few States only the first claim made by a worker during a benefit year is considered
as an initial claim; all other claims during that year are considered continued claims.
3 Total and partial unemployment are used as defined in the State laws or by the State
unemployment compensation agencies. In all States a week of no earnings is a week of
total unemployment. Various types of partial unemployment may be distinguished:
(1) Partial unemployment during a period of employment with the usual employer;
(2) partial unemployment during a period of compensable total unemployment (odd-job
earnings); and (3) partial unemployment during a period of employment in a part-time
job. All State agencies will consider unemployment of the first type as giving rise to
claims and payments for partial unemployment benefits. Claims and payments for
unemployment of the second and third types, however, may be designated as partial in
some States and as total in others. Moreover, a worker may file a claim for total unem­
ployment but later report odd-job earnings for the week; in this case his claim would be
counted as a claim for total unemployment, but the payment might be counted as a
payment for partial unemployment,


T able

4 .— U nem ploym ent com pensation: Number and amount o f benefit paym ents, by States, M a y and J un e 1938

[Data reported by State agencies,1corrected to Aug. 2,1938]
Number of benefit payments issued 2
All payments

Partial unemploy­
ment 3




101, 959
14, 643
268, 618
18, 255
89, 768
29, 324
41, 012
78, 606
104, 916
103, 202
5, 910
61, 651
71, 714

34, 977
2, 600
21, 913
28, 945
1, 044
1, 778
16, 861
44, 353
7, 648

140,316 107, 215
14, 643
270, 245 219,854
130, 788
20, 533
64, 669
14, 084
56, 392
267, 319 194,172
89, 768 119, 644
32, 300
19, 026
36, 751
30, 735
870,440 1,159,260
50, 583
55, 009
770, 943 493, 211
106, 370
95, 913
89, 322
112, 556
24, 535
7, 582
109, 768
52, 714
186, 253 128, 316
82, 255

1 Data reported by State agencies; by Aug. 2, 1938, reports for June had not been re­
ceived from Indiana and Maine.
* A benefit payment is ordinarily issued for each week of compensable unemployment;
in a few States, however, in order to expedite delayed payments of benefits to workers,
checks covering payments for several compensable weeks are issued.

38, 357
2, 278
7, 427
9, 571
27, 764
13, 000
9, 354
1, 421
2, 075
60, 099
10, 541

All payments

Total unemploy­
ment 3

Partial unemploy­
ment 3






$949, 901
2,129, 934
1,073, 911
481, 718
631, 280
1,194, 378
121, 980
315, 553
1, 215, 388
731, 211
5, 631, 572
1, 082, 694
279, 240
499, 557
1, 714, 354
627, 053

168, 909
2, 549, 253
1, 288, 906
178, 523
430, 015
1,149, 293
2,876, 786
320, 702
10, 270, 017
1,146, 597
546, 806
8,463, 256
922, 520
825, 780
971, 474
217, 647
63, 250
682, 965
1, 782, 293

2,128, 912
411, 974
520, 080
1, 210, 868
13,891, 929
658, 412
5, 631, 572
927, 407
272, 423
69, 956
431, 961
1,443, 530

168, 909
2, 540, 930
165, 259
2,876, 786
201, 407
280, 318
10, 270, 017
486, 266
8, 463, 258
777, 752
774, 299
917, 900
207, 234
54, 327
511, 063
1, 421,673
758, 593

15, 000
69, 744
289, 979
33, 525
72, 799
155, 287
6, 684
38, 947
67, 596
270, 824
33, 921

13, 264
144, 768
51, 481
53, 574
10, 413
8, 923
171, 902
360, 620
45, 587

3 See footnote 3, table 3 (p. 83).
4 Break-down for total unemployment and for partial unemployment not available.
5 No provision in State law for payment of benefits for partial unemployment.

19 3 8

Alabama________ _________ .. - ___ 142,192
Arizona_________ _________ . California_____________ ____________ 220, 018
105, 352
Connecticut----------------------------21, 694
District of Columbia________ _______
Indiana________________ ____________
60, 218
Louisiana----------- ---------------------------78,305
Maine_______ -----------------------Maryland________________ ____ ______ 121, 086
Massachusetts_______________________ 194,172
Minnesota__________________________ 119, 644
Mississippi__________________________ 19,026
New Hampshire_____________________
37, 421
New York__________________________ 1,159, 260
North Carolina---------------------------------- 159, 305
66, 347
Pennsylvania_______________________ 493, 211
Rhode Island________________________ 124. 858
90, 366
Texas----------------------------------------------- 92,034
25, 454
Utah___________________ ___________
9, 360
69, 575
Virginia__________________________ ..
West Virginia_______________________ 172, 669
Wisconsin_____________ ____________


Total unemploy­
ment 3



Amount of benefit payments

T able 5.—

U n e m p l o y m e n t c o m p e n s a ti o n — B e n e f it c l a i m s a n d p a y m e n t s

, by

S ta tes, J u l y 1 9 3 8

[ D a t a r e p o r te d b y S ta te age n cies to th e B u r e a u o f R e s e a r c h a n d S ta t is t ic s , D iv i s i o n o f U n e m p l o y m e n t C o m p e n s a tio n R e s e a r c h ]

Initial claims received

N um ber
895, 700
% 215
10, 227
27, 779
290, 799
8, 355
6, 999
9, 275
24, 648
10, 426
716, 799

i -2 0 .6
-2 9 .4
+ 6 .0
+ 4 .9
-2 5 .2
- 7 .6
-3 3 .7
+ 1 .5
-2 4 .9
-1 4 .4
-4 1 .7
-2 1 .6
-1 1 .6
-2 5 .4
-2 6 .9
- 8 .4
-1 4 .6
- 6 .7
-3 6 .1
+ 3 .3
- 5 .4
-3 6 .5
-2 1 .0
-2 4 .2
-3 3 .7
-1 9 .1

142, 797
30, 684
87, 549
164, 225
39, 763
60, 959
883, 503
132, 645
13, 767
212, 551
167, 290
246, 341
7 92, 808

106. 569
4 250,003
16, 515
66, 701
48, 542
105, 666
269, 747
6 74, 362
38, 244
33, 550
748, 701
43, 341
84, 679
78, 269
103, 664
23, 531
118, 511
137, 226
72, 585

1 P e r c e n ta g e c h a n g e c o m p u t e d o n b a s is o f 25 S ta te s p a y in g b e n e fits in J u n e a n d J u l y .
2 B r e a k -d o w n fo r t o t a l u n e m p l o y m e n t a n d p a r tia l u n e m p l o y m e n t n o t r e p o r te d .
3 D a t a n o t rep o rted .
4 N u m b e r a n d a m o u n t o f p a y m e n t s for a ll u n e m p l o y m e n t in c lu d e s 2,767 c h e c k s p a id
fo r a d ju s t m e n t s a m o u n t i n g to $2 1 ,3 2 7 w h ic h is n o t in c lu d e d in b r e a k -d o w n for t o ta l a n d
p a r tia l u n e m p l o y m e n t .

Average amounts of paym ents, July

Amounts of benefit paym ents
All unemployment
159, 796
4 2,350, 884
1, 506, 763
2, 528, 791
40, 295
458, 674
375, 539
758, 842
236, 864
290, 314
8, 878, 469
1,033, 521
475, 870
7, 380,153
566, 918
290, 200
61, 860
726, 882

from June
i- 8 .1
-2 0 .1
-5 4
- 7 .8
+ 16.9
-1 9 .3
+ 65.5
+ 6 .7
-3 6 . 5
-2 1 .2
-1 5 .1
+ 17.6
- 9 .5
-1 3 . 5
- 9 .9
-1 3 .0
-1 2 .8
-2 0 .9
-3 1 .3
-5 . 5
+ 33.3
- 2 .2
+ 24.6
-2 7 .5
- 9 .6

Total un­ Partial un­ All unem ­ Total un­ Partial un­
em ploy­ em ploy­ ploym ent employ­
em ploy­
m ent
m ent
m ent
135, 436
40, 295
126, 501
281, 260
2, 925,859
758, 842
236, 864
250, 741
8, 878,469
7, 380,153
612, 633
280, 250
53, 739
684, 200

8, 583
39, 573
117, 331
31, 780
9, 950
267, 800
42, 682

8. 57
10. 85
8. 65
7. 34
8. 62
6. 00
7. 22
8. 86
12. 33

$10. 90


9. 51


9. 27

6. 51

12. 65
9. 56



Total for States reporting___
District of Columbia_______
New Hampshire___________
New York________________
North Carolina____________
Rhode Island______________
South Carolina____________
West Virginia_____________

N um ber of
Num ber of con­ benefit pay­
m ents for total
Percentage tinued claims and partial un­
em ploym ent
from June

5 N o p r o v is io n in S ta t e la w fo r p a y m e n t o f b e n e fit s for p a r tia l u n e m p l o y m e n t .
6 7 4 ,362 p a y m e n t s m a d e b y 4 5 ,2 1 6 c h e c k s.
7 D a t a r e la te t o t o t a l u n e m p l o y m e n t o n l y .




The last table, summarizing the activities for July, shows a sub­
stantial decrease from the preceding month. While the amount o f
payments fell only 8.1 percent, the number of initial claims received
fell 20.6 percent during the same time. This is the first significant
decrease in claims volume since January. While some o f the decrease
doubtless reflects reemployment of workers who had been drawing
benefits, an unknown portion arises from the exhaustion of benefit
rights by workers who are still unemployed.
One of the most embarrassing problems confronting administra­
tors is the large number of benefit checks written for small amounts.
In part this is due to partial unemployment, the large volume o f
which is indicated in table 4, but in part, too, it is due to a peculiarity
o f many State laws which aim to make as many workers as possible
eligible for benefits, and yet limit benefits to a fixed proportion o f
earnings. Both of these matters are receiving careful attention, and
doubtless most States will modify their laws at the next session to
eliminate the latter problem. The problem o f partial unemployment
is more difficult and will require continuous study.
The matters which are of most concern to the administrators o f
unemployment compensation at present, however, are not those which
appear in the routine reports, and perhaps a word should be said
regarding some o f these. Some of the problems of internal organiza­
tion, and interrelationships between the various agencies, both State
and Federal, are discussed elsewhere and need not be dwelt upon
here. But other problems arising in connection with benefit pay­
ments, or growing out of new legislation, may be of sufficient interest
to mention.
The major piece of legislation in this field is the Railroad Unem­
ployment Compensation Act signed by the President on June 25 y
1938. This legislation covers something like 1,900,000 employees.
Most of these employees have been covered by State unemploymentcompensation laws. It is provided, in general, that the funds col­
lected under State laws, from employers, and not used to pay bene­
fits, shall be turned over to the Railroad Retirement Board for the
benefit of the workers concerned. Aside from the problems presented
by the necessity for such transfer, there are the continuing problems
arising from the fact that we shall have two systems o f unemployment
compensation operating in each State, and while the provisions o f
these systems regarding waiting period, benefits, etc., may be quite
different, workers will shift, in substantial numbers, from one system
to the other in the course o f the year. Information presented to the
Congressional Committee showed that 25 percent of the railroad
workers who became unemployed in 1937 had worked on railroads for
only 2 months or less in the preceding year and 53 percent had



worked a h a lf year or less. Most o f these workers doubtless worked
in other fields in the remainder of the year. The problems presented
by this situation will require much attention in every State in the
year ahead.
Another problem arises in connection with the relationship of un­
employment compensation to the various relief and welfare pro­
grams of the State, particularly in connection with W. P. A. em­
ployment. Workers who are eligible for a limited amount of benefit
under the unemployment-compensation program, but are on the
W. P. A. lists when benefit payments begin, find it impossible to
transfer without serving a waiting period in which they get no
income at all, or are forced to ask for relief. The various programs
^designed to help the unemployed worker meet his problems must be
;so coordinated that each may fulfill its proper function.
In conclusion, your committee is pleased to report that, in spite o f
the difficulties mentioned, and in spite o f the fact that half the States
were forced to begin benefit payments at a time when the volume o f
unemployment would have burdened even well-established agencies,
the program has, on the whole, operated remarkably well. In some
cases there has been undue delay, because of faulty legislation, be­
cause of inefficient administration, or because employers had failed to
furnish the necessary records. But these cases are the exception. All
things considered, the Federal-State system o f unemployment insur­
ance in this country has come through its testing period better than
could have been expected. It is now experimental only in the sense
that experience during these early months has indicated many changes
which should be made in the interests of efficiency and economy—
efficiency in decreasing the time required to make payment to an
eligible worker, and economy in reducing the proportion of con­
tributions required for administration. The States and the Social
Security Board are making this their major objective during the
coming year.
Proposed Changes in O ur Old-Age Assistance Laws
R e p o r t o f C o m m it t e e on O ld -A g e A s s i s ta n c e , b y H

arr y

R. M

oL o g a n

( W is c o n s in

In d u s tr ia l C o m m is s i o n ) , C h a irm a n

In my report to the last convention held at Toronto, Ontario, Can­
ada, I went into much detail, giving the reasons for the suggestions
made, and the changes of law advocated, and in this paper I shall con­
fine myself to a simple statement of the suggestions and the suggested
changes in the present laws without detailed comment, in the hopes
of bringing about a wider discussion, but more particularly, that a
repetition at this time o f some of the changes suggested might bring
quicker results.



(1) Old-age assistance or pension laws should be as simple and
inexpensive to administer as possible.
(2) The irksome “red tape” in ascertaining eligibility o f applicants
should be eliminated.
(3) The law should make provision not only for financial but also
for other assistance when desired.
(4) Old-age assistance, either in the form of money or service,
should be given so that an individual’s independence and self-suffi­
ciency is not destroyed.
(5) The amount of old-age assistance or pensions should be such
as to enable the recipient to live in decency and comfort in the state
where the old-age beneficiary finds himself.
(6) The amount granted should be uniform throughout the State.
(7) The only “need test” that should be applied is the actual income
o f the recipient.
(8) Old-age assistance or pensions should never be denied on the
theory that children are able financially to contribute to their parents’
(9) I f it is suspected that children are able, financially, to support
the applicant, a grant should be made immediately, provided the
applicant is otherwise qualified.
(10) I f it is determined that those responsible for the care and
support of the applicant are financially able to give such support, an
action should be started to recover from them the amount o f pensions
(11) Old-age assistance should be mandatory in operation in every
governmental subdivision of the State.
(12) The age requirement should be 65 years, with a provision auto­
matically reducing the age below 65 years to meet any reduction in
the age requirement in the Federal law.
(13) Persons 60 years of age, or over, permanently incapacitated
on account of accident disability should be made eligible.
(14) Every citizen of the United States, and every person who has
lived in the country for 25 years, should be made eligible to receive
old-age assistance or pension.
(15) Any person, otherwise qualified, who has resided in the State!
the required period, but who has no county residence, should be per­
mitted to file his application in the county of his residence, and the
amount, if granted, should be paid entirely by the State until such
time as he gains a county residence.
(16) In order to be eligible, the applicant’s real property should
not exceed $5,000, and his personal property should not exceed $500
in addition to an exemption of $500 for household goods; his income,
if single, should not exceed the maximum amount of assistance allowed*



and, if married, the income of husband or wife, or both, should not
exceed twice the amount of the maximum assistance allowed.
(17) Nonincome producing property owned by the applicant should
not be taken into consideration in computing his income.
(18) Funeral expenses should be allowed in addition to the grant,
so as to insure a decent burial, instead of one in the potter’s field.
(19) The provisions in some of the State laws, which require the
applicant to transfer his real property as a condition of being granted
old-age assistance, should be repealed.
(20) State laws should be amended so as to place at the disposal
o f a State agency a free fund or equalization fund to permit assisting
financially hard-pressed counties to give the same standard of assist­
ance as can be paid in the counties which are better situated financially.
While there can never be complete integration of old-age assistance
or pensions granted by the State with Federal old-age benefits under
the Social Security Act, I do believe that the nearest approach to
such integration is to have old-age assistance or pension grants to
the applicant who is not entitled to any Federal old-age benefits re­
stricted only by the actual income of the applicant, and that the grant
may be the difference between such actual income and the maximum
amount permitted under the law o f the State. In the case of the
applicant who has absolutely no income, and whose benefits under
the Federal old-age insurance system are less than the maximum
provided by the State law, the amount granted by the State should be
the difference between whatever old-age benefits are received under
the Federal insurance system and the maximum amount permitted by
the State law.

Adjustment of Industrial Disputes
W hat State Labor Departments Can D o in the Field o f
B y J o h n R. S t e e l m a n , D ir e c to r o f th e United S ta tes C on ciliation S erv ice

This program marks the second time a member of the United States
Conciliation Service has met with the International Association o f
Governmental Labor Officials. When I think back to the time when
my able predecessor, the late Hugh L. Kerwin, appeared before you in
1923,1 cannot but be encouraged by the increased national awareness
o f the need for industrial peace. In recent years labor, management,
and the consumer alike have begun to realize that industrial peace is
essential if ours is to be and remain a real democracy.
As I see it, the business o f each State labor department is to analyze
and understand the labor problems of its own State. The business of
the Federal Department of Labor is to analyze and understand the
labor problems of our entire Nation. Each State labor department can
help solve the national problem by presenting its particular State
difficulties and suggested remedies. The Federal Conciliation Service
can help by presenting to each State the whole picture as it sees it.
Surely nothing but good can come of such an interchange o f ideas be­
tween those whose perspectives are of necessity different but whose
objectives are the same—true industrial peace in the highest sense o f
these words.
I f I were to follow my subject literally, I would have to attempt to
tell many o f you what I think you should do. I prefer to do exactly
the opposite. Let us review briefly why the Department o f Labor
with its various divisions was created in the first place; what the Con­
ciliation Service is doing; and what all of us can do to help bring
industrial peace.
In this country in the days of its colonization the farmers were the
dominant economic group and it was they who controlled the setting
o f wages, hours, and prices. In large measure the farmer was the
government. Later, as buying and selling increased, control switched
from the farmer to the business man. Business made itself felt in
government to the extent of securing the protection and advantage o f
tariffs, patents, transportation grants, and corporation law. Almost



inevitably a more powerful and demanding “big business” emerged.
From the beginning, and particularly after the Civil War, labor
struggled unsuccessfully to become articulate in government. Never­
theless, the workers courageously continued their efforts toward self­
organization. Keen and bitter disappointments met these efforts, for
all too often government’s apparently friendly gestures were twisted
to the disadvantage o f labor. Finally, in 1869 the State of Massa­
chusetts established the first State labor bureau in response to labor’s
demand for an unprejudiced study of the actual conditions under
which men and women were working. Since that day State after
State has established similar bureaus or boards, which ever since have
been rendering signal service to the cause of labor. The year 1884
marked the establishment by the Federal Government of a similar unit
which later became the Bureau of Labor Statistics, now a major
division o f the Department of Labor.
The United States Department of Labor was established in response
to a serious need. Let us not forget that in those early days black­
listing, perhaps even imprisonment, awaited labor leaders who were
striving for less than a 14-hour day, for the right to assemble, for the
right to bargain for wages and hours. Helpless to better its condition
in the face of adamant employers, labor turned to legislation, and on
this field the battle raged between the most potent lobbyists industry
could buy and labor’s most articulate representatives.
While eventually the law recognized the right of workers to asso­
ciate for their own protection, it held back with deadly effect by con­
tinuing to recognize an employer’s right to get rid of a worker for
joining a union. The commission appointed by President Cleveland
in 1894 to investigate the cause of the famous Pullman strike reported
that it was the practice of employers to exact contracts from their
workers not to join labor unions, and in other ways to discharge work­
ers for forming labor organizations. The commission cited this
practice as one of the chief causes of labor unrest.
Finally, in 1898 Congress saw the need for recognizing the right o f
workers to organize for their mutual protection and passed a bill out­
lawing the use o f yellow-dog contracts, and forbidding interstate
carriers to discriminate against their workers because of union affilia­
tions. But in 1908 the Supreme Court, insensitive to changing needs,
invalidated this law by a 6-to-2 decision and held that even a corporate
employer had a constitutional right to refuse to employ or keep em­
ployed any worker who belonged to or joined a labor union. That
decision killed labor’s hope of any Federal aid for the time being.
In 1914 labor’s hope of any State aid was killed by a 6-to-3 decision
o f the Supreme Court which held that a State, like the Federal Gov­
ernment, had no power to prevent an employer discriminating as he
161045°— 39------7



pleased against union workers. In 1916 the Supreme Court, over tha
dissent o f Mr. Justice Holmes, Mr. Justice Brandeis, and Mr. Justice
Clarke, outdid itself in paralyzing labor’s every effort. The decisions
in 1908 and 1914 were negative. In 1916 the Supreme Court affirma­
tively denied labor any right to meet the situation peacefully by hold­
ing that a court, at the request o f an employer, must enjoin a union
from peacefully soliciting members among workers who had pre­
viously been obliged to agree not to join a union as a condition o f their
This aggressive action left the door wide open for employers to
engage spies to ferret out the union members in their employ. This
many employers did in the name o f upholding their alleged constitu­
tional right. Even today a Senate investigating committee is pre­
sented with sworn statements revealing the intimidation o f workers
directly and by means of a fabulously expensive espionage system.
Someone has said that fear is at the root of all vindictiveness.
A t any rate we have the spectacle o f two enormous forces—each
dependent upon the other for existence—fearing, hating, double­
crossing each other. And why ? Because o f an antiquated conception
o f how the fittest can survive. Labor has been on the defensive since
the beginning of time, so its position today represents no particular
change. Industry, on the other hand, has grown from small b u si­
nesses to grotesquely large corporate structures. Its organization
has changed fundamentally—but some expect labor to stand still.
With these two huge forces at each other’s throats—the consumer
wedged helplessly between—a third party of unquestionable integrity
is needed to approach the whole situation with an intelligent and dis­
passionate eye if the whole American people is to be saved from need­
less suffering.
While doubtless a greater number of employers than ever before,
are now willing to solve the labor problem on a mutual basis; while
there are more collective agreements than ever before in our history;
while, on the whole, we have much o f which to be proud, yet a great
deal remains to be done before there is industrial peace based on
Federal Agencies for Aiding Industrial Peace

Within the past few years there has been increasing interest in the
activities of the three Federal agencies which deal exclusively with
the particular problem of industrial relations. There has been con­
fusion in the minds of some as to the exact functions of such different
Federal agencies as the United States Conciliation Service, the Na­
tional Mediation Board, and the National Labor Relations Board.
Let us review briefly the work and duties of these agencies?



First in order of establishment is the Conciliation Service o f the
United States Department of Labor, established in 1913, which assists
in settling both intrastate and interstate disputes.
Next we have the two boards set up under the amended Railway
Labor Act. They are the National Mediation Board in Washington
and the National Railroad Adjustment Board in Chicago. These two
boards confine their activities to the fields o f railway and air trans­
portation labor problems.
Third, we have the National Labor Relations Board which guar­
antees and protects the right of the workers to organize and bargain
collectively. The Board does not conciliate labor disputes. President
Roosevelt pointed out when signing the Wagner A ct:
The National Labor Relations Board will be an independent quasi judicial
body. It should be clearly understood that it will not act as mediator or con­
ciliator in labor disputes. The function of mediation remains, under this act,
the duty of the Secretary of Labor and the Conciliation Service of the Depart­
ment of Labor * * *.

Thus, while the National Labor Relations Board is charged with
the determination of the proper bargaining agency and the safe­
guarding of certain rights of workers, and the National Mediation
Board and the National Railroad Adjustment Board are charged
with the handling of differences pertaining to interstate railroad and
air transportation, the Conciliation Service, under the organic act
creating it, is empowered to make its services available in any instance
to insure and promote harmonious relationships between workers and
employers. The act creating the Department of Labor said, in part:
The Secretary of Labor shall have power to act as mediator and to appoint
commissioners of conciliation in labor disputes whenever in his judgment the
interest of industrial peace may require it to be done.

From this part o f the original act has come the present Federal
agency which during its lifetime has assisted in the settlement of dis­
putes involving almost 23 million workers.1
The following evaluation of the Service has been made by a man
highly respected by labor and industry alike, the former Assistant
Secretary of Labor, Edward F. McGrady. He said:
No other government in the world, having a similar service, has handled such
a vast number of cases and met with such success. This is all the more remark-

1 During the past fiscal year the Conciliation Service handled 4,231 labor situations,
involving at least 1,618,409 workers. Of this number 2,319 cases (1,460,795 workers in­
volved) were strikes, threatened strikes, or lock-outs. The rem aining 1,912 cases (157,614
workers) consisted of arbitrations, technical assistance, and conferences on general labor
relations in various industries. In 339 instances of threatened strikes, involving 230,565
workers, the strikes were averted by mutually satisfactory settlem ent before the strike
date. Thus 4,611,300 man-days of labor were saved, since the average loss per man dur­
ing a strike is 20 days. Last year satisfactory settlem ents were reached in more than
90 percent of the labor situations handled. All settlem ents were, of course, voluntary—
the conciliator has no authority to force a settlem ent on anyone. In only six instances
were the services of a conciliator declined by one of the parties to a dispute.



19 3 8

able when you consider that this Department is without any power except the
use of conciliatory methods.

Long before becoming the Director of the Conciliation Service I had
the belief that real industrial peace is possible if labor, industry, the
various State agencies, and this Service cooperate to bring it about.
I think we ought to bear in mind a fact stressed by the committee
recently appointed by the President to study labor relations in Eng­
land and Sweden. In commenting on their findings they have pointed
out that we expect things to happen too quickly in this country. Col­
lective bargaining is new here; it is old in England. In countries
where the second or third generations are working under a system of
collective agreements, strikes and lock-outs are usually much fewer
than in our country, where last year there were almost 5,000 strikes
and a loss of over 28 million man-days of work.
Being so new as a Nation, we have had to draw deeply upon the
experience of other countries. But it has always been the American
way to adapt such knowledge to fit our people and situations. Instead
of transplanting whole trees to our soil, we have rather grafted Old
World branches to our own sturdy New World trees. That, I believe,
is the real American way. Let us remember it when we deal with the
problem o f labor relations. Let us not attempt to adopt any system
in its entirety. Let us learn from each other here in America and
evolve from that knowledge our own machinery and methods for
dealing with the problem of industrial relations.
This brings me to the heart of the question to be discussed, i. e.,
what are the chief problems brought to the attention of the Federal
Conciliation Service and how can we best work with the State organ­
izations toward a solution of them ?
We know that “ industrial relations” means simply the relationship
between the worker and the employer. Logically, the best industrial
relations are those worked out by the two parties directly affected
without outside intervention. Where that cannot be done to the
satisfaction of both parties, the next step might well be a request for
assistance from the State and the Federal conciliation services. There
are many sides to the question as to who should be called in to help
settle a dispute that seems to be getting out of hand. I hope that some
of the aspects may be brought out in our discussion here today.
A labor dispute usually, if not always, presents two sets of factors—
economic and psychological. It has rightly been said that capital and
labor are at once partners and rivals. They are partners because one
cannot function without the other; rivals because they compete with
each other as to their relative shares of the production. The psycho­
logical aspect grows out of the subordination of the wage earner to
management. We usually find the conflict concerns not only wages to



be received, but also questions of working conditions, rules and regu­
lations governing the operation of the plant, and often a conflict of
personalities separate from any of the other factors. In fact, I think
this is a topic which would bear more consideration than it has
Now, in addition to stating ever so roughtly the basic causes o f
labor difficulties, let us note one more step before we discuss State and
Federal cooperation in maintaining industrial peace. What does a
conciliator or mediator do ? Regardless of who he is or where he comes
from, what steps does he take to bring peace and understanding?
(1) He must, so far as possible, get the facts in the situation, both
economic and personal. (2) He must ascertain the exact differences
between the contending parties. (3) He must, throughout the process,
create good will. (4) The mediator must then help the parties to
find a common meeting ground. As to whether the place of meeting
is a compromise on the part of both or of the one to the other will
depend on the facts, again including personalities. The old statement
by Balzac that “ life could not go on without much forgetting” is very
often true in labor relations.
The mere mention of these things to be done by the mediator indi­
cates, I think, the part the States can play in handling labor dis­
putes, and also that more and more cooperation between the Federal
and State mediation services is essential. Our relationship with
certain State departments of labor, developed for the most part dur­
ing the past year, leads me to hope for a cooperative relationship
with more and more of the States. We have long had a definite and
close relation with the Pennsylvania mediation service. A less defi­
nite yet no less real working relationship exists between us and several
other States, including Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Kentucky,
Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Caro­
lina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington,
and West Virginia. The study which the Bureau of Labor Statistics
has made at the request of your organization indicates, I believe, that
40 States and 2 Territories now have some provision for conciliation.
Unfortunately, in the vast majority of these States insufficient rev­
enue has made it almost impossible for a service to function.
As collective bargaining comes to be more generally recognized as
the real foundation for the establishment of equitable industrial
relations, facts rather than emotion will tend to be the deciding fac­
tor in settling industrial disputes. This opens a vast new field of
service to our State labor departments. By a careful study of actual
economic conditions in the affected locality and in the local industry,
by an understanding of the personalities and other psychological
factors involved, a State service can render important assistance.



19 3 8

An ever-increasing effectiveness is found in those States having per­
sonnel delegated to do this work. In a further effort toward syn­
chronization and cooperation, we of the United States Conciliation
Service are endeavoring to allocate commissioners to fixed areas. In
the old days the first and often the chief problem was to arrange a
meeting of management with union officials. Usually this was less
difficult if the conciliator came from a distance— from Washington.
In the light of recent developments, however, coming from Washing­
ton is not o f itself as important as it was in the past.
Today we find that the most effective commissioner very often is
the man located in a particular community. He learns to know the
people intimately. He observes actual conditions in the industries
of that community. Working in cooperation with the State repre­
sentatives, the commissioner can learn whom to contact directly when
a dispute occurs and, what is often more important, who can be
counted upon to aid indirectly in the settlement of a dispute.
Naturally, there are situations which can best be handled by com­
bining the prestige of the State government with that of the Federal
Government. We are made to realize this fact by the appeals for
assistance which continue to pour in to us from civic organizations,
municipal officials, and State officials, as well as from management
and labor.
It is well to remember that only a short time ago a labor dispute
was more o f a local matter. Today, the close relationship between
labor and industry coupled with the recent increase o f Federal and
State regulatory statutes means that a small-town plant is no longer
isolated and operating solely on a local basis. Today, both labor and
industry are familiar with labor conditions in other plants and other
areas. This means that, in addition to wide experience in the field
o f industrial relations, a commissioner of conciliation must be fully
cognizant of competitive conditions in the industry. In preparation
for this new trend, our Washington office is endeavoring to supply
each commissioner with enough factual data to enable him to func­
tion with the utmost speed and efficiency. Here again it seems evident
that cooperation between Federal and State officials will come to be
increasingly valuable to both.
I f time permitted I might mention certain specific advantages and
disadvantages encountered by both the State and Federal representa­
tives in handling labor disputes. Perhaps that can best be covered
in our discussion. However, before passing this phase of the sub­
ject, I do wish to invite your attention to the possibilities open to
the State departments of labor in the field of arbitration. With
increasing frequency agreements contain provisions for the appoint­
ment o f arbitrators. In some agreements it is provided that the



appointment shall be made from the staff o f the United States De­
partment of Labor. In many others, however, either the United
States Department of Labor is not mentioned at all, or there is suffi­
cient latitude in the language to permit the appointment to be made
from outside the Department. In still other agreements it is speci­
fied that an outside arbitrator shall be appointed by the Secretary
of Labor or the Director of Conciliation. In all these instances, by
reason of the extensive acquaintance the State departments of labor
have with citizens in their respective States and their general knowl­
edge of labor relations, the advice and counsel of State officials are
not only valuable, but frequently almost indispensable. It would
iseem that Federal and State officials working in cooperation should
be in a position to do more effective work throughout the whole field
o f industrial relations than either can hope to do alone.
There are two reasons why I have not made more specific recom­
mendations as to what the mediation and conciliation agencies within
the States might do in conjunction with the United States Concilia­
tion Service: First, because there is so great a difference between the
powers and functions of the several State agencies that it is difficult,
if not impossible, to find a common denominator; second, because
it seems to me infinitely more important that we have a general
understanding o f each other’s problems and activities. After all, it is
the spirit rather than the letter of cooperation that really matters
here—just as it is the spirit rather than the letter that matters in
collective bargaining.
In closing let me thank you for this opportunity. I hope you will
discuss very freely the subject I have attempted to outline. I am
eager to have your suggestions. Such an interchange of thought will
surely result in a closer cooperation, which should aid in finding a
better way to meet changing conditions and contribute materially to
making industrial peace a reality.
D iscussion

Miss S w e t t (Wisconsin). The discussion will be opened by Mr.
McKinley, of Arkansas.
Mr. M cK i n l e y . Mr. Steelman, I remember reading a number of
years ago, a report of one of the United States conciliators to his
chief, and if I remember the language correctly, he stated that there
were three sides to a labor controversy—the employer’s side, the
laborers’ side, and the right side. It seems that the conciliator’s job
is to find that right side and to get the two parties to the controversy
to agree that that is the right side.
Mr. Steelman spoke of the influence of a Washington representative
coming into a small town, and I do not know but what there is some



19 3 8

psychology there. But in that connection I believe it is absolutely
necessary, in most instances, especially in local plants, to have the co­
operation and the benefit of the knowledge of the local commissioner
o f labor or his staff. We know, just as you know sometimes, as when
you spoke of the small plant down South that had its connections in
New York, that many times the supposed owner of a plant is not really
the owner and sometimes he has not the right to do things that he
would like to do. Then the question is to find out who has the strings
on him.
Several years ago, in Fort Smith, the matter of a closed shop came
up, and the employer, a very fine fellow, gave us everything but a
closed shop. We had a conference from 10 o’clock one morning until
3 o’clock that afternoon. We continued it the next day. But when
we reached the closed-shop question, he would say, “I can’t do that
just now.” It led me to believe there was somebody across the street,
maybe in the banking business, that we had better talk to, and we did,
not directly but through the secretary of the chamber of commerce.
So that was fixed up. That was one of the schemes through which
we brought about adjustments.
Mr. Steelman also spoke of a factory where certain jealousies had
developed. Those same jealousies exist sometimes on a strike com­
mittee. In some States there are labor officials who are willing to
sacrifice themselves, but obstacles are thrown in their paths to pre­
vent a settlement. That has happened. In our State Mr. Steelman
has helped us out in emergencies of that character. There are all
sorts o f things that a conciliator has to find out about.
Immediately after a strike, even though both sides are perfectly
willing to settle it, there is embarrassment on the part of each of them
unless there is a third agency which can come in and get them together.
There is hardly a State in the Union where these labor disputes
are of such frequent occurrence as to warrant the setting up of a State
department for that work alone. It is much better to have a Federal
department, with personnel engaged in that work alone so that their
minds are not divided with other duties. In Mr. Steelman’s paper I
was struck with the statement that the Service is placing its conciliators
in certain zones, where they are best suited. For instance, in sending
a man from Florida to Maine, you might encounter some difficulty,
especially where the strike might involve white and colored labor.
Mr. Steelman spoke of avoiding strikes. We have been called upon
to do that. There is another duty. After these difficulties have been
settled and the United States conciliators have left the State, some­
times little misunderstandings come up with reference to interpreta­
tion of the contract. We have been called upon three or four differ­
ent times to go down to a place at Fort Smith and assist in the inter-



pretation o f an agreement. About 2 weeks ago we avoided a walk­
out down there.
Miss S w e t t . We will hear next from Mr. Wrabetz of Wisconsin,
who has had some experience this year with the State labor relations
Mr. W rabetz (Wisconsin). The Wisconsin Labor Relations Act
went into effect in Wisconsin on April 14, 1937. Our board was ap­
pointed about a week thereafter, and while it is an independent board,
the Governor saw fit to bring about contact with the industrial com­
mission, which has general charge of all the labor laws of the State,
and he appointed me chairman of that board. I have with me on the
board two men who have had much experience in labor relations,
mediation, and so on. One of them is Msgr. Francis Haas and the
other member is Dr. Edwin Witte, who is chairman of the economics
department of the University and who, as you all know, was executive
secretary of the board that drafted the National Social Security Act.
While our act provides for certain definite unfair labor practices,
much the same as the National Labor Relations Act—as a matter of
fact, our law is called the “ little Wagner Act”—the principal differ­
ence is that mediation and arbitration are made a specific duty of the
labor relations board, and in our administration we have emphasized
the mediation side of our functions.
might call attention to a few facts. The "board by the end of
June 1938 had settled about 325 strikes, involving more than 19,000
men and women, and prevented at least 50 impending strikes by
mediation, the most important of which was the Allis-Chalmers dis­
pute which involved 11,000 workers. There were approximately 275
specific charges by unions and employees which were investigated and
settled without formal procedure by the board. The board was called
upon to render assistance in more than 60 disputes in which there
were no strikes or specific charges.
Forty-seven formal complaints were issued by the board against em­
ployers for alleged unfair labor practices.
In six cases the board’s decisions were complied with. In four cases
the board appealed to the circuit court for enforcement o f its order.
Nineteen cases were settled by informal conferences after the com­
plaint had been issued and in some instances after a hearing had been
started. Decisions in seven cases were before the board for considera­
tion at the end of June.
Under the authority of the listing section of the law, the board
listed about 850 unions as recognized labor organizations. Included
in this group are 33 independent unions not affiliated with any na­
tional organization. Thirty-seven independent unions failed to per-



19 3 8

suade the board that they were free of employer influence and were
denied listing.
The board conducted 84 elections and investigations, involving ap­
proximately 17,000 workers, to determine the union selected by a
majority of the employees for collective bargaining. In 10 of these
cases the staff o f the Wisconsin Labor Relations Board acted for
and at the request of the National Labor Relations Board.
In at least 25 labor controversies, the Wisconsin board has been
called upon to furnish arbitrators or to act as arbitrator.
As I have indicated, our board has authority to act as a mediator
on request of either party or of its own initiative. Requests for its
services usually come from one or the other of the parties to the
dispute, but not infrequently from both. Many times mediation is
sought before strikes are called, a practice which we have encour­
aged. Many o f the cases we have had have involved only a few em­
ployees; others have arisen in the larger plants in the State. The
Wisconsin board has interpreted its authority as extending to all
labor disputes and threatened labor disputes occurring within the
territorial limits of the State, and in its mediation work has never
made the slightest distinction whether the dispute involved intra­
state or interstate commerce. In many of the cases coming before
the board it has been the only agency attempting mediation; in
others, it has functioned together with representatives of the United
States Conciliation Service or the National Labor Relations Board.
The mediation work done by the Wisconsin board has been its
most widely approved activity. Even the leading Milwaukee news­
paper, which has been consistently attacking both the National and
State labor relations acts and their administration, has praised the
State board for the work it has been doing in the field of mediation;
so have labor-union officials o f both groups and many o f the leading
manufacturers of the State. Writers on labor problems have gener­
ally taken the position that mediation should not be combined with
the administration of an act prohibiting unfair labor practices.
Their view, I believe, is that there is an inherent conflict between
attempts to settle labor disputes and sitting in judgment upon unfair
labor practices which may be involved in these disputes. It is
thought that a person or an agency which has attempted to mediate
a dispute cannot thereafter fairly act upon charges of unfair labor
practices growing out of the same labor disputes or involving the
same parties.
think this view is erroneous, at least in relation to a State labor
relations board in a State which does not have a greater industrial
population than has Wisconsin. For one, I think it is very clear that
a labor relations board has to do a considerable amount of media-



tion work, whether it is expressly authorized by statute to do so or
not. The National Labor Relations Board, and I am sure every
State board, endeavors to avoid formal trials whenever it is possible
to secure compliance with the labor relations act without such formal
proceedings. Under the most favorable circumstances, formal trials
consume a great deal of time, and the remedy that can be provided
thereafter often comes too late. In many instances, moreover, there
are close issues of fact and law which render a compromise settle­
ment the best possible solution. Where, for instance, there are
charges that an employer has refused to bargain collectively with
a majority of his employees, the best possible settlement is to get
him to bargain collectively. Even where the charge is that an em­
ployer has discriminated against workmen for union membership,
very often the best solution is to get the employer to deal with the
As the figures I cited a moment ago indicate, the Wisconsin board
has issued formal complaints charging employers with unfair labor
practices in only one-eighth of the cases in which unions or indi­
vidual employees filed charges with the board alleging that employ­
ers were guilty of such practices. In the great majority of the other
seven-eighths of the cases involving unfair labor practices, the board
secured a mutually agreeable adjustment o f the difficulty, which
accomplished all of the purposes that could have been accomplished
through a formal trial and decision of the board.
A State labor relations board, in a State like Wisconsin, however,
must concern itself not only with cases in which unfair labor prac­
tices are charged, but also with strikes and threatened strikes, no
matter what the subject in controversy may be. The primary purpose
o f labor-relations legislation, as I see it, is to promote industrial
peace. It does so through outlawing practices which lead to indus­
trial disputes and through establishing collective bargaining as the
method by which any sort of disputes affecting labor relations are
to be adjusted. Unfortunately, however, collective bargaining does
not always result in settlement, and even today, since collective bar­
gaining has not yet actually been established as the method for de­
termining labor controversies in a large part of all industry, it fol­
lows that the duty of government does not end in the enactment and
enforcement of a labor relations act. It also has a direct responsi­
bility to attempt to bring together the parties in labor disputes to
get them to agree upon a settlement which will prevent or terminate
the dispute.
No State can be indifferent to strikes which occur within its borders,
whether these strikes occur in industries which are predominately in
interstate commerce or not. Strikes in industries affecting interstate



19 3 8

commerce do create repercussions outside the State which justify the
enactment of the National Labor Relations Act. But first and fore­
most, these strikes affect the States in which they occur. The re­
sponsibility for the preservation of law and order rests with the
States. The primary losses resulting from the strike directly affect
the people of the State. Whenever serious strikes occur within any
State, the State government is certain to be called upon for help by
one party or the other, and if not by the parties, then by the public
officials of the community affected. The government must intervene
to protect the interests of the people of the State, which are more
direct and immediate than those of the entire Nation. Nor can there
be any question that if the State governments must take cognizance
of serious strikes which occur within their borders, it is their clear
duty to do what they can to prevent strikes from occurring or to get
them settled as soon as possible, if they have already occurred.
In a large percentage of all strikes and threatened strikes, questions
o f wages, hours, and working conditions are intermingled with
charges of unfair labor practices. In these situations mediation is
inseparable from enforcement of the statute prohibiting unfair labor
practices. Therefore, as already noted, the enforcement of the statute
prohibiting unfair labor practices often can best be handled through
securing the adjustment of disputes in connection with which the
charges of unfair labor practices have arisen.
The fear that the same person or agency cannot both try to me­
diate a dispute and sit in judgment upon charges of unfair labor
practices growing out of that dispute, seems to me to be largely
imaginary. A proper enforcement of the statute against unfair labor
practices necessitates attempts to adjust the dispute in numerous
instances. Only rarely will a formal case arise out of the same dis­
pute in which a State agency has attempted to act as a mediator. In
such rare cases any conflict which might theoretically arise can be
avoided through having the member of the board or the employees
who were connected with the attempt at mediation refrain from
acting in the unfair labor practices case.
Conceding that there may be some cases in which conflicts are
possible, it seems to me that the advantages of combining the media­
tion work with the responsibility for enforcing the labor relations act
greatly outweigh the disadvantages which result from such possible
conflicts. As I see the matter, the most important work that a State
labor relations board can do is to educate employers regarding their
duties under the labor relations act and to get them to realize that
the requirements of this act are not unreasonable or harmful to
industry. This is particularly true in the work of State labor rela­
tions boards. Most of the cases coming before State labor relations



boards involve relatively small employers. The State boards are
concerned far more with such industries than with the great manu­
facturing establishments who sell their products in every part o f the
country. By this time the great national concerns are much better
acquainted with the requirements of the labor relations acts than the
much larger number o f small employers who have heretofore had
very little contact with unionism. This being the situation, the
responsibility of a State board does not lie solely in sitting in judg­
ment whether particular employers have violated the labor relations
act or not. The responsibility of the State board is to do all that it
can to preserve industrial peace and to develop practices in industry
in dealing with labor relations which will result in a minimum of
labor disputes.
It seems to me that the State labor relations boards ought to empha­
size the preservation of industrial peace as their primary objective.
Nothing will promote this sort of a concept of their work as much
as to make them responsible for mediation in labor disputes as well
as for the enforcement of the statute against unfair labor prac­
tices. The more the State boards emphasize that their function is to
preserve industrial peace, and the more they act like impartial media­
tors in labor disputes, the more they will be able to accomplish in the
development of practices in industry which will lead to harmonious
relations between employers and employees.
Mr. B a s h o r e (Pennsylvania). In Pennsylvania, as most of you
know, w e have a mediation service of rather long standing and we
also have a State labor relations board. The mediation service is a
bureau in the department of labor, and the State labor relations
board is: what is known as an administrative commission in the de­
partment of labor and industry. In such a commission, the secretary
does not determine the policy of the labor relations board but controls
the finances and the appointment of personnel, so that he has quite
an effective hold upon the State labor relations board.
It seems to me, in commenting upon the question as to whether or
not the State labor relations board and mediation service should be
joined, that it is a matter of how the question of settlement of labor
disputes has arisen through time in the State. In Pennsylvania, the
mediation service has conducted mediation for many years. We
believe that it is most effective, and that the mediation service and the
State labor relations board should be separate in their functions.
Personally, I do not think that it makes a great deal of difference
so long as the object is achieved.
The thirty-seventh session of our legislature amended our media­
tion-service law and in one particular, as commented upon by Dr.
Steelman, it put an arbitration section in the mediation law, whereby,



193 8

if both sides request arbitration, the secretary may appoint the third
member o f the arbitration board. While, since that act was passed, I
have named an arbitrator in only one case, which happily did settle
a very important dispute, nevertheless, more and more the agreements
are including that very type of arbitration clause, asking either the
secretary or the head of the mediation service or the United States
Conciliation Service to name the third arbitrator.
We have had quite a troublesome year in labor relations in Penn­
sylvania. To me, one of the most important factors in labor dis­
putes today, in Pennsyvania at least, has not been mentioned in this
discussion. While I have no solution for it, I know it is troubling
other States, and I know it is troubling the United States Concilia­
tion Service. It is the question of the tremendous rise in the number
o f strikes resulting from disputes, not between employer and em­
ployee but between the American Federation of Labor and the
Committee for Industrial Organization. Just last week a very im­
portant shirt factory in a city in the (anthracite district (which
happens to be my home city), which employed 1,000 people, was
closed solely because o f a dispute between the two organizations.
The employer begged the State—I think the Federal service was in
there also—to permit an election to be had or to do something to keep
his plant open. He did not want to close it. There we have that
very important problem. The organization that claimed it had a
contract would not agree to an election, and the National Board
seemed powerless at the moment to move in promptly and determine
what should be done. The organization attempting to take over the
plant has filed its petition with the National Labor Relations Board,
but the process is slow because the other organization refuses to
agree to anything. O f course, it means that the case is in the courts
and the plant is closed.
That is a very serious situation, and I know that every one of us
recognizes that situation as existing all over the United States. I
know it exists in Pennsylvania at the moment. What are we going
to do about it and what can we do about it? My fear is that such
situations, so far as Pennsylvania is concerned, are going to increase.
At the moment there seems to be no intention on the part o f either
o f the warring labor factions to get together as far as organization
is concerned. It is a real problem. I should like to have some
suggestions from Dr. Steelman and also from any others who might
have something to say on this subject.
W e have had a very happy relationship with the United States
Conciliation Service. It has existed at least since I have been in the
department, and I know that we feel as free to call directly upon the
United States Conciliation Service man to represent us as it does to



call upon us to represent it when it is not able to cover the subject
matter. And further, so far as the National Board and the State
board are concerned, while the working agreement has not as yet
seemed to be as effective, we do have a definite understanding that
when one goes in, the other stays out. A determination is made be­
tween the two boards as to which has jurisdiction, and either they
work together or one gives way to the other, so that the dispute is
not made worse because o f warring between the National and the
State labor relation boards.
Dr. S t e e l m a n . We find the same difficulties throughout the country
that Mr. Bashore has mentioned in Pennsylvania, though perhaps not
to such a degree as is evidenced in Pennsylvania. Such specific
instances as he has just mentioned are not the usual thing. They are
somewhat unusual, taking the national picture as a whole, but they are
very serious wherever you do find them. Even a small plant in a
small community may be just as important, or more so, economically
to that community as a very large plant in a larger city, so that any
case such as he has given here as an illustration is very serious eco­
nomically and otherwise.
believe these two factions will get together. Down the line, the
rank and file of labor in certain sections, it seems to me, is getting
rather sick o f the situation. I believe, taking the national picture
again rather than any particular State or locality, that the dispute
between the labor factions is boiling down more and more to a limited
number of personalities. I have stated publicly that I think this
dispute between these factions is fundamental as well as personal and
for those reasons it will be some time before this breach is healed,
and that I think the sooner it is healed, the better. But I do believe,
from the national picture, that it is boiling down more and more to a
limited number o f personalities as w ell as the fundamental issues
remaining between them, and that the rank and file of labor, certainly
in many localities, are not fighting each other. They are not inclined
to fight each other.
was calling on various labor leaders in a city several days ago,
and as I w
rent in to see the leader of one faction in that city, I found
that someone behind his desk ;was using the telephone. When he
hung up the telephone, the other man introduced him as the leader
o f the other faction in the community. I said, “What does this mean;
are you gentlemen consorting with each other here in this city?”
They said, “ Yes, other people can call names and fight if they want
to, but we are too busy here to be fighting each other.” Over the
country, I think that is increasing. I think, even though there are
very fundamental issues between the factions, that a constant healing
is going on.



19 3 8

In the meantime, while theoretically the Conciliation Service is not
involved, practically it is, as Mr. Bashore has said. We cannot
escape this conflict. Theoretically, of course, the Conciliation Service
says this: “ I f there are two factions, if there is a dispute as to who
is who, go t o the labor board. We do not decide that question. I f there
is a dispute between labor and industry, and there is a committee that
we can get to meet with the management, fine. But if you fellows
are fighting among yourselves -as to who is going to represent whom,
do not talk to us about it. Go to the labor board.” But that is easier
said than done. Practically we cannot escape the issue, because in a
very high proportion of the cases today the two factions are involved,
and so in order to make any headway at all some sort of understand­
ing must be worked out. Very often the conciliator is able to get the
parties to agree to call on the board to hold an election or they may
work out a tentative settlement. They may work out an agreement
to have the question determined by an election. There are all sorts
o f ways. We try first of all simply to keep the factory or plant run­
ning, to keep the people earning their incomes, and then to let this dis­
pute between the factions be worked out somehow—if possible, of
course, by an election. Very often, however, it is slow work getting
around to having a hearing and an investigation and an election, so
that if the question can be worked out, even tentatively at first, natu­
rally we go ahead and work out some understanding.
So over the country we do find the difficulty that Mr, Bashore has
mentioned but not so acutely, I think, as he is finding it in his State
at present. As to the solution, as to what can or ought to be done, I
have no answer. As Mr. Bashore has indicated, it does seem that so
far as actually getting the people at the top in the fight together, there
is no present indication that it will be done. The only indications I
notice are down the line. As to when or how fast that can work, I
could not answer. I do not know.
I should like to know, since we are on the subject, what others are
experiencing in this line. I have no final answer at the moment to
propose for the problem.
Mr. B e l l (British Columbia). I feel that it may be of interest to
tell you briefly what we have done in British Columbia with regard
to this very important matter.
In December last year we passed an act in British Columbia known
as the Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act, which is the only
act of its kind that I have seen so far on the North American continent.
There may be others that resemble it, but I am sure that there is none
that is exactly like it. There are several principles to the act. X
regret that I could not bring a number of copies for any o f you who
might be interested, but I want to assure you that if you want one, X
shall be glad to send it to you.



For "some time organized labor in Canada had been pressing for the
right to organize. I might say that it always had the right to organize.
There was nothing in the laws o f Canada which prevented organizing,
but there was nothing in the laws that affirmed that right. The Trades
and Labor Congress of Canada made a draft bill which it circulated
widely among the Provincial legislators in Canada, affirming the
legal right of workers to organize.
When that came up to our government in British Columbia, the
government said, “ Yes, we will give you the legal right to organize
and we will make it an offense for any employer to try to prevent you
from taking advantage of that right. Having done so, you must
assume certain responsibilities.” So that was why this act was
drawn up.
I will run over the law briefly because I only want to give you an
idea of what it does. The act gives labor the right to organize, but
it makes a strike illegal until conciliation and arbitration have been
tried. It does not deprive employees of the right to strike, but it
makes that the last step. When a dispute exists, either of the parties
may apply to the Minister of Labor for the appointment of a concilia­
tion commission. The Minister may appoint a commissioner of his
own volition in any apprehended dispute. The conciliation commis­
sioner tries to conciliate the matter, and if he is successful, good and
well. I f he is not, he reports his failure to the Minister and then a
board of arbitration is appointed. Each side appoints one member
and the two appoint a chairman. The government appoints a chair­
man if the two cannot agree in the appointment.
The board of arbitration brings in an award and that award may be
accepted or rejected by either party. The board’s award must be put
before the employees by secret ballot. After that ballot has been taken
and the employees have had an opportunity to say whether or not
they will accept the award, they are free to go ahead and strike after
that if they wish to do so.
Mr. Bashore remarked that there are several causes of strikes.
That is quite true. We have had experience in British Columbia with
some very serious strikes, and it was out of that experience and looking
around and seeing what is taking place elsewhere, looking into the
future to see what might happen, that we thought we had better get
something like this on the statute books.
We give labor the right to organize. We give labor the right to
strike after conciliation and arbitration. I may say that organized
labor does not look with very much favor on this act. It has pressed
the government to repeal the act, but the government has refused
to do so. Whether organized labor likes it or not, it is working out
very well. We have had three boards of arbitration, and it is a rather

161045°— 39------8



singular thing that in two cases the award of the board has been
unanimous, the chairman and both sides signing the award. Another
board is sitting at the present time.
What we wanted to prevent was organizers coming in from the
outside and deliberately stirring up trouble, stirring up a strike.
You may say: “You do not give a union the right to represent em­
ployees.” We certainly do if the majority of the employees say that
the union representatives are representing them.
A strike is defined as being a dispute between an employer and a
majority of his employees. The Minister1said, “I do not want any
outsider coming in here and coming to me and saying, ‘There is a dis­
pute on at such and such a plant and I am representing these em­
ployees.’ ” The Minister said, “ We will put that the other way around.
I want those employees to come and tell me that you are representing
To get the act into operation, we have drawn up a number of forms
which we use in its administration and operation. In any dispute
where the number of employees is less than 15, a majority of the
employees may sign a document naming their representative and send
it in. I f there are more than 15 employees involved, the procedure
is that a meeting must be held at which a majority of the employees
is present, and a resolution voted upon and passed by a majority o f
the employees in the plant. A statutory declaration signed by the
chairman and secretary of the meeting must be submitted to the
Minister saying that such a resolution has been passed and naming
the employees’ representative in the dispute. That briefly is an outline
o f the act and I will not go into any other details.
Mr. W raretz . On this question of the conflict between the Ameri­
can Federation of Labor and the Committee for Industrial Organiza­
tion, we have been somewhat fortunate in Wisconsin in that the activi­
ties have been somewhat localized, so we have not had very many of
those disputes. We have had about six or seven, I believe.
Our practice there is to attempt to get a stipulation between the
parties, both unions and the employer, for an election to determine
the appropriate unit. We have been successful in that. They abide
by the result of the election. W e have been successful in all but one
o f those cases. In that case we had to go to a hearing, and we simply
had an election and after the election the employer bargained with
the union that won. The first thing they agreed on was an all-union
agreement, and that was the end of the fight.



wonder if you might be interested in a newspaper release issued
by the employer in the Allis-Chalmers dispute. Mr. Max W. Babb,
president of the company, said this:
While the new agreement has been described by some as a compromise, I do
not feel that this is either an accurate or a fair statement. The word “com­
promise” carries with it the idea that each party has, for the sake of peace,
surrendered fundamental principles, but there was in the present settlement
nothing of this nature on either side.
It is now realized that both the union and the company recognized, as they
must, the rights of each other within their respective fields— the union in the
field of collective bargaining, the company in the field of management control.
The real difficulties lay in the simple fact that each group, trying to secure
clear-cut definitions of their proper fields, became victims of a common inability
of accurate expression. Numerous unfortunate selections of words appearing
in the proposals and counter-proposals led to continual misunderstandings by
each group as to the actual purposes of the other.
The Wisconsin Labor Relations Board, acting as mediator, was able to clarify
the proposals of the parties by resourcefully suggesting language expressing
their real intentions. In the end it was discovered complete accord could be
reached without either party being obliged to deviate or retreat from its original
Inasmuch as there was no compromise between the parties there certainly
could be victory for neither, and yet in a very real sense I like to think there
was a victory— not for one over the other— but for all of us, a victory of common
sense and intelligence over emotionalistn.
It seems reasonable to say that the procedure developed and followed in
reaching this accord presents a distinct contribution to the technique of intelli­
gent and genuine collective bargaining.

Mr. B ash ore . I have been troubled considerably as to whether or
not I have used every means at my command in attempting to solve
this situation, and from the conversation and discussion here, I am
satisfied that I must have used all the means that were available.
While a procedure such as Mr. Wrabetz suggested has been used
successfully by us in a number of cases where the two unions are
moving into a plant at the same time, in this case the A union has
had an agreement in this plant for 5 years, and the B union now
claims that it has a majority of the employees, which aggravates
the situation, as you can recognize. Consequently, in attempting to
get an agreement between the parties, a stipulation for an election,
the A union, which has had the agreement for 5 years, will under no
circumstances agree to anything. It has renewed its agreement,
so it says. I do not know that to be a fact, but both the employer
and the A union say that they did renew it, although the employer
says he is willing that an election be held.
I got this far in that dispute: I got the employer to agree that
he would take back everybody who was formerly in the plant and
was then out on strike, and that there would be no discrimination.
I got the B union, which is the union that is just moving in, to agree



that they could all go back and it would call off the strike. But the
A union says, “ Yes, the plant may go on but those people out there
will never come back in this plant.” So you can recognize how diffi­
cult that situation was. In that community in the anthracite fields—
a territory, as all of you know, woefully sick industrially—in a city
which is the county seat o f one o f the largest coal-producing counties
in the United States, a plant employing 1,000 people, must close
because we cannot have peace between those two organizations.
And the unfortunate thing—I have said this today to the representa­
tives of both organizations—is that as soon as a difficulty arises, the
legal talent of both sides rushes in and makes more difficulty. A s
a lawyer myself, I say it is more difficult to conciliate those lawyers
than the individuals themselves. Frankly, here is a real and a
tremendous problem, and it certainly is aggravating in Pennsylvania*
Mr. M orton (Virginia). Mr. Bell, is there a time limit in your
law from the time the complaint is filed until the strike is legalized,
and, if so, what is that limit?
Mr. B e l l . Yes, there is a time limit on everything. The Minister
must appoint a conciliation commissioner within 3 days. Then after
the conciliation commissioner has filed his report—the report being
that the conciliator has not been able to accomplish a settlement—a,
board must be appointed for arbitration within 7 days. These
periods are definitely stipulated in the act. Then the award of the
board must be submitted to the employer and the employees, and
the employees must have an opportunity either to accept or reject
it by secret ballot, and 14 days after the ballot, they may go on
Mr. L u b i n . I s there a definite time limit between the day that the
Minister appoints a conciliator and the time the employees can
strike ?
Mr. B e ll . Yes.
Mr. L u b i n . What is that?
Mr. B ell. It would really depend on the length of time that was
involved in procedure.

Mr. L u b i n . That is the important thing. What can happen is
that if you get the wrong kind o f Minister you can ruin every trade
union because you can keep the proceedings going so long that the
time for an effective strike has passed. The season may be over
and the unions ruined.
Mr. B ell . That is the argument against the act.
Mr. M orton . That is the weakness in the law. Dr. Steelman, in the
appointment o f arbitrators, do you welcome the opportunity in these



agreements to appoint a third member of the arbitration board from
your own department ?
Dr. S t e e l m a n . W e are somewhat reluctant to use the conciliators
as arbitrators. I f we can, we like to get somebody else to act, be­
cause you can see very well that the conciliator might injure himself
with the parties so far as handling some other situation was con­
cerned. However, in many instances, if both parties are willing to
have the conciliator, he may do a little preliminary work to bring
them to the right attitude. They may say, 6We will take whatever
you say. It is all right.” So our conciliators do act in many in­
stances as arbitrators. However, most of these agreements say that
the Secretary o f Labor or the Director o f the Conciliation Service
is to appoint an arbitrator. They do not specify that it will be one
o f our own men. They* simply say that we are to appoint an arbi­
trator, and that gives us an opportunity to try conciliation again.
I believe I would be safe in saying that in about 9 out of 10
instances under that kind of an agreement, the conciliator does not
act as arbitrator, and we do not appoint one either. The conciliator
says, “Let’s see what the trouble is. Perhaps we do not need an
arbitrator. Let’s get together on it. Let’s see what this dispute
means.” So we get out of appointing an arbitrator many times.
We welcome having a clause in the agreement that we may appoint
or secure the odd member—and unions all over the country are doing
it without asking us—because it is a wonderful way of keeping down
misunderstandings and trouble.
M r . M orton . The second question is, should the commissioner o f
labor assume that responsibility of appointing the third member?
I f it is good for your department, is it good for the commissioner of
labor in the State, and, if so, and he appoints the third member, do
you not think it weakens his influence in mediating and conciliating
other strikes? I am saying that because the only objection that is
generally made is that it is so hard to get a third man who will be
fair. Whichever side he decides for, the other side immediately
claims that he is unfair, and when a commissioner of labor who has
a smaller constituency than yourself makes such an appointment, he
is apt to get in bad with one side or the other, is he not ?
Dr. S t e e l m a n . He is very apt to, of course. That brings up a
point I mentioned, that the State man has certain advantages and
disadvantages over the Federal man. It depends on what the case
is. In a lot of instances, I know State departments of labor do make
the appointments and it is perfectly all right. It depends on who
is having the dispute and, o f course, on many other circumstances.
Very often, if we have to make an appointment, we get advice from
the State man as to who is needed. He can help us a great deal.



19 3 8

But if it is a situation in which he might get into a jam, maybe it is
better for him if we take the rap, so to speak. It is another one o f
these things where we need to cooperate, I think, and it depends on
the circumstances as to just who ought to act.
Mr. M o r t o n . I have called on you quite often during the short
time I have been in office, but I have wondered if you think it is
proper for us to enter a case and go as far as we can before calling
on you. Do you or do you not think that we should enter a case
and progress as far as we can? I think about half of the labor
disturbances that have been brought to my attention have been
settled without calling your department.
Dr. S t e e l m a n . I think again that probably depends on the case
and the general situation. Ordinarily, I should say, “ Yes.” When
you offer your services without being asked by either party, that is
more properly done by the State department than the Federal, I
think. I f either party asks you, naturally I think you should go
into the case and go as far as you can. Again, if you had reason
to feel that our assistance would be helpful from the beginning, we
could act together. O f course, you would feel free to call upon us.
It depends on what the circumstances are.
M r . M o r t o n . Another question that I have in mind is, why is it
that we so often say when the question comes up, “ That is a matter
for the Labor Relations Board,” and then pass it off. We say, “ What
is the use ? It will be months before we get a hearing.” W hy is it
that we are up against that brick wall on so many important labor
problems right now? Is the Labor Relations Board doing anything
to enlarge its force or doing anything more nearly to meet this situa­
I regard that as a very serious problem. So many of these things
can be handled by no one but the Labor Relations Board, and yet we
are having to dismiss cases simply because these labor disputes
cannot lay on the table for months.
Mr. B e l l . I want to correct a wrong impression that I may have
given when I said that the duration of the proceedings would depend
on how long it took the conciliation commissioner and the board to
arrive at a conclusion. These proceedings may be speeded up, but
there is a definite limit of 14 days. The conciliation commissioner
has 14 days and no more in which to file his report to the Minister.
The board of arbitration must make an award within 14 days from
the time of appointment. So that there is a definite time limit set
on everything.
Mr. M c M a h o n (Rhode Island). I want to express, on behalf o f
my department, our appreciation o f the Conciliation Service. W e
have had splendid cooperation. Possibly very few men have used



the Service as much as I have during the years gone by. As presi­
dent o f the United Textile Workers o f America, I know whereof I
speak. I know the advantages to the workers of having a Service
in Washington that is willing and ready to cooperate, and I take this
opportunity of thanking Dr. Steelman for his splendid help.
Occasionally we might differ; that is a privilege all of us have.
I believe those who, like myself, were brought up in the textile fields,
and who served an apprenticeship in the American Federation o f
Labor for 50 years, are aware of the conditions which existed and
how hard we worked to have a Department of Labor within the
Government and also the splendid things that have been accomplished
in the 25 years since it was created.
It is quite true that differences take place, but Dr. Steelman is, I
believe, correct when he says that fundamentally among the workers
there is little, if any, difference of opinion. It was my good fortune
on Labor Day to sit with President Green at luncheon. So far as I
know, and I believe he would say so, the same relationship exists be­
tween him and myself as there did during the years when both of us
served under President Gompers.
In a little State like my own, with only approximately 2 percent
agricultural and the rest industrial, I feel that during the past year
and a half o f my occupancy of office as director of labor, the many
difficulties we have had have been adjusted mostly through the efforts
of the department of labor of the State, with, on practically all
occasions, the presence of a representative of the Department of Labor
from Washington.
To approach the matter is a difficult task. So far as we are con­
cerned, I approach both sides. Frankly, I have had the cooperation
o f 90 percent of the employers of my State. We have differed. I get
both sides together. They usually get into a scrap. That is natural.
What do we do ? We ask the employer to move into one room and the
employees to move into another room in the statehouse. We do not
allow them to go out, if it is at all possible. The commissioner or
his representative, whoever is handling the case, sits down with both
sides. We discuss it pro and con; then draw up a rough draft of what
could be done to bring about an adjustment. So far 90 percent o f
the cases have been successful.
far as arbitration clauses in agreements are concerned, only 2
weeks ago, I believe, the director of labor was asked to appoint an
arbitrator. O f course, I did not consider the pros or the cons, but
immediately appointed an arbitrator, suggesting three names to the
parties and letting them take their choice. Both sides agreed on one
name. We got the parties together. The director withdrew and
allowed the arbitrator to hear the representatives of the employers



and o f the workers plead their case. Stenographic reports were, of
course, submitted. The arbitrator reviewed them and made his deci­
sion, and today, September 10, the arbitrator’s award is in effect.
Many peculiar cases come to us because of our variation of industry.
We manufacture pins and engines and all classes of textiles, as well as
everything in jewelry that you can think of, in the little State of
Rhode Island. No man that I know of is conversant with the tech­
nicalities of all industry. But a trade unionist who is conversant with
the workings of the trade-union movement, and has a desire to see
peace in industry prevail in the State of which he is commissioner,
will take the chance of making a mistake in finding out the proper
direction to go, rather than hesitate.
The National Labor Relations Board, with its office in Boston, has
treated us splendidly. We know the many calls upon its time. We
have had our differences of opinion, but I have presided at elections,
with the consent, of course, o f the chairman of the Board in Washing­
ton and with the consent of the director in Boston. In no instance
was an election held except upon the written request of both parties,
and in some cases of the independent union, although I object strenu­
ously to any national organization, whether in the Committee for
Industrial Organization or in the American Federation of Labor, al­
lowing itself, if it can prevent it, to be tied up on a ballot with an
organization that calls itself independent but which never existed
prior to the trouble. That, in my opinion, should not be tolerated,
but the director of labor or commissioner can do nothing about it when
the representatives of the international or national organization o f
either of the two groups consent in writing to that process.
I want again to thank Dr. Steelman for his splendid help, and to
thank the Bureau of Labor Statistics, through Dr. Lubin, for its
cooperation at all times.
Mr. L u b i n . There is a very definite movement afoot in the United
States for legislation similar to that which prevails in British Colum­
bia. There is a very definite movement on the part of interests in
this country to amend the Wagner Act, and there will be pressure on
individual States for little Wagner acts, with certain responsibilities
put on labor. I think the labor commissioners who will be consulted
in the drafting of those acts have a very definite duty to be sure
that they know what they are doing when they put certain types of
responsibilities on labor. I do not think anybody will deny that, in
the public interest, labor must be responsible, but I think that during
the next year we ought all to think through very carefully what we
mean by “ responsibilities,” so that we will not put ourselves in a
position where, by permitting certain responsibilities to be put on
the statute books, we create a situation making it impossible for



organized labor to live or which takes from labor in fact the right
to strike, although on paper that right is there.
I shall not be surprised if during the coming sessions of the legis­
latures, half of the States find legislation already prepared providing
for certain types of “responsibility” for labor. Mr. Bell’s story was
a case in point. We are facing it every day in Washington. We are
going to have to face it next winter in regard to the Wagner Act and
as labor commissioners, we have, I think, a very definite responsibility
to be sure that we do not commit ourselves to any type of legislation
which, in the name of “responsibility,” actually may result in either
limiting the powers of trade unions to grow or actually ruining them.

Women in Industry
W om en In Indu stry, October 1, 1937, to September 1, 1938
R e p o r t o f C o m m it t e e o n W o m e n in I n d u s t r y , b y M




( U n ite d S t a t e s

W o m e n 's B u r e a u ), C h a irm a n

In my report this year as chairman of the women in industry
committee, I have two general purposes in view: First, to digest
briefly the most important of the past year’s legislative developments,
both Federal and State, that affect woman workers; and second, to
discuss the significance of the newly assumed Federal responsibility
fo r employment standards as it relates to the job which remains to
be done by the States.
Digest of Labor Legislation During the Past Year

The enactment of the Federal wage-hour bill stands out as the
major legislative development affecting workers in many years. In
June 1938, the United States Congress outlawed the long hours and
the wages o f 10, 15, and 20 cents an hour that have been the lot o f
many thousands of men and women. The Fair Labor Standards Act
establishes two vitally important principles—that of Federal respon­
sibility for the welfare of the Nation’s wage earners, and that of
minimum-wage rates alike for women and men.
With the modifying provisions found in most wage and hour
legislation, the law requires that, beginning this fall, no person in
the industries affected may be paid less than 25 cents an hour or be
employed more than 44 hours a week without overtime pay. After
2 years the 40-hour week is to be in effect, and after 7 years the
minimum wage is to be 40 cents an hour.
At any time after industry committees have begun to function,
they may recommend, and the administrator may order, a rate
higher than the 25-cent or 30-cent absolute minimum for a given
industry or classification of industries, but it must not exceed 40
cents. Hence, there is a possible range in the immediate minimum
o f from 25 to 40 cents.

In addition to this significant Federal labor act, certain State legis­
latures were active during the past year, tightening up on hour



regulations, passing new minimum-wage laws, and extending legis­
lation covering a day of rest, time for meals, and rest periods for
women. Significant progress was made in minimum-wage adminis­
tration, particularly in the issuance of wage orders covering thou­
sands of woman workers not previously under the protection of this
type of law.

In the past year drastic changes in State hour laws were made by
Virginia, whose new law providing a 9-hour day and a 48-hour week
fo r specified industries supersedes the 10-hour law that set no weekly
limit, and by Louisiana, whose law providing for an 8-hour day and
a 48-hour, 6-day week in certain occupations supersedes in part the
old 9-54-hour law for woman workers. South Carolina established
for women an 8-hour day and a 40-hour week in garment factories,
and for men and women an 8-hour day and a 40-hour, 5-day week
in the important textile industries, and a 48-hour week in finishing,
dyeing, and bleaching plants.
In addition New York extended its 8-hour day, 48-hour, 6-day week
standard to beauty parlors where never before were hours regulated
by law ; Oklahoma, through its welfare orders, set up an 8-hour day,
48-hour, 6-day week for women in 3 industries; and Colorado, which
for many years has had an 8-hour law, established a 6-day weekly
limit for women in laundries.
Oklahoma, again through its welfare orders, reduced weekly hours
in several industries from 54 to 48, though the daily limit remains
at 9 hours. The hours for registered pharmacists in Oklahoma (men
and women) have been limited to 10 a day, 57 or 58 a week, and 11
a day, 62 a week, according to size of community, and the week in
each case to 6 days. For women in beauty parlors and barber shops,
Oregon allows 10 hours a day, but keeps the weekly maximum at 44.
South Carolina replaced its 12-60 hour law for women in stores with
a law providing maximum hours of 12 a day, 56 a week for men and
women in a number of industries, including stores, restaurants, laun­
dries, and manufacturing plants other than the textile and garment
factories provided for in the 8-40 hour law.

During the past year South Carolina set a precedent with a law
providing for a 5-day week for men and women in cotton, silk, rayon,
and woolen mills. Colorado, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Utah—
States that have not before had such a provision—set a maximum
workweek of 6 days in one or more industries. In Oklahoma, this
provision applies to men and women. New York brought beauty
parlors under the 6-day weekly limit.



Two changes only were made in the State night-work laws: New
York prohibited work in beauty parlors from 10 p. m. to 7 a. m. and
South Carolina repealed its law that prohibited the employment of
women in stores after 10 o’clock at night.

There are two additional State minimum-wage laws—those o f
Kentucky and Louisiana. Also during the year the old Kansas law
o f 1915 (as amended in 1921) was validated, raising to 25 the total
number of States with minimum-wage laws. The Kansas and Ken­
tucky laws apply to women and minors, the Louisiana law to
women and girls.
Women and Wage-Hour Laws

Through the passage of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act the
whole legislative situation with regard to woman workers has been
radically changed. By this means the Federal Government takes the
responsibility for wage and hour standards for the workers engaged
in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce; and the
State administrative agencies are in a position to concentrate their
efforts on the protection of intrastate workers and to expand into
new fields not yet covered by wage and hour laws though they are
sorely needed. It may be o f interest, therefore, to make an estimate
o f the numbers and types of woman workers covered by Federal
and by State laws and to indicate the groups exempt from such

It may be estimated that the Federal law takes care of some 4 mil­
lion women, and that more than 2 y 2 million are in the ostensibly
better paid jobs (professional, executive, and so forth), that are
not likely to come under minimum-wage laws.
O f the remaining large groups—over 4 million—who are exempt
from Federal coverage and are therefore the special province of
the States, approximately 1% million women are covered by the
State minimum-wage laws that exist. These l 1 million women are
in retail trade, in hotels and restaurants, in laundries, and in other
service industries. In addition, of course, are the enormous groups
o f agricultural workers and household employees among the lowest
paid o f all workers and not covered by any law. There are about
2 million o f these, and the States should now devise some method
o f raising their wage levels. Also not affected by wage laws are
untrained nurses and many7 o f the dressmakers and seamstresses who
are employed by others and whose hard and continuous work and



generally low scale of pay should have some attention from the

An estimate of the coverage of the hour provisions of the Federal
law would be practically the same as for wages. The large groups
o f woman wage earners excluded from both Federal and State wage
provisions, such as farm workers and household employees, are ex­
cluded also from hour regulations.

The last year has been the most active one in minimum-wage his­
tory with regard to the number o f wage boards meeting and the
volume of orders agreed upon. It is of interest to note that the
majority of recent orders have covered women exempt from the Fair
Labor Standards Act. O f 35 orders, 6 were for laundries, 4 for
beauty shops, 4 for mercantile establishments, 4 for public house­
keeping, 1 for cleaning and dyeing, and 3 had to do with perishable







In view of the proposed Federal wage-hour program, what are
some of the directions in which the State programs can expand?
These are several.
In the first place, it is obvious that much work remains to be done
toward the coverage by adequate wage orders of women included by
State legislation to whom the Federal law does not apply.
In the second place, there is the question of extending S ta te wagehour legislation to men as well as women. It is unquestionably the
ideal situation to have men and women on the same basis under
labor laws, but due to certain obstacles we cannot always attain the
At this time there are several States with hour laws for men and
women. In the case of Pennsylvania, which passed one law provid­
ing a 44-hour week for women, and another law providing a 44-hour
week for men, the latter law was promptly challenged and is now
in the courts. The law for women, however, is being enforced.
I should like to recommend that in extending hour legislation in
the States to men until such time as the question of the constitu­
tionality of this legislation as applied to men has been clarified by
the courts, two bills be formulated—one for men and one for women.
In this way the protection for women, already deemed constitu­
tional, would not be jeopardized though the laws covering men were
challenged by the courts.



193 8

When we come to minimum-wage laws covering men as well as
women, we have the same situation. Mr. Murphy can tell us what
has happened in Oklahoma, where nine wage orders are being held
up by the courts.
A third possible type o f State wage-hour expansion is in the direc­
tion of extending the laws to cover groups of woman workers now
excluded from both Federal and State laws. As I pointed out in
my report a year ago, it is time for serious consideration of this
extension o f the protection of labor laws to new groups. I realize
that enforcement in certain fields such as agriculture and domestic
service encounters enormous obstacles, but that should not entirely
block the way of experimentation and progress.

I know that there is a committee that will report on industrial
home work, but I do want to say that though the Fair Labor Stand­
ards Act contains no language referring directly to such employ­
ment, I am informed by the Solicitor of the Labor Department the
law was so drawn as to apply to industrial home work in those
industries coming under the jurisdiction o f the act.

Y ou th in Industry
Apprenticeship Training
R e p o r t o f C o m m it t e e o n A p p r e n t ic e

T ra in in g ,

In d u s tr ia l C o m m is s i o n ),

by V

o yta

W r a b etz

(W isc o n sin

C h a irm a n

The preparation of skilled workers under sound standards of ap­
prenticeship is one of the most important and significant problems
facing Government, labor, and management. It is universally recog­
nized that a skilled worker can be fully and properly developed only
through actual performance of the work of the trade on the job.
Therefore, if the young workers are to receive adequate preparation
in all of the processes of the trade, there must be standards estab­
lished to serve as yardsticks covering all aspects of apprenticeship.
These standards must be worked out with representatives of man­
agement and labor, and since labor departments are established to
perform functions relating to conditions of employment, it is ap­
parent that no other public agency is so logically suited to stimulate
and supervise the formation and application of labor standards of
We are glad to be able to report that State labor departments are
accepting their responsibility for the development of apprenticeship
with enthusiasm and that they are proceeding to carry out their
functions with vigor. Apprenticeship offers a field of tremendous
opportunity for departments of labor to perform a constructive serv­
ice to youth, to labor, and to industry. During the past 2 or 3 years
there have been a number of significant developments with respect
to the preparation of skilled workers which have given State and
Federal labor departments responsibility for the establishment of ap­
prenticeship labor standards, the promotion o f the acceptance of those
standards, and the placing of employed young workers in the skilled
trades under indentures.
Significant among developments is the acceptance by the Congress
o f the United States, the United States Office of Education, and the
United States Labor Department of the principle that the promo­
tion o f labor standards o f apprenticeship is a function of depart­
ments of labor. As a result, the work of the Federal Committee on
Apprenticeship has been made a permanent activity of the United




States Department of Labor. Paralleling this development several
States have enacted apprenticeship laws, and other States have es­
tablished State apprenticeship councils through appointment either
by the governor or the commissioner of labor.
Inasmuch as apprenticeship is one of our most important fields
o f activity, this committee is of the opinion that this, the first report
on the subject to this association, should provide a brief historical
background leading up to the most important developments. This
information will also serve as a solid foundation for the reports
which future committees will make on apprenticeship.
During the period 1933-34, when the National Industrial Recovery
Administration was formulating and putting into effect its codes
o f fair competition, it developed that the purpose of the codes—
shortening hours, raising wages, to put men to work, and to increase
the purchasing power o f the people— was in danger o f being de­
feated, due to the fact that insufficient arrangements had been made
in the past for the preparation o f skilled workers. The shortening
o f working hours had a more noticeable effect on the adequacy o f
the supply o f skilled workers than did the raising of wages. Conse­
quently there w
ras tremendous pressure put upon the N. R. A. to
relieve the situation through the granting o f industry-wide as well
as individual firm exceptions to the hours provisions of the codes.
The N. R. A. recognized that it faced a problem which needed atten­
tion badly. As a result, it appointed a committee to study the
problem of apprenticeship and to make recommendations concerning
the action which should be taken to furnish the well-qualified skilled
workers, prevent young people from being denied apprenticeship op­
portunities, supply a number of young people with jobs, and protect
the interests of journeymen. The result of the committee’s recom­
mendations was the Executive order which originally established the
Federal Committee on Apprenticeship.
A large number of complaints had been received from employers
and through the schools to the effect that such apprenticeship sys­
tems as had been operating were being closed up, due to the fact
that employers refused to pay minimum code wages to apprentices—
it will be recalled that many codes established minimum wages by
occupations. The Federal Committee undertook to set up machinery
in each State which could issue wage exemptions to employers who
wished to employ apprentices under standards adequate to safeguard
the interests o f the apprentices and the journeymen in the trades.
The machinery thus established was the State apprenticeship com­
mittees with which you are all familiar.
The skilled worker gets most of his skill through actual perform­
ance o f the various processes o f the trade on the job and under the



supervision of a journeyman. Consequently, it is clear that a large
proportion of the actual training aspect of apprenticeship is a labor
problem. Then most of the other elements in apprenticeship are
labor problems. They include the relating of the number of ap­
prentices to the job opportunities, wages, hours, bonuses, complaints,
school attendance, and apprenticeship indentures.
The relationship of the United States Department of Labor and
the United States Office of Education to the development of ap­
prenticeship has been carefully worked out in a joint statement pre­
pared by the two agencies and submitted to the Congress of the
United States. The statement pointed out:
It is clearly and officially recognized by the President, the Office of Educa­
tion, the United States Department of Labor, the National Youth Administra­
tion, and the American Federation of Labor, various national associations of
employers and State governments, that there are two distinct groups of re­
sponsibilities and functions in the promotion and subsequent operation of
plans for apprentice training. One group deals with the apprentice as an em­
ployed worker— the conditions under which he works, his hours of work, his
rates of pay, the length of his learning period, and the ratio of apprentices
to journeymen so that overcrowding or shortage of skilled workers in the
trade may be avoided in large part. The second group of responsibilities deals
with the apprentice as a student— the related, technical, and supplemental
instruction needed to make him a proficient worker and the supervision and
coordination of this instruction with his job experience.

The statement discussed the question as to whether the two distinct
phases o f apprenticeship could be most effectively advanced nation­
ally by a single administrative agency, or by the two Government
agencies which have jurisdiction, experience, and facilities in the
respective fields. It showed that in the States it has been demonstated that the labor-standards responsibility works out best when
handled by the State labor department and the educational respon­
sibility is best handled by educational authorities.
The Congress of the United States accepted this view and enacted
the Fitzgerald Act (Public 308), which made the work of the Fed­
eral Committee on Apprenticeship a permanent function of the
Department of Labor.
The House labor committee in its report
After listening to the witnesses who have appeared before the committee
and after examining the documents and evidence submitted, we come to the
conclusion that there has never been an adequate system for the training
of apprentices in the United States. * * * The economic progress of a
great industrial nation such as ours is largely dependent on the skill and
genius of its workmen. It is surprising, therefore, that definite national steps
had not been taken long ago to assure an adequate supply of skilled workmen
and at the same time, provide young people much needed employment in the
trades. * * * The Committee is of the opinion that the development of
mi adequate apprenticeship system is not an emergency program. There is
1 6 1 0 4 5 ° — 39 --------9



constant need for some Federal agency to bring employers and employees to­
gether in the formulation of national programs of apprenticeship, and to at­
tempt to adjust the supply of skilled workers to the demands of industry.
This is a logical function of the United States Department of Labor.

It should be said, in this connection, that the initial appropriation
was wholly inadequate to do the work expected of the Federal ap­
prenticeship agency. However, the last Congress recognized this
and made a supplementary appropriation which should measurably
increases the effectiveness o f the work.
State labor departments have definite responsibilities in the field
o f apprenticeship similar to those of the Federal Department o f
Labor. The Third National Conference on Labor Legislation,
which met in Washington, D. C., November 9-11, 1936, adopted the
report of its committee which said:
The committee wishes to bring before the Conference in the strongest terms
the need of establishing a stabilized program of apprenticeship throughout the
country. It recognizes the value to youth, to employers and employees, and to
the public of a program to stimulate and encourage the training of young people
to become thoroughly trained and responsible workers in the skilled trades.
A constructive and sound plan of apprenticeship must be developed for all
branches of the skilled crafts instead of the loose system of helpers and
learners now prevailing in numerous industries. A training structure to correct
the evils of this haphazard system should be built up, which will provide on an
intelligently planned and carefully protected basis a program developed under
accepted labor standards. The committee’s concern is with the setting up of
these labor standards—standards to protect the apprentice, the entire labor
group, the employer, and the public. The committee believes that this end
can best be attained through the enactment of sound legislation on apprentice­
ship in the various States.

The Conference recommended that the Secretary of Labor appoint
a committee to draft suggested standards for incorporation in State
apprenticeship legislation. It advised that the standards should in­
clude provision for placing the administration o f the law and the
control o f the labor standards aspects o f apprenticeship in the State
department of labor. It urged that State labor departments in the
administration o f apprenticeship laws cooperate closely with all agen­
cies interested in the field.
The Secretary o f Labor appointed a joint committee to act on the
recommendations o f the Conference and the result o f this committee’s
work is a document known as Suggested Language for State Volun­
tary Apprenticeship Legislation. This document has been distrib­
uted to all State labor departments with a memorandum explaining it.
The Fourth National Labor Conference on October 27, 1937,
adopted a resolution which called attention to the report o f the
previous conference and resolved “that the Fourth National Con­
ference on Labor Legislation urge the States to enact such (appren­
ticeship) legislation putting supervision o f labor standards o f



apprenticeship in the State labor departments,” and it further re­
solved “ that pending the enactment o f apprenticeship legislation,
each commissioner o f labor in cooperation with the State federation
o f labor and employers be urged to build up a sound system of ap­
prenticeship through representative apprenticeship councils,”
Since the recommendations of these two conferences were made,
several States have taken action in line with the recommendations.
Apprenticeship laws very similar to the “ Suggested Language for
Apprenticeship Legislation” have been enacted in Arkansas, Virginia,
Louisiana, and Massachusetts. The California Legislature passed
an apprenticeship bill, but it was vetoed by the Governor. The reason
for the veto is not known. An apprenticeship bill was introduced
in Illinois, but it ran into heavy opposition from employer organiza­
tions in Chicago, who had a misunderstanding of both the intent
and language of the bill. The proposed bill was intended to provide
machinery for promotion and to establish minimum, desirable ap­
prenticeship standards, but no employer was to be bound by its
provisions unless he voluntarily agreed to be so bound.
Colorado enacted apprenticeship legislation which followed very
closely the pattern o f the suggested bill, except that the administra­
tion was set up under the control of the State board for vocational
education. In that respect the Colorado law ran counter to the
expressed recommendations of the agencies which have made a study
o f the problem.
The Massachusetts law differs widely from the suggested bill in
that it set up a joint commission for 1 year only. Minimum appren­
ticeship standards were not established in the law, but this was dele­
gated to the commission. Likewise it is to issue “ advisory
regulations” to carry out the purpose of the act. The Massachusetts
act is the only one which provided for the payment of a secretary, but
even in this case the money authorized would permit a token payment
only, for the act provides that the commission may not expend in
any year a sum in excess o f $1,000.
Wisconsin and Oregon had apprenticeship legislation long before
the Labor Conference and recommendations. The Wisconsin act was
passed in 1911, and the Oregon act in 1931. Both have been
strengthened through amendments since that time.
This committee feels that satisfactory progress has been made in
securing the enactment of apprenticeship legislation, considering the
fact that relatively few legislatures have met for other than special
sessions since the suggested bill was prepared by the Joint Appren­
ticeship Committee. This committee is convinced that the purposes
o f apprenticeship legislation can be accomplished only if State labor
officials, legislators, the workers and their representatives, employers
and educators, will give sufficient thought to the tremendous sig-



19 3 8

nificance o f providing adequate preparation to our oncoming skilled
workers. The enactment o f apprenticeship legislation alone will not
be o f service to these young men and women. It can, serve only as a
guide and as a permanent stimulating agency. Every State needs at
least one, and in most cases several, full-time, highly qualified workers
to give their full time and attention to persuading both the employers
and workers to work together toward the common objective of
providing our youth with the opportunities which come with adequate
preparation in their chosen fields. This means that sufficient funds
must be provided labor departments to carry out the spirit as well
as the letter of the legislation.
Pending the time when their State legislatures meet, voluntary
apprenticeship councils have been appointed in Indiana, Michigan,
Kentucky, and Connecticut. The State apprenticeship committees,
which were set up to cooperate with the Federal Committee, are still
active in Ohio, California, Iowa, Illinois, and New Hampshire.
These councils and committees are able to perform a most useful
service to apprenticeship by bringing the employer, employee, labor
department, and vocational education views together and securing
coordinated action to achieve a common purpose—the proper devel­
opment o f all youth entering the skilled trades. Too, these councils
are able to prepare the way for the kind o f legislation on apprentice­
ship which is most satisfactory for their particular States.
In conclusion, this committee recommends that all governmental
labor officials give more attention to this problem of apprenticeship
than has been the practice heretofore. State labor commissioners
have a great responsibility to the young people o f their States and,
therefore, we particularly urge them to give apprenticeship their
personal consideration. We appreciate, of course, that these officials
are solely pressed for time to do the work for which they are already
responsible; but we feel that when there is a will, there is a way, and
that next year’s committee should be able to report far greater activ­
ity than we are able to report this year. In this connection, we feel
that we should inform you that the Federal Committee on Appren­
ticeship will have a considerably expanded field force for next year
and we urge all government labor officials who are concerned with
apprenticeship problems in any way to make full use of the profes­
sional services the Federal Committee is prepared now to furnish.
Apprenticeship Training
S u pp lem en tary R ep o rt o f th e C om m ittee on A p p re n tice T rain in g,
by V o y t a W r a b e t z , Chairm an

Apprenticeship often is considered as an educational problem, when
as a matter of fact it is primarily one of regulation. The Federal



Committee on Apprentice Training was created to regulate employ­
ment of learners who worked for a wage less than the minimum fixed
by the National Industrial Recovery Administration. Similarly,
the Wisconsin apprenticeship law was enacted in 1911 as a piece of
legislation supplementing to our minimum-wage act. In both in­
stances, Federal and State, the objective was to protect the learner
against exploitation. That explains why administration of appren­
ticeship should remain a function of labor and not of educational
departments. While it is true that even the beginning wage of the
majority o f apprentices is higher than the minimum established by
State law, nevertheless young people are willing to work for no
wages to learn a trade, and the temptation to exploit their services
is always present.
Craft labor unions think of apprenticeship as something which
must be regulated and controlled. They have long recognized that
misuse o f apprenticeship spells ruin to the trade. The unions, how­
ever, are more interested in maintaining an equitable ratio in train­
ing o f apprentices than in the manner o f apprentice wages. I f em­
ployment conditions are right, then wage rates are not so important.
That is as it should be.
Ordinarily, trade-unions do not want any public agencies to meddle
in apprenticeship. This attitude is not hard to understand. How­
ever, given the right kind of State-wide apprenticeship program,
organized labor not only will cooperate but will invite control of
apprenticeship by a public agency such as the State labor department.
There are two main reasons why labor should be willing to let one
State agency regulate apprenticeship. In the first place, a labor
union has no control over apprentices employed in unorganized
shops. The tendency has been to ignore the existence of apprentices
outside o f union shops. The attitude has been one of unconcern as to
ratio of apprentices working and training conditions and wages.
Nevertheless, those apprentices eventually become journeymen, and
from that moment on they become just as real as though they had
learned their trade in a union shop. Secondly, the trade-unions in
the city may be ever so able to regulate apprenticeship in their par­
ticular trade and city, but the effects of such control are largely
futile as long as apprenticeship is permitted to run wild in the smaller
towns and villages out in the State. Apprentices who get their
training and experience in small communities sooner or later are
lured to the larger cities by more attractive wages.
A State-controlled apprenticeship program then gives the unions
assurance that, regardless of whether a shop is organized or unor­
ganized and regardless of the size of the community, the same uni­
form apprenticeship standards can be made to apply. The union



19 3 8

sacrifices nothing by tying up with such a plan, because the require­
ments as to ratio, wages, training, and other conditions are just as
rigid as any the union might set up. Furthermore the unions are
given an equal voice with employers in establishing apprenticeship
standards. But mutual control of apprenticeship rests with the
State labor department, which in our case is the industrial
It is logical that there be only one agency directly responsible for
apprenticeship administration. There are other State and local
agencies, such as the vocational schools and employment service,
which impinge on apprenticeship, and these must be so correlated
that the apprentice will derive the greatest benefit. By protecting
the interests o f the apprentice, employers, unions, and everybody
concerned benefits, and furthermore, there is no overlapping of
For many years we have been advocating the use of apprenticeship
committees advisory to the industrial commission. We believe that
such bodies, especially the local joint apprenticeship committee, rep­
resent the best possible solution to the apprenticeship problem.
Today in some trades, as for example plumbing, there is such a com­
mittee in every city of a population of 5,000 or more. Such com­
mittees are not so necessary in the manufacturing industries as they
are in all o f the building trades, in printing, and in the service
occupations. Both unions and employers are delighted with the
results obtained thus far. There has been such an increase in the
popularity of the joint apprenticeship committee idea that much of
this supplementary report will be devoted to that subject.
The purpose of these committees can be summed up as follow s:
( a) To see that apprentice applicants are properly qualified for
admittance to the trade ;
( b ) To safeguard the interests of new apprentices by examining
into the qualification of the employer who intends to hire the appren­
( c ) To engage in all such functions as are intended to result in
the fulfillment of the obligation that parties to apprenticeship inden­
tures owe each other;
(.d ) To assist and advise State and city governmental agencies in
the administration o f such laws, ordinances, and rules which affect
the trade.
When a local apprenticeship committee advisory to the commission
meets to investigate and discuss a local apprenticeship problem, it is
acting for the commission. In effect, the commission says to the trade
locally: “ Here is a problem. We are expected to handle it to the
satisfaction of everybody concerned. You know more about local



conditions than we do. Therefore, we ask you to recommend to us
what action we ought to take in this particular case.”
Naturally, the committee should be given some written evidence
to show that it is authorized to represent the commission. On the
other hand, the commission is entitled to know the names and ad­
dresses of committee members and whether they really represent the
trade locally. Therefore, after a committee has been organized, each
member of the committee receives from the chairman of the indus­
trial commission an official letter designating him as a member.
The personnel o f the committee is composed of equal employer and
employee representation. That is a basic requirement. In some
places, three employer and three employee members constitute the
committee, while in others only two members from each side are
selected. Committee members are nominated by local employer and
employee organizations.
It would be hard for a committee to function without the help
o f consultants. In cities which have a vocational school, the direc­
tor of the school or his representative acts as consultant. I f there
is a public employment office, a representative from that office is a
consultant. Instructors, supervisors, inspectors, and any others who
may have some close connection with the employment and training
o f indentured apprentices are invited to act as consultants. By par­
ticipating in meetings of a committee, consultants very soon become
familiar with the problems of the trade, and therefore, their services
to the trade become that much more valuable and practicable.
The committee elects its own chairman and secretary. Invariably,
the chairman is a trade member and not a consultant. The secretary
may be any person whom the committee may name, and preferably
should be a representative of the labor department. Only trade
members vote when it becomes necessary to vote on an issue. Con­
sultants are presumed to occupy a neutral position.
Following are some of the functions of joint apprenticeship com­
mittees :
1. Promotion of apprenticeship does not necessarily mean hiring
new apprentices. There may be already a sufficient number, or even
too many, but who are they and where are they? The committee
should make it its business to ascertain the facts. Those who are not
indentured are not, in all probability, actually serving an appren­
ticeship. They are helpers in most cases. The committee’s job is
to find them and to see that they are regularly indentured.
2. To establish qualifications of masters and apprentices.
3. To pass upon new apprenticeships. This is the committee’s
most important function, because it is at this point that the com­
mittee can do the most good. We suggest to the committee that it



193 8

adopt standard application forms, to be filled out by the employer
who wants to hire an apprentice. The form should call for informa­
tion as to the employer’s volume and type of business; number of
journeymen employed; value and kind of equipment; personal prac­
tical experience and training; financial responsibility; and such other
information as the committee considers necessary to determine the
employer’s fitness to have an indentured apprentice.
The apprentice likewise should be required to fill out and file an
application blank. He should be asked to submit a record o f his
educational background, schools attended, grades completed, and
courses o f study taken. An examination of his school record will
reveal a great deal o f information about the applicant. In addition,
the committee should ask for a record of his previous employment,
i f any. It is reasonable to require of the applicant, for his own
protection, that he submit to a physical examination before admit­
tance to the trade.
Both applicant and employer should be asked to appear in person
before the committee. I f the employer has the welfare of his craft
at heart, he will not hesitate to meet the committee. To some, this
whole procedure may seem unnecessary and time consuming, but
keep in mind that we are shaping the lifelong careers of young peo­
ple. Furthermore, depending on how it is handled, apprenticeship
can make or break a trade. We feel that there need be no great
hurry. Any employer who cannot wait a few days before putting
an apprentice on the job is more interested in the amount of work
the boy can do than he is in true apprenticeship.
The employer should be prepared to show that he needs an ap­
prentice. He should show that he can and will furnish complete
training opportunities and that he can keep the apprentice reason­
ably continuously employed. In general, he should be required to
show that he can and will fulfill the obligations he assumes when he
signs the indenture.
By requiring the apprentice applicant to appear before it, the
committee is given a chance to examine into his character and to
decide whether he is the kind of person the trade wants within its
ranks. After all, character is of far more importance than either
school standings or mechanical ability. At this time, also, special
tests can be given the applicant and he may also be expected to pass
a written examination.
I f the committee is satisfied with the genuineness of the proposed
apprenticeship and puts its stamp of approval on it, the next step
is the preparation of the indenture. Contents of indentures have
been standardized in most trades so that it is an easy matter for any-



one to fill out the indenture. One copy of the indenture is sent to
the industrial commission for filing and approval.
If, however, the local committee does not recommend approval of
the apprenticeship, then the commission will act accordingly. In
that case the commission will expect to receive a complete report
from the committee explaining the reasons why the application was
turned down. Instances have occurred when the commission found
it necessary to reject the committee’s recommendations. It should
be said to the credit of trades that we have invariably found both
employer and employee committee members fair-minded and im­
partial in their deliberations. We have the utmost confidence in
them. I f either employer or apprentice applicant is not satisfied
with the committee’s judgment, there is nothing to prevent either
party from appealing directly to the commission’s apprentice
4. To keep a record of every apprenticeship within its jurisdiction.
The secretary of the committee maintains an up-to-date file of each
apprentice. This includes name and address of parties to indentures
and when the term of training began. I f the apprentice is tempo­
rarily laid off, he reports immediately to the committee. Through
the joint efforts of committee members, it may be possible to place
the learner with another employer. With the knowledge that the
apprentice is out of work, the committee at least will be warned
not to approve any new apprenticeships until the unemployed ap­
prentices are back at work. I f in the meantime the apprentice is
able to find a job with another employer to continue his training,
that too is reported to the committee. The point is, that the com­
mittee knows how many apprentices there are, wdiere they are, and
who they are.
5. One of the most difficult administrative problems in a State­
wide apprenticeship program is that of supervision. Here is where
an apprenticeship committee can be of great service. I f each ap­
prentice and his employer is required to report to the committee
every 6 months, the result is a systematic means of finding out
whether the parties to indentures are carrying out the terms of their
contract. An ideal arrangement is to have the apprentice subject
himself to a periodic examination to determine his progress in the
6. To encourage parties to indentures to bring their complaints
and grievances before the committee for adjustment. I f either em­
ployer or apprentice has a grievance to air, it is much better and
creates less hard feeling first to bring the matter before the com­
mittee rather than make official complaint to the industrial com­
mission. Most disagreements are not very serious anyway and can



19 3 8

be settled locally. Furthermore, committee members are in a better
position to judge the merits of a case than are outsiders. They are
more familiar with local conditions and affairs. I f the committee
cannot make an adjustment, then it reports its findings to the
industrial commission.
7. To assist in the transfer of apprentices. There are occasions
when it is necessary to transfer apprentices from one employer to
another, as, for example, in cases where the employer goes out of
business, or has no work to offer. Again, there are cases in which
the employer is unable to furnish complete all-round training and
it becomes advisable to indenture the apprentice to another em­
ployer. In all such transfers, the committee should determine what
is best for the apprentice and then act accordingly.
8. Determination of time credit for past experience. When in­
denturing an apprentice who claims some time credit for past ex­
perience in the trade, the committee will be asked to make recom­
mendations. Here again the committee is better qualified than any­
one else to decide the question. As members are practical men, they
are able accurately to evaluate the applicant’s past training. I f fur­
ther investigation is necessary, it is a simple matter for the journey­
man members to make inquiries of men with whom the applicant
has worked.
9. Lastly, the committee is expected to make recommendations to
the State committee or industrial commission or any suggestions for
improving apprenticeship administration.
Those are the functions o f joint apprenticeship committees. There
are no public funds out of which local committee members can be
compensated for their time and incidental expenses. However, rep­
resentatives of employers’ associations and trade unions who have
analyzed the benefits of controlled apprenticeship, are more than glad
to serve on committees without compensation.
D is c u s s io n

Dr. P atton (New Y ork). May I inquire whether the Wisconsin
plan contemplates anything in the nature of job guarantee to
apprentices who have completed the apprentice training ?
Mr. W rabetz . There is no guarantee of a job at the termination of
apprenticeship except that we do know from experience that there is
an actual shortage o f skilled workers. For instance, in Wisconsin
within a period of 5 years the average age of carpenters has risen
over 10 years. In other words, the average age of a skilled carpenter
journeyman was about 42; now I think it is 55. The age increase
has been over 10 years in a period of 5 years, which shows definitely



that there is an insufficient number of young men going into that
particular craft.
Mr. P a t t e r s o n (Washington, D. C.). Speaking for the appren­
ticeship unit of the Division of Labor Standards, I want to say that
it is very gratifying that this association has appointed a permanent
committee on apprenticeship, because we think it is an important
subject. It seems to me that the time was never riper for aggressive
action leading to State apprenticeship laws, with so many State legis­
latures meeting next year, and with the facts very well established
that this is a State labor department function, that national employer
groups have endorsed the idea, and that the American Federation
o f Labor has endorsed it. It seems that now is the time to cash in
on the national sentiment which has been built up and wdiich
strongly backs the idea of State legislation.
I want to say that any of the States which care to undertake to get
State legislation will be surprised at the backing it will get from
national employer groups. They have come to our rescue. The
unions certainly have gotten back of the plan, and I do not think
it is as hard a job as it appears to be. Surely now is an opportune
time. A ll the cards are stacked in that direction ; the sentiment is
in that direction. However, it will take considerable work to get
State legislation. States such as Virginia, Louisiana, and Massachu­
setts, which have gotten legislation, deserve a great deal of credit,
for they found that it took considerable work. But the difficulties
were not unsurmountable; it was possible to get such legislation.
After apprentice training is established in State labor departments
through legislation, it is vital and essential that they make a success
o f it. Mr. Wrabetz brought that out. It is a heavy responsibility,
but it does look as though apprenticeship is going places, and I am
sure that the fact that this Association has taken it up will be o f
great assistance in getting actual results from the legislatures that
meet next year.
Mr. W r a b e t z . I wonder if you might be interested in a little
statistical data. I will go back as far as 1930. In 1930 we approved
495 indentures; in 1931, 114; in 1932, 55; in 1933, 46; in 1934, 101;
in 1935, 440; in 1936, 946; in 1937, 1,055; and in the first 6 months of
this year, 402.

Child Labor
Child Labor in 1938
R ep o rt o f C om m ittee on Child L a b or, by B eatrice M c C onnesll ( United S ta tes
C hildren’s B u r e a u ), Chairm an

When this association was organized, more than half a century
ago, child labor was one of its chief interests. Labor legislation as
we know it today was then in its infancy. The need for sanitary
and safe working conditions, particularly in mines and factories, was
beginning to receive public attention, but the labor laws of 50 years
ago dealt for the most part with regulation of the conditions of work
of women and children. A 12-year minimum age and a 10-hour
day for the employment of children in factories was an average
standard, where a law existed at all. Many States had no child-labor
laws. Methods of administration and enforcement had received
even less attention than the basic legal standards.
The great advances in State legislation which have been made in
the past few decades reflect the changes in the public concept of what
constitutes adequate protection for both child and adult workers.
Instead o f a 12-year minimum-age standard, we have made great
strides toward the attainment of a 16-year minimum-age standard;
instead of a 10-hour day and a 60-hour week for minors, we are
approaching an 8-hour day and a 40-hour week, not only for young
workers but for all workers.
By the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act in June 1988, a
most significant advance in labor standards for both children and
adults has been achieved. This law, designed to protect interstate
commerce from the unfair and harmful effects of oppressive labor
conditions, recognizes the economic interdependence of the States. By
closing the channels of interstate commerce to employers failing to
comply with its standards as to minimum wages, maximum hours,
and employment of children, it requires interstate industries to adopt
those standards. It sets up a minimum age of 16 years for work in
all occupations covered by the act—that is, work in industries pro­
ducing goods for interstate commerce—and a minimum age of 18
years in such occupations as may be found and declared by the Chief
o f the Children’s Bureau to be particularly hazardous or detrimental
to their health or well-being. Goods produced in establishments in



which children have been employed contrary to these standards with­
in 30 days prior to the removal of such goods are prohibited from
shipment across State lines or to any foreign country. The employ­
ment of children between 14 and 16 years of age outside school hours,
in occupations other than manufacturing and mining, may be per­
mitted under regulations issued by the Chief of the Children’s Bureau,
if such employment has been determined not to interfere with their
health or well-being. Children employed in agriculture when not
legally required to attend school, or as actors in motion pictures or
theatrical productions, or working for their parents in occupations
other than manufacturing or mining, are exempted from these childlabor provisions.
The provisions relating to maximum hours and minimum wages
apply to minors and adults alike. A basic 44-hour week is established
for the first year under the act, a basic 42-hour week for the second
year, and a basic 40-hour week thereafter. Longer hours may be
worked if the employer pays time and one-half the regular rate for
the overtime. The basic minimum-wage standard for the first year
under the act is 25 cents per hour, 30 cents beginning with the second
year, with a minimum of 40 cents per hour to be effective at the end
o f the seventh year. Variations up to the 40 cents per hour minimum
may be set up by industry committees appointed by the administrator,
on which the industry, the employees, and the public shall be equally
The child-labor provisions of the act are to be administered by the
Children’s Bureau of the United States Department of Labor; the
wage and hour provisions by a Wage and Hour Division established
in the United States Department of Labor, under the direction of an
administrator. In enforcing the act the Federal officials are author­
ized to cooperate with State and local agencies administering State
labor laws.
The International Association of Governmental Labor Officials has
pressed for Federal child-labor standards since before the first Fed­
eral child-labor law was enacted. In the administration of that law,
State labor officials took an effective part. After it was declared un­
constitutional this association declared its belief that the enactment
o f Federal child-labor legislation would “aid the States in the enact­
ment and administration of [State] child-labor laws.” 1 After the
experience with national standards under the N. K. A. codes, State
labor officials at the National Conference on Labor Legislation, in
1935, agreed with labor leaders and others interested in advancing
State labor standards, that “ a national child-labor law is an impera1
Resolution of the eleventh annual convention of the Association of Governmental Labor
Officials of the United States and Canada, passed at Chicago, 111., May 22, 1924. (U. S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bull. No. 389, p. 139.)



19 3 8

tive need,” and stated that great gains had been made under the codes
in “ raising child-labor standards and eliminating child labor from
certain areas o f industry where it had not been possible to do away
with its evils through State action.2
Today we have again the advantage of a Nation-wide uniform
minimum child-labor standard. The child-labor committee of the
International Association of Governmental Labor Officials particularly
desires to see the greatest possible advance made in our State laws and
State administration under the impetus of this Federal minimum
standard, below which no State may fall, but which any State may
surpass. Experience in the past shows that State advances are more
rapid when a Federal minimum is in existence than when only State
standards are in effect. The following rough comparison of the
present standards of our State laws with those of the new Fair Labor
Standards A.ct will give us a picture of our main objectives in this
field during the coming year.
In d u stries regu lated .— The child-labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards
Act apply to the production of goods to be shipped across State lines. Its
application, therefore, is narrower than that of practically all our State laws,
as State laws apply to intrastate as well as to interstate industries. Neverthe­
less, standards for employment of young people in the intrastate commercial and
service occupations under many laws are lower than for employment in fac­
tories. For instance, 22 States have a lower minimum-wage standard for work
in stores than for work in manufacturing establishments, this lower standard
being effective usually for work outside school hours or under other specified
conditions. The raising of State standards in the nonfactory occupations is
particularly important, because the latter are for the most part outside the
purview of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and because of the comparatively
recent trend in the employment of children under 16 away from manufacturing
toward the trade and service occupations.
M inim um age fo r gen era l em ploym en t.— The Fair Labor Standards Act sets a
basic 16-year minimum age. Ten of the 48 States now have a similar basic 16year minimum, 8 having established this standard during the past 5 years. Two
of these, however, still permit employment in factories outside school hours.
In most of the other States a basic 14-year minimum age obtains, though 4
have a 15-year minimum. It is important, not only that States raise their
basic standards, but that weakening exemptions be eliminated. Such exemptions
allow employment of children under undesirable conditions and add to the
difficulty of effective administration.
E m p loym en t certifica tes.— The Fair Labor Standards Act recognizes the im­
portance of the employment-certificate system by providing that an employer
may be protected from unwitting violation of the act if he has secured and
has on file an age certificate issued according to regulations set up by the
Chief of the Children’s Bureau. All but five States now have some system of
employment certification. The extension and strengthening of these employmentcertificate systems is highly important, in view not only of the enforcement of
Proceedings of the Second National Conference on Labor Legislation, Asheville, N. C.,
October 4 -5 , 1935 (U. S. Department of Labor, Division of Labor Standards, Bull. No. 3,
p. 69).



State laws but also of the administration of the Fair Labor Standards Act,
since the act makes possible the cooperation of the Children’s Bureau with State
and local agencies enforcing State child-labor laws and issuing employment
certificates. That such a cooperative relationship between Federal and State
officials is practicable was demonstrated in the administration of the Federal
Child Labor Law of 1916, when employment certificates issued under State law
in more than three-fourths of the States were accepted as Federal certificates,
subject to agreements as to acceptable procedure to be used in their issuance.
Improvements in the employment-certificate provisions of many of our State
laws are necessary. The keystone of the employment-certificate system is the
reliability of the evidence of age required. A birth certificate should be required
in all cases unless absolutely unobtainable, and, failing this, reliable documen­
tary evidence should be insisted upon. In no case should a parent’s affidavit or
school record be accepted without assurance that no better proof can be pro­
duced, and this evidence should be corroborated by a physician’s certificate of
health and normal development. The laws of only about half the States now
set a standard equal to this. All the States are now in the birth-registration
area 3 and the requirement of birth certificates is correspondingly more easily
met. Thirty-one of the States have been in the birth-registration area for at
least 16 years.
C o m p u ls o r y s c h o o l a tt e n d a n c e .— Although the Fair Labor Standards Act does
not deal with compulsory school attendance, the provisions of the State laws
on this subject will have a vital effect on its enforcement. The more progressive
State laws require a 2-year period between the minimum age for employment
and the age up to which school attendance is required, with a provision that
during this 2-year period, children going to work must obtain employment
certificates and should not be permitted to leave school except for employment.
The fact that a child who is of legal age for employment must be in school
i f he has not obtained an employment certificate automatically utilizes the
school-attendance enforcement machinery to keep children from going to work
illegally. In States with a 16-year minimum age for employment, where school
attendance is not required above 16, there is no such automatic check on chil­
dren leaving school, and the probability of illegal employment is increased. In
view of the 16-year minimum age of the Fair Labor Standards Act, it is clear
that the requirement in every State of school attendance of children up to 18
years of age, unless they have reached the age of 16 and have obtained employ­
ment certificates, will be a valuable aid in its administration.
H a z a r d o u s o c c u p a tio n s .— One of the most important provisions of the new
Fair Labor Standards Act is that which makes possible the exclusion of young
workers of 16 and 17 years of age from occupations which present special
hazards of accident or industrial disease. This is not an untried method of
regulating the employment of minors in hazardous occupations, as 27 State
labor laws now give some State agency, either the department of labor or the
department of health, similar power. But this power has been exercised effec­
tively in only a few States, and in only 17 States does it extend to young
workers after they reach 16.
There is need, not only for advances in State laws with respect to hazardous
occupations, but also for the building up in each State of a body of information
about accident and health hazards in industries in which minors are employed,
which may serve as a basis for determining the occupations from which they
should be excluded.
States recorded by the census in the birth-registration area are those where 90 percent
or more of births have been found to be registered.



19 3 8

H o u rs o f labor.— The Fair Labor Standards Act sets for the first year of its
operation a maximum workweek of 44 hours. Only 5 States have set as high
a standard for minors up to 18 years of age. Regulation of hours of work has
made slower progress for boys and girls of 16 and 17 years than for children
under 16 years of age, for whom a maximum 24-hour week is set in 1 State,
a 40-hour week in 2 States, and a 48-hour week in 38 States.
M inim um w a g e.— The Fair Labor Standards Act sets for the first year a basic
25 cents an hour minimum for all workers regardless of age. Twenty-five
States have minimum-wage laws, in most cases applying to women and minors,
but in four to women and girls alone, and in one (Oklahoma) to all workers.
Two of these laws, those of Kentucky and Louisiana, were enacted during the
past year.

This comparison o f State child-labor legislation with the childlabor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1988 shows the
need for concerted effort on the part of the membership of this or­
ganization to encourage the passage of State legislation improving
general State standards for the protection of young workers. In
addition, in order to make possible the enactment by Congress o f a
Federal minimum that will extend to intrastate as well as interstate
industries, ratification of the pending child-labor amendment by the
8 additional States necessary should be a prime objective of the
organization. No additional State ratified the amendment this year,
though resolutions to ratify were brought before the legislatures o f
3 States. However, only 22 legislatures met in either regular
or special session, and o f these 12 had already ratified. The validity
of 2 of the ratifications in 1937—those of Kansas and Kentucky—
has been brought before the United States Supreme Court. The
questions to be decided, which have been repeatedly urged by op­
ponents o f the amendment, are, first, whether a State may ratify
after the legislature has once rejected the amendment; and second,
whether the lapse of time since the amendment was submitted to the
States has precluded the possibility of ratification. Conflicting de­
cisions on these two questions were handed down last year by the
highest State courts of Kansas and Kentucky, and the cases were
taken to the United States Supreme Court on petitions for writs o f
certiorari. The Court has taken jurisdiction and the cases will be
argued early in the October term. I f the Court’s decision is favor­
able, every effort should be made to complete ratification in 1939,
when nearly all the State legislatures will hold regular sessions.
In addition to those phases of general child-labor legislation, both
State and Federal, which have already been discussed, there are cer­
tain specific child-labor problems that should be brought to your
attention. Last year your committee pointed out the need for fur­
ther extension of State child-labor laws to children engaged in street
trades and the raising o f standards for such work. The problem o f
adequate legal control of employment conditions for young boys en-



gaged as newspaper or magazine distributors, who work under con­
tract and are often held to be “little merchants” working independ­
ently and not subject to the child-labor law, is one which is in need
o f careful consideration. The Wisconsin law enacted in 1937, which
defined these children as employees of the publisher or distributor,
is the only State law dealing directly with the problem by placing
the responsibility upon the business benefiting from the child’s work.
Another serious problem is the employment of children in industrial
home work, which is still unregulated in many States, in spite o f
advances in recent years toward effective regulation of this form
o f industrial production.
In the field of international regulation of child labor, your com­
mittee reported last year on the two revised conventions adopted by
the International Labor Office in 1937, raising from 14 to 15 the basic
minimum age for the employment of children in both industrial and
nonindustrial occupations. In accordance with the requirement that
conventions adopted by the International Labor Office shall be sub­
mitted within a year to the competent authority in each member
State, these conventions have been sent by the President to Congress.
The International Labor Office draft convention fixing the mini­
mum age for admission of children to employment at sea, revised in
1936 to raise the basic minimum age for such employment from 14 to
15, was ratified by the Senate on June 13,1938, with the understanding
that it applies only to navigation on the high seas, and that it shall
not apply to the Philippine Islands and on the Panama Canal Zone,
with respect to which this Government reserves its decision.
In conclusion the committee on child labor makes the following
specific recommendations:
1. That the International Association of Governmental Labor Officials extend
its support t o :
(d) The enactment of amendments to State child-labor laws that will (1)
bring the State child-labor standards for the productive industries up to those
of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and (2) extend these standards to the com­
mercial and service occupations not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The provision for employment certificates for all minors up to 18 years
of age and for adequate supervision of the issuance of such certificates by the
State department of labor or the State department of education, in order to
strengthen administration and provide uniformity in issuance.
The extension of State compulsory school attendance laws to all chil­
dren under 16 years of age and to children between 16 and 18 years of age
unless they are legally employed.
2. That in the enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act the greatest
possible utilization be made of State and local officials enforcing State childlabor laws and issuing employment certificates, and that the fullest cooperation
of the membership of this organization be extended to the Children’s Bureau in
such administration.
161045°— 39—




That State accident and industrial disease reporting systems oe more
fully developed in respect to the accident and health hazards to which young
workers are exposed, with a view to providing sound statistical information
on this subject as a basis for advances in State laws prohibiting the employ­
ment of minors in hazardous occupations, and to assist the Children’s Bureau in
the determination of hazardous occupations to be prohibited to minors of 16
and 17 under the Fair Labor Standards Act,
D is c u s s io n

Mr. W rabetz (Wisconsin). I have one objection. I do not think
that the employment certificates should be issued by the department of
education. They should be issued only by the department of labor.
Mr. D a v i e (New Hampshire). The board of education has abso­
lute charge o f those certificates on account of the school-attendance
law, which steps right in behind your child-labor law. O f course, I
do not know how it is in Wisconsin.
Miss M c C o n n e l l (Washington, D. C.). May I say that the com­
mittee made the recommendation in this form because it is true that
in a great many of the States the supervision is already in the hands
of the State department of education, and it seemed wise to accept
adequate supervision regardless of whether it was in the department
of labor or the department of education.
Mr. P e a c o (Iow a). In Iowa we are very successful in cooperating
with the schools. In fact, they are a great aid to us in the issuing of
certificates by locating the under-age children who are out working.
The cooperation is really excellent.
Miss S w e t t (Wisconsin). Is it the recommendation of the com­
mittee that it be a centralized system or that each school in each
community act as its own separate organization?
Miss M c C o n n e l l . The recommendation of the committee is for
adequate supervision by one State department or the other, in either
case involving centralized supervision. It is not that the committee
believed there should not be local administration of issuance, but
that there should be State supervision of some kind, either by the
State department of labor or by the State department of education.
In the States which I know best where such supervision is given by the
State department of education, the supervision and the setting up of
forms is the responsibility of the State department; the certificates
are issued locally by the school officials.
Miss S w e t t . But the standards are set up by the State ?
Miss M c C o n n e l l . Yes; it may not be clear, but it was the intent
of the committee to recommend that there be State supervision and
uniform State standards for the issuance of employment certificates.



I f that supervision can be given to the department of labor, all to the
good, but if it is already in the hands of the schools, so that the su­
pervision could not logically be placed in the department of labor,
then it is the committee’s feeling that supervision by the State depart­
ment o f public instruction or department of education would provide
for State-wide standards, just as the system which you have in W is­
consin provides for setting up State standards by the State industrial

Wage-Claim Collection

Wage-Claim Laws
R ep o rt o f

C om m ittee on W age-C laim C ollection L a w s, by E.
{A rk a n sa s D ep a rtm en t o f L a b o r ), Chairm an


M cK in l e y

Since the selection o f the joint wage-claim collection committee,
consisting of Morgan Mooney, deputy commissioner of labor, Connec­
ticut ; W. A. Pat Murphy, commissioner of labor, Oklahoma; Harry
R. McLogan, member of industrial commission, Wisconsin; O. B.
Chapman, director, department of industrial relations, Ohio; with
E. I. McKinley, commissioner of labor of Arkansas, as chairman, ap­
pointed by Miss Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor; and Hon. A. W.
Crawford, Ontario, Canada, Department of Labor, president of the
International Association of Governmental Labor Officials, in 1935,
there has been, through the cooperation of Secretary Lubin, rather
satisfactory progress along the line of legislation designed to bring
about the collection of wages without the wage earner being com­
pelled to pay cost and give bond, in cases where issuing garnishment
and attachments was necessary.
In the 1937 legislatures in Connecticut, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska,
New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, West Virginia, and W yo­
ming, wage-collection legislation along the lines recommended by the
committee was introduced but failed of passage. In South Carolina
the model wage-collection law was passed by the legislature, but due
to some technical changes desired by the Governor, it was vetoed.
In the States of Illinois, New Mexico, Utah, and Arkansas the law
ras adopted practically as written, with the exception that in the
States mentioned, where other provisions of the law were already a
part of the statute of the States, the other provisions of the model
wage-collection law were adopted. This was true in the State of
A number of States (in fact practically all) have some legisla­
tion regulating the payment of wages, such as the requirement of the
weekly pay day or semimonthly pay day, payment to discharged
employees after a certain waiting period; but the giving of authority
to the State labor officials to file suit without giving bond for cost,
and to accept assignment of wages for collection, has been made the



law of but a very few States in the Union, and possibly this is one
of the most desired provisions of the model collection law. The
States o f Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana,
Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Montana,
Maryland, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West
Virginia, and Wyoming do not have authority to bring civil suit
without giving bond for cost. There are possibly other States with­
out this authority, but the limited time we have had to make this
investigation prevents us from giving specifically the States with­
out this authority.
We find that in the State of New Jersey the department of labor
has a collection division with requirement to pay wages every 2
w^eeks, and the department of labor is given the authority then to
file both criminal and civil action. In Colorado claims may be filed
with the justice of peace without paying cost, but we are informed
that the justices of peace do not uniformly cooperate in carrying out
this provision of the Colorado law. In the State of Connecticut
nonpayment may be reported to the prosecuting attorney and crim­
inal action brought, but it does not appear that civil action can be
brought without payment of cost. In the State of Washington, suit
may be filed without payment of cost. In the State of Oregon, suit
may be filed by the commissioner of labor. Wisconsin has given
the laborer the advantage of a collection law since 1934.
The 1937 legislature of the State of Arkansas amended its collec­
tion law in order to give the commissioner o f labor authority to have
issued attachment or garnishment before a judgment without the ne­
cessity of giving bond to indemnify the defense against damage.
The wording of the amendment is practically the proposed amend­
ment of the model wage-collection act. However, through some error
in the drafting of this act, we were limited by this amendment
to attachment and garnishment before a judgment, to cases where
the laborer had a lien on the thing created or produced. At the
next session o f the legislature there will be an attempt to extend this
amendment to all wage-collection claims regardless of the existence
o f a lien. Regardless of the amendment, the collection division of
the Arkansas Department of Labor has had issued in several cases
attachments before a judgment where the laborer did not have a
lien, and due to an oversight of the defendant’s attorney or for some
reason, our right was not questioned. It has been the policy of the
Arkansas Department of Labor to attempt to apply our labor laws
in a manner to see what can be done with the law, rather than to
study the law from a standpoint of determining to what limits we
may go. We have found that alert attorneys for the defendant will

1 44


19 3 8

usually inform us, through the court, as to the limitation of our
labor laws.
Since the passage of that provision of the uniform wage-collection
law referring to attachments before a judgment, in the State o f
Arkansas, the collection department o f the department of labor has
had issued 11 attachments. These attachments involved the interests
of 75 individuals claiming wages due amounting to $3,527.74, which
was recovered. It is highly probable that this amount of wages
would never have been recovered had the department been compelled
to secure a judgment, and then have execution issued later, as these
attachments involved movable property in the hands of insolvent
defendants. Therefore, it is very plain to see that at least in one
State this amendment has resulted in recovering for the laborers
more than $3,000 that would otherwise not have been paid to them.
Due to the existence of an adequate collection law in the State of
Arkansas, the department of labor has been reasonably successful
in the collection of unpaid wages. During the past 2 years 990
wage claims have been filed with the department, involving wages
allegedly due of $30,352.69; 633 of these cases were settled without
suit, involving $11,852.41; 224 claims were dismissed after a hearing
in the office before the deputy labor commissioner. These claims
involved $8,872.70. There are pending at present 133 cases involv­
ing $7,490.72; 146 suits have been filed involving $8,305.76, and of
these we were unsuccessful in obtaining judgment in only 12 cases,
involving $391.14. There are still pending 35 suits involving
Your chairman has not had an opportunity to confer with the
other members o f the committee. However, it is his opinion that the
other members of the committee will join him in the suggestion that
the International Association o f Governmental Labor Officials continue
its efforts through its president and secretary, together with a stand­
ing committee, to keep alive the interest in the various States to bring
about the passage of wage-collection laws along the lines of the
model wage-collection law compiled by the joint committee in 1935.
I believe that I can state for the committee that the progress made
is gratifying. The interest aroused in the various States, as can be
shown by letters from commissioners of labor and the passage of the
laws in the States mentioned, is sufficient proof that there is an
opportunity to incorporate in the State laws of the various States
wage-collection laws that will result in securing for the laborer
wages earned, without demanding o f him payment o f cost or requir­
ing a bond to be made. It is so evident that the payment to the
wage earner of the money he has earned is not only for the benefit of
the laborer himself, but is a benefit to society in general. I recall



distinctly where, several years ago, a number of laborers had been
employed in a large gravel pit, the owners of which had been very
successful for a number of years, but marketable gravel ceased to be
available where their plant was located, resulting in bankruptcy and
a debt of more than $11,000 due laborers. This w a s near a small
town of less than 3,000 population. These laborers lived in this small
town, and were extended credit by the merchants. It developed after
this corporation had gone into bankruptcy that 75 percent of the
$11,000 due the laborers was also due from them to small merchants in
this small town. The department of labor was successful in col­
lecting the full amount of wages, since in Arkansas wage claims hold
a preferred position to other debts in cases of bankruptcy. It can
readily be seen from this experience that the collection of the wages
due these laborers was not so great an immediate benefit to them as
to their creditors.
Therefore, I will recommend that the Association establish some
permanent agency to continue dispensing information in reference
to the model wage-collection law, and give such assistance to the
various commissioners of labor and labor-union legislative committees
who are interested as will lead to the passage of adequate wagecollection laws in the various States of the Union.
D isc u ssio n

Mr. Y o u n g (Colorado). Colorado has a semimonthly pay day.
We also have a wage-claim-court act which provides that for any
sum less than $100 the claimant can go to the court and deposit a $1
fee with the justice o f the peace, and he is supposed to attend to the
claim, but the justices of the peace do not want dollar cases. We are
fortunate in having a go-getter for a claim collector out there. He
gets after them with letters, follow-up letters, telephone calls, per­
sonal calls, calling them in, and so forth, and he gets the money.
We have nothing but a great big bluff and a prayer, but that man
collects over 80 percent of all claims that come to him because he is
a hustler. Perhaps that is all we need, just so the money is collected.
Mr. B ell (British Columbia). I was particularly interested in
Mr. McKinley’s paper on this very important subject because it is one
that is very much alive in the Province from which I come, and my
instructions from my Minister were to pay particular attention to this
discussion, because he is anxious to introduce some more effective
legislation for the protection of wage earners in British Columbia.
We have a semimonthly payment of wages law, which is not appli­
cable to every wage earner in the Province, but is limited in applica­
tion to certain industries that are cited in the act. I am o f the opin-



19 38

ion that legislation of this type should and must go hand in hand
with other legislation compelling the payment of wages at the regu­
lar pay periods. Our type of legislation, in itself, is not sufficient.
We use our semimonthly act very effectively in some cases, but we
use it only as a threat. The penalties which that act provides do
not guarantee money for the employees, but we frequently find that
when we threaten an employer with action, he can dig up the money
to pay the wages. Sometimes we do not catch the employer, par­
ticularly if he comes from some other country. We have a rapidly
expanding mining industry, and the potentialities of mining are
very great. Consequently, we have people from other countries com­
ing in and taking up claims. I f they work out all right, everything
goes fine. But if the claims do not prove up to expectations, the em­
ployer sometimes just disappears from the country and the wage
earners are left. Sometimes we catch him; sometimes we do not.
O f course, we have our own employers in our own country to deal
with in just the same way.
There is one thing that I might mention in connection with this
semimonthly payment of wages act. It is a point which may not
have been brought up in some o f your States here. The act provides
a penalty for an employer who fails to pay wages at the regularly
stated period. The penalty is a fine or imprisonment. On one occa­
sion we took action in the courts against an employer. He was
found guilty and sentenced to a term of imprisonment. It ulti­
mately transpired that he or some friends of his appealed to the
attorney general. By the time the appeal had reached the attorney
general, the employer was in jail and the deputy attorney general said
to me: “What are you doing? This is imprisonment for debt.” I
said, “Well, it may be.” “ But,” he said, “you have no right to put
that man in jail, imprisoning him for something that he can’t pay
up.” I said: “As a matter of fact I didn’t put him in jail, but he
is in there now and if you can get him out, all right; go ahead.”
But that is just the point in connection with this semimonthly pay­
ment act. There is room for argument, legal argument, that the
penalties are equivalent to those for debt. That, however, is aside
from the main question. The point that I was making is, that while
this legislation is very good and very desirable, I am looking forward
to the time in the future when we, in British Columbia, will have
something patterned largely along the lines of the act that was drawn
up by the committee o f this association. I still hold that the two
things should go hand in hand; that is, the law requiring the pay­
ment of wages at regular periods and the collection as well.
Mr. D u r k i n (Illinois). I want to call to your attention an ex­
perience we are having in Illinois. We have before the courts a case



for the collection of wages, and the employer has raised the ques­
tion that it is not wages that is due the party but salary. The
supreme courts in several States have, I believe, differentiated be­
tween wages and salary, and it will probably be necessary to amend
the act so that it will cover both.
Mr. M cK i n l e y (Arkansas). In the State of Arkansas, the court
has ruled the act covers any sort of remuneration for services ren­
dered, so we are all right there.

Industrial Home Work
Industrial Home-Work Legislation
R e p o r t o f th e C om m ittee on In d u stria l H o m e W o r k , b y M organ R. M ooney
( C on n ecticu t D ep a rtm en t o f L a b o r ), Chairm an

Interest in the more effective control of industrial home work has
kept pace during recent years with the current pronounced trend
toward improved labor standards for factory and other workers.
For the first time this practice o f sending factory work into private
homes is being faced squarely as a competitive method of industrial
Beginning with the passage of the New York and Connecticut pro­
hibitory laws in 1935, States—7 in all within 2 years—moved quickly
to enact new home-work legislation, in most instances looking toward
the eventual elimination of the practice. Today 18 States1 in this
country have laws or regulations which expressly prohibit or attempt
to regulate, in some measure, the performance of industrial work in
private homes. In the case of Ohio, however, the regulation applies
only when workers from outside the home engage in work therein.
In Canada, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Ontario have
regulations designed to protect the public health against articles made
in unsanitary homes; and in addition, British Columbia and Ontario
regulate certain labor conditions under which industrial home work
is performed.
The current year, 1937-38, has been a small legislative year insofar
as the States are concerned. Relatively few legislatures—only nine,
in fact—met in regular session, and in only one State, New Jersey,
was an effort made to secure enactment o f a new home-work law,
which, however, failed o f passage.
The outstanding legislative event of the year was, of course, the
enactment o f the Federal wage and hour law. It is probably too
soon to predict the ultimate effect o f this measure on the performance
o f industrial home work in this country, but in the absence o f any
exception for this method of production, I think we may safely
assume that the provisions o f the law apply. For a number of years
this organization has anticipated Federal legislation which would
1 California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri,
New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah,




lend support to State effort to control industrial home work, and I
am sure that we shall all watch the effect of the new act with interest.
The last 1 2 months have been marked by definite progress in the
administration o f home-work laws. Acting under the authority of
its 1935 law, New York issued its third prohibitory order, applying
in this case to the artificial flower and feather industries. In its
first and second orders, this State had already prohibited industrial
home work in the men’s and boys5 outer clothing industry and the
men’s and boys’ neckwear industry, respectively. Application of
this most recent order has been suspended, however, pending the
outcome o f a petition now before the board o f standards and appeals
in the State department o f labor which questions the validity of the
order. In this connection, it is interesting to note that the 1935
New York law successfully withstood its first challenge when, only
within the last few weeks, the board o f standards and appeals denied
a review o f an administrative order revoking an employer’s permit
for violation o f the home-work law.
During the year Rhode Island, for the second time, included a
home-work prohibition in one o f its minimum-wage orders. Rhode
Island’s first mandatory order has been applied to the jewelry manu­
facturing industry and the second, effective in 1938, to the manufac­
ture o f wearing apparel and allied products. Utah, acting under
a general authority to control the conditions under which women and
minors are employed, by order prohibited home work in retail trade.
Basing its action largely on the decisions of the State courts with
respect to industrial home workers under the workmen’s compensa­
tion law, the New York Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board
recently affirmed the application o f the State unemployment com­
pensation act to industrial home workers.
Ini February, the various State industrial home-work law adminis­
trators met in Washington, at the Secretary of Labor’s invitation,
for a second time to exchange and discuss experience in the adminis­
tration o f home-work legislation and effective methods of enforce­
It is unnecessary to review for this body, I am sure, the character­
istic abuses of the home-work practice—the exploitation of the work­
ers ; the damaging competition to factory production; the cost to the
community when the returns from home work must be supplemented
from relief funds in order that the family may subsist. From
throughout the country come reports of the continued passage of
industrial home-work materials across State lines—from employers
operating in one State to be processed by home workers living else­
where—and we may reasonably expect to hear more and more of this
interstate shipment o f home-work materials as the principal home­
work States move to drastic methods of control, and as the possibility



19 3 8

of the shifting o f home work to heretofore untouched fields therefore
increases. States which now have little or no legal regulation o f
industrial home work, and indeed States where home work has been
virtually unknown, cannot be urged too strongly to take immediate
steps to enact home-work legislation before the practice becomes a
real problem within their borders.
In October 1937 your committee on industrial home work met to
reexamine, on the basis o f actual State experience, certain of the
provisions o f the standard bill; and, in conclusion, the committee
recommends two changes, both of which have arisen from certain
difficulties which developed in connection with the original license
fee of $200, with special reference to the employer who employed
only one or two handicapped or aged home workers. Originally,
there had been a difference of opinion within the committee as to
the advisability o f charging such a high initial fee, and the com­
mittee has agreed that, in order to avoid the individual case o f real
hardship to the home worker which might be used to discredit the
wdiole control of the home-work practice, it is advisable to reduce the
original fee from $200 to $50, and to allow, at the discretion of the
enforcing agency, the continued employment of home workers who
are too handicapped for factory work. After the first year, the
employer’s license fee remains, of course, $50 to $200, depending
on the number o f home workers employed.
Specifically, the changes which the committee recommends are as
follow s:
S ection 5, su bsection .2: After the words “industrial home work,” in line 10,
insert “except as may be otherwise provided in such order pursuant to the
provisions of section 6 of this act.”
S ection 6, su b section 2 : Change the period at the end of the last sentence to a
comma and add the follow ing: “and shall contain such terms and conditions as
the commissioner may deem necessary to carry out the purpose and intent of
this act and to safeguard its provisions. I f the commissioner finds that as a
result of a prohibitory order undue hardship will ensue to home workers in the
industry who because of advanced age or other disability are unable to adjust
to factory employment, such order, if the commissioner determines that it is not
inconsistent with the purposes of this act, may permit limited distribution of
industrial home work, under such terms and conditions as the commissioner may
prescribe, to any person engaged in the industry as a home worker on or prior
to the effective date of such order (1) who because of old age or physical or
mental disability or injury is unable to adjust himself to factory employment;
or (2) who is unable to leave home because his services are essential to care
for an invalid in the home.”
S ectio n 9, su b section 1 : In the first line, change $200 to $50, so that the com­
plete sentence shall read: “A fee of $50' shall be paid to the commissioner for
the original issuance of an employer’s permit.”

I move the endorsement o f these changes to the standard industrial
home-work bill and the adoption of this report.



D is c u s s io n

Miss P a p e r t (New York). In the neckwear industry in New York
State home work is prohibited. On advice of counsel, we have ruled
that an employer who maintains a factory or any kind of establish­
ment in New York State must conform to the regulations of New
York State. That means that in the neckwear industry and the
men’s clothing industry, where home work is prohibited, home work
is prohibited for all the employees of that particular manufacturer.
He cannot send the work across the State line to New Jersey because
our home-work regulation applies to him. In other words, the law
applies to the manufacturer, since he maintains a place of business in
New York State. I f that ruling is generally adopted in States which
have laws prohibiting home work, it prevents to some extent the send­
ing of home work into other States.
A second point that may be of general interest is that in New York
State we recently had a hearing on the artificial flower and feather
industry before our board of standards and appeals, and you may be
interested to know that we submitted to our board of standards and
appeals both a legal brief and quite a complete factual brief. It was
shown that this appeal was being made by only a very small propor­
tion of the manufacturers in that industry, some of whom were also
the largest manufacturers.
Third, we are for the first time to begin the application of the
minimum-wage law to a home-work industry—specifically, the glove
industry, where about half of the workers are home workers. We
do not know quite where we are going to come out on it, because it is
a piece-work industry; it is also a highly skilled trade. We shall be
glad to have suggestions from any other States which have tackled
similar problems.
Miss S t i t t (Washington, D. C.) I think it might be of interest to
the group to know that in Rhode Island and Utah—correct me if I
am mistaken—home work is prohibited by their minimum-wage
Mr. M o r t o n (Virginia). In Virginia, we are just beginning to en­
force our hours law for women—not more than 9 hours in 1 day or
48 hours in 1 week. The problem that gives us the most trouble is the
beauty operator. The attorney general has ruled that beauty opera­
tors come under the law, and the result has been the operators are
leaving the shop and doing the work in the home, where they are
exempt from the hours law, because they are their own managers
there. This and other types of home work are giving us some



19 3 8

Miss P a p e r t . We have a beauty-shop minimum-wage order, and
that has been one of the results that has been predicted for the wage
order. However, that has been circumvented by certain communities
in New York State by the setting up of health laws, provisions as
to sanitation, and so forth. That is usually done by the health
Mr. M o o n e y (Connecticut). I should like to ask Miss Papert if the
New York order prohibiting New York State employers from send­
ing home work out of the State has been challenged.
Miss P a p e r t . No; it has not been challenged yet. It applies only
to neckwear and men’s clothing.

C ivil Service
C ivil Service
R e p o r t o f C o m m itte e on C iv il S e r v ic e b y E.

B . P atton

(N e w Y o rk D e p a rtm en t

o f L a b o r ) , C h a irm a n

It is gratifying to report that since our last meeting a great deal
o f progress has been made in extending the merit system to all branches
o f government—Federal, State, and municipal. Today, of the
3.500.000 public employees in the United States, approximately
1.100.000 are under civil service.
The outstanding developments in the Federal service during the
past year were: (1) The Executive order which placed more than
100.000 positions in the classified civil service provided for significant
changes in present Federal personnel practices, and completely re­
vised the rules of the United States Civil Service Commission; (2)
the enactment by Congress of merit legislation for first-, second-, and
third-class postmasters; and (3) the complete civil-service coverage
for the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor.
An Executive order, signed by the President on June 24, provided
that, with certain exceptions, all positions in the executive civil service,
including those in corporations wholly owned or controlled by the
United States, should be covered into the competitive classified civil
service, effective February 1, 1939. The exceptions include positions
exempted from the competitive classified civil service by statute, posi­
tions filled by appointment by and with the advice and consent of the
Senate, policy-determining positions, and “other positions which
special circumstances require should be exempted.”
The order included provisions for the establishment of personnel
divisions in each of the executive departments, with qualified person­
nel directors at the head, and in addition provided for in-service train­
ing for governmental workers. The Civil Service Commission was
given the direct responsibility of establishing training courses
for employees in the departmental and field services of the classified
civil service. Provisions were also made for granting credits in
transfer and promotional examinations for thei satisfactory com­
pletion of one or more of such training courses.
A second Executive order, which included a complete revision of the
civil-service rules, provided that all probationers had to receive a




193 8

satisfactory efficiency rating at the end of the probationary period
before they could receive a regular appointment. In addition, it
provided that wherever possible, vacancies should be filled through
The Ramspeck bill (H. R. 1531) was signed by the President, thus
establishing a modified merit system for approximately 14,000 first-,
second-, and third-class postmasters. The bill places these postmasters
within the competitive classified civil service, while at the same time
retaining Senate confirmation o f their appointments. Hereafter,
appointments will be made by the President, by and with the advice
and consent of the Senate, for indefinite terms, from among the three
highest names certified by the United States Civil Service Commission.
The wages and hours bill gives complete civil-service coverage to
employees o f the Wage and Hour Division. The bill provides that
with the exception of the Administrator, who is appointed by the
President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, all employees
are to be in the classified service. The act states that the Adminis­
trator is empowered to appoint, “subject to civil-service law^s * * *
such employees as he deems necessary to carry out his functions and
duties under this act and shall fix their compensation in accordance
with the Classification Act of 1923, as amended.”
During the past year, the Federal reorganization bill, which con­
tained important sections on personnel, was passed by the Senate but
rejected in the House. The bill provided for the creation of a Civil
Service Administration, headed by a Civil Service Administrator, ap­
pointed by the President with the consent of the Senate. The bill fur­
ther provided for the establishment of a Civil Service Advisory Board,
and all powers, functions, and responsibilities o f the present Civil
Service Commission were to be transferred to the new Administration.
Under the terms of the bill “the Civil Service Administration was
made responsible for the development and maintenance o f a career
service in the Federal Government. The Civil Service Advisory
Board was authorized to assist the Administrator in an advisory
capacity in connection with matters relating to personnel, administra­
tion of the various agencies of the Federal Government, and to con­
fer and counsel with the Administrator and the President with respect
to the development, improvement, and extension of the merit system.
“ Further the bill made possible the broadest extension of the merit
system since 1883. The President was given authority to cover into
the classified service all positions except Presidential appointments
requiring Senate confirmation and to extend the Classification Act of
1923 to any agency of the Federal Government, with the exception
o f certain named groups, such as employees of the postal service, the
military and naval services, and the foreign service. In the estab­
lishment of departmental boards of review to pass upon the merits



o f individual efficiency ratings, the bill would have achieved a goal
long sought by Federal employees.” 1
There is a possibility that the personnel sections of the reorganiza­
tion bill will be incorporated in a separate measure and introduced
in the next session of Congress.


T a b l e 1 — N u m b e r o f c la ssified and u n cla ssified p o s itio n s in th e F e d e r a l c iv il

serv ice, June 30, 1937


Department or office
Total positions__________ _ ___________________________
State ____________ _____________ ____ __________________ ___
Treasury__________________________ _____________________
Postoffice __ __ _ _ __________________________________ _
N avy.._____ _ _______ __________________________________
Interior,___________________ ____ ________________________
Agriculture______________ ________________________________
Commerce.. _ _ _ .............. _ _ ______________________ ___
Labor______ ___ _________ __________________________ .
Civil Service Commission__ ___________ __________ _____
Farm Credit Administration_______ _______ __________
Federal Communications Commission______________________
Federal Deposit Insurance Commission___ _ ____________
Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works_________
Federal Housing Administration_________ ________ _______
Federal Trade Commission____ __ __ _ _______________
General Accounting Office_______________________________ Government Printing Office.. _____________________ _ . ._
Home Owners Loan Corporation _______________________ __
Inland Waterways Corporation __________ ________
Interstate Commerce Commission___ ______ ________ Maritime Commission
__ _
_______ _____
National Youth Administration__________ ______________
Panama Canal
. ______ . ____ ________ ______
Railroad Retirement Board _
___________ _ ______ _
Reconstruction Finance Corporation___________ __ . _. _
Securities and Exchange Commission ____________ _ _____
Smithsonian Institution
_ __ __ _____________ __
Social Security Board. - __ ______________ _________ ____
Tennessee Valley Authority_____________ ________________
Veterans Administration _____ ______________ ____
Works Progress Administration._________________________ _
All others„ _____________ ____________ ________________

61, 663
2, 372
5, 283
5, 417

309, 591
4. 575
34, 835
38, 513
26, 723
47, 224
2, 332
9, 506
30, 234

5, 364
3, 306
5, 594
2, 559
2, 242
5, 748
13, 766
30, 234

Source: Civil Service Assembly. Civil Service Agencies in the United States, p. 10.
T h e States

One of the most significant trends in American government is the
rapid adoption of merit systems by the various States and cities.
During the 2-year period 1935-36, there were established 54 new
municipal civil service commissions, and, in 1937, 5 States adopted
civil service laws for the first time.
The following review of the extent of civil service in States and
cities is a condensation of a recent study published by the Civil
Service Assembly.2
Fourteen States (see table 2) now operate merit systems for the
selection and management o f their administrative employees. Five
1 Civil Service Assembly— News Letter, May 1938, p. 3.
2 Civil Service Assembly. Civil Service Agencies in the United States : A 1937 Census.
(Pamphlet No. 11, Jan. 1938.)
161045°— 39------ 11



19 3 8

of these States—Arkansas, Tennessee, Connecticut, Maine, and Michi­
gan—joined this group in 1937. The addition of these States was a
notable advance for the merit principle, as 17 years had passed since
any State had adopted a civil-service system. In 1920, Maryland
placed its administrative employees under a merit plan.

T able

2 . — C o s t o f a d m in is tr a tio n and s c o p e o f S t a te civ il s e r v ic e la w s , 1 9 3 7

Arkansas _ _ ____________ ____ __________
California____________ _______..
Colorado.. ________________________
Connecticut______ ___ _______ _____ _
Illinois_________ _________ __ _________
Maine. .. _________ _______________
Maryland_____________ . . . ----------------Massachusetts_______________________ _
Michigan____ __________ ... _ ---------New Jersey. _____ . . . . ----------- --------New York_________ ______ .. ... ...
Ohio------------------------------------- . ------Tennessee------------------------------------------Wisconsin___________________ _____ ____

Appropria­ Adminis­ Employees1 Employees1
tion for
exempt Total State
adminis­ personnel under civil- from civil- pay roll1 •
service law service law
264,650 {f
56, 500 \f
67, 290
5, 000
27, 502
138, 000
163, 000
291, 895
66, 500
21, 000
35, 000

2 124 |
3 53
616 ]
21 J
(?) 60
(?) 10

3, 500
3, 000
4, 496
8, 396
10, 000
9, 583
30, 883
6, 000
3, 299

375 $7, 500, 000
6, 200 40,411,986,
3, 700
625 14, 825,961
4, 750
400 3, 500, 000
3,540 8. 000,000j
12, 516 32,157, 25S<
3, 500 15,000,000;
1, 956 17, 892,661 i
7, 317 62, 700, 000'
2, 000 15,000,00Q.
2,400 9,944,000,
748 15, 805,900.

1 Number of employees and pay roll relate to State service proper, only (executive branch). In consider­
ing appropriation and staff of personnel agency, however, it must be noted that in New Jersey the State,
agency has jurisdiction over 10 counties and 23 cities; in Massachusetts, over 39 cities and—in whole or in
part—over 79 towns; in New York, over counties and villages, with general supervision over city civil-service,
commissions; in Ohio, over counties, with general supervision over city civil-service commission.
2 Full time.
3 Part time.
Not available.
e Temporary.
Source: Files of National Civil Service Reform League.
Pending civil-service legislation in two States indicates the possi­
bility o f substantial gains for the merit system during 1938. The
Rhode Island Legislature is now considering proposals for a merit
system covering State employees; and the voters o f the State o f Wash­
ington will be presented with civil-service initiative legislation this
fall. North Dakota, on June 28th of this year, rejected a bill which
would have provided civil service for the State.
The States o f California, Colorado, New York, and Ohio have pro­
vided for civil-service systems in their constitution. In every case>
except that o f Ohio, the constitutional amendment was adopted after;
a civil-service statute had been in force for a number o f years.
Kentucky, which is not included in the States listed here, established
in 1936 a division o f personnel efficiency. The division has the au­
thority to establish a complete merit system but has not done so. It
does not hold open competitive entrance examinations, but merely per­
forms certain personnel functions, such as approving appointments,
etc. Other States which have personnel agencies of limited functions
include Indiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South
Dakota, Utah, and Washington.



In only one State has a civil-service law once adopted been repealed.
The Connecticut Legislature repealed an 8-year-old statute in 1921,
but in May 1987 it enacted a more comprehensive merit-system meas­
ure. The Legislature of Kansas passed a statute in 1915 providing
for a State civil-service system, but since 1919 no money has been
appropriated to maintain an administering agency.
T h e Cities

According to the Civil Service Assembly, almost every large city
operates under a civil-service system o f one type or another.
Indeed, the larger the city, the greater is the likelihood that its employees are
selected through competitive civil-service procedure * * * Uniformity among
municipal civil-service commissions is lacking with respect to organization, ex­
tent of authorty, legal status, and administration. Some cities have commis­
sions which perform the functions of a modern personnel agency. The power of
other commissions is confined to the recruiting process. The jurisdiction of
some commissions extends to all municipal employees, but in other cities the
police and fire departments alone are covered.3

There are at present 439 cities which maintain 459 public personnel
agencies. Twelve cities have two commissions each and four cities
have three each. In 235 cities and villages a merit system exists, but
their personnel work is done by agencies outside of the municipalities.
In Massachusetts (121 cities), New Jersey (22 cities), and New York
(86 cities), the State civil-service commissions are the administering
The number of city civil-service commissions has grown steadily
since 1884. In that year four such agencies were established in New
York State. Although the growth of merit systems in municipalities
has been more or less steady, more than a hundred of them have been
established during the past 5 years.
It is believed that many smaller cities have hesitated to adopt merit
systems because of the additional costs which would apparently be
entailed by so doing. To meet this problem, a number of devices have
been developed for making available to smaller cities (at nominal or
no cost) the technical operating personnel services that are accepted as
essential in a merit-system program. A detailed description of the
practice being followed in New Jersey, California, and Michigan is
given in the aforementioned report of the Civil Service Assembly.
Public-Service Training

A great deal of progress has been made in the past few years in the
establishment of training courses for public service. There are today,
according to Charles S. Ascher, secretary of the committee on public
administration of the Social Science Research Council, 61 colleges 4

3 Civil Service Assembly. Civil Service Agencies in the United States, p. 15.
4 A complete list of these colleges appears in the M unicipal Yearbook, 1938, pp. 356—




19 3 8

which offer a major, curriculum, or special program in public adminis­
tration, while some universities have established special schools of
public administration. One-half of all the courses have been insti­
tuted during the last 4 years and three-fourths o f them within the,
last 10 years. A number o f colleges report plans under way initiating
comprehensive programs in the field within the next year or two.
Mr. Ascher explains the expansion in the field as a response to the
depression in two ways: “ Students who previously would have looked
askance at the poor pay and low esteem o f public employment have,
in dearth o f private employment, been attracted by its comparative
security. Furthermore, the demands upon government to widen its
social services have created unprecedented opportunities for intelli­
gent, trained young persons.” 5
The following are some o f the more recent developments in the
field of public-service training.
For Federal employees, the President of the United States included
some important provisions for in-service training in his Executive
order. He stated in section 8 that the “ Civil Service Commission
shall, in cooperation with operating departments and establishments,
the Office of Education, and public and private institutions of learn­
ing, establish practical training courses for employees in the depart­
mental and field services of the classified civil service, and may by
regulations provide credits in transfer and promotion examinations
for satisfactory completion o f one or more o f such training courses.”
The University of Southern California offers a cooperative publicservice training program for college students in the Pacific South­
west. The part-time study, part-time work program is designed
to facilitate the attainment o f four objectives: (1) To attract strong
students into Government service; (2) to provide actual experience
on the job; (3) to provide financial aid to ambitious and competent
persons willing to enter public service; and (4) to facilitate through
a combination of job experience and directed study the transfer from
college campus to Government office.
The preservice training program is the third phase of a compre­
hensive training program under way on the west coast. The Los
Angeles County Civil-Service Commission and Bureau of Budget and
research now recruit eight men each year from the graduating classes
o f the four large California universities. They are employed on an
apprentice basis for a period of 1 year. Aside from the preservice
and apprentice training offered in California, an in-service training
program for officials, administrators, and technicians has been carried
on for 10 years at the University o f Southern California’s Institute of
5 Municipal Yearbook, 1938, p. 355.




Government and Civic Center In-Service Training Division as
part o f a professional school o f government.
The University of Michigan offers a vocational course in “ principles
o f personnel administration.” This course for Michigan State em­
ployees was instituted under the provisions o f the George-Deen Act,
which provides Federal grants in aid for public-service training.
In all, there are 11 States which have thus far initiated public-service
training programs under the act. They are: Alabama, Arkansas,
Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, Ore­
gon, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The District of Columbia’s Public Employment Center has devel­
oped a training program to familiarize employees with the methods
and philosophy o f the modern public-employment office. The objec­
tives of the program are, as outlined by Richard L. Shaw in an article
in the Employment Service News: (1) The achievement of unity of
method and procedures throughout the various divisions of the office;
(2) the exchange of information on common problems; (3) discussion
to clarify questions of public-employment policy; (4) the acquaint­
ance o f the staff with industrial and economic problems; (5) the
availability to all staff members of training material necessary to fit
them for promotional opportunities; and (6) the presentation o f cer­
tain historical and background material to give each staff member a
clearer conception of the objectives of the service.
Fellowships and scholarships in the field of public administration
are awarded annually by Harvard University, the National Institute
of Public Affairs, Radcliffe College, University of Minnesota, and
Syracuse University. The Wisconsin Bureau o f Personnel, under
authority of a bill passed in the 1937 session of the legislature, grants
loans to selected students at Wisconsin educational institutions in
return for a 2 years’ apprenticeship served at the conclusion of their
college work in administrative offices of State or local Governments.
New York University will establish this fall a “graduate division
for training in public service.” Courses in the division leading to the
degree o f master of public administration will be integrated with
courses in other graduate divisions of the university.
The University of Virginia will offer, beginning this fall, a 4-year
course in public personnel administration leading to the A. B. degree,
and a 5-year course leading to the M. A. degree. The curricula were
developed by a faculty committee on preparation of students for
government service. Programs in public financial administration and
public welfare administration were approved at the same time.
Denver University will offer an 18-month course leading to the de­
gree of master of science in government management. Ten fellow­
ships will be awarded each year to graduates of accredited colleges.



In New York City, 35 honor students o f the College of the City of
New York were appointed “ internes in public service.” They will serve
as research investigators in problems of city government and will be
supervised by a faculty committee at City College.
For many years Syracuse University has offered courses for train­
ing in public service in the School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
A t the recent dedication of the new building o f the school, former
President Herbert Hoover declared that one o f the great difficulties
encountered in eliminating the spoils system was the lack o f trained
men for public service. He stated that “hand in hand with the devel­
opment o f professionally trained personnel for government we have
first got to rid ourselves of the spoils system. Appointment to public
office as political award is based on the notion that getting votes
constitutes expertness for the job. It makes for political joy. But it
produces bad administration. It undermines confidence in govern­
ment by the people. It leads to corruption. It degrades politics. It
is, in fact, the incarnation of immorality and subversion of the
public interest.”
Personnel Administration

One of the major developments in the personnel administration of
New York State has been the establishment of a classification divi­
sion in the department of civil service. The division is headed by a
classification board, which will review and reclassify positions in­
cluded in the 1932 classification. The board was established in order
that (1) “ further study could be given to the appropriate salary
scales to be assigned to persons in the higher key positions in the
State service; (2) the salary plan of the State might be completed
and perfected by a gradual extension of the principles of the act
to the entire service; (3) means may be provided for the progres­
sive adjustment o f salaries to actual change in the service; and (4)
necessary adjustments may be made in the present salary allocations
which can be made only by the establishment of such an agency
charged with the duty of bringing job descriptions, specifications,
and titles into line with actual conditions.” 6
As a means o f arriving at efficiency ratings for New York State
employees, the civil service commission has instructed the heads of
departments to grade each employee on the following items: (1)
Comprehension; (2) knowledge of work; (3) performance of duties,
( a ) accuracy, (&) method, (c) energy and industry, ( d ) rate of
work; (4) initiative and constructive power; (5) courage and selfreliance; (6) judgment; (7) personality and temperament— ( a )
temperament, ( b ) tact and manners, ( c ) team instinct and coopera­
tiveness; (8) capacity for leadership— ( a) leadership, (&) develop6 Civil Service Assembly.

News Letter, July 1938, p. 3.



ment of loyalty and team spirit, (c) instructional ability, ( d ) capac­
ity to recognize and to assess human nature; (9) critical ability;
and (10) organizing ability.
The efficiency ratings thus determined will be used as a basis for
promotions to higher titles and salary increases.
A t our last meeting the committee made the recommendation that
full-time personnel directors be appointed in each department of
Federal and State governments. We are glad to report that some
progress has been made along this line. In the Federal service, a
program for handling personnel will soon be established as a result
o f section 6 of the President’s Executive order of June 24th, which
reads as follows:
Sec. 6. Effective not later than February 1, 1939, the heads of the Executive
departments and the heads of such independent establishments and agencies
subject to the civil-service laws and rules as the President shall designate, shall
establish in their respective departments or establishments a division of per­
sonnel supervision and management, at the head of which shall be appointed a
director of personnel qualified by training and experience, from among those
whose names are certified for such appointment by the Civil Service Commis­
sion pursuant to such competitive tests and requirements as the Civil Service
Commission shall prescribe. * * * It shall be the duty of each director of
personnel to act as liaison officer in personnel matters between his department
or establishment and the Civil Service Commission, and to make recommenda­
tions to the departmental budget officer with respect to estimates and expendi­
tures for personnel. He shall supervise the functions of appointment, assign­
ment, service rating, and training of employees in his department or
establishment, under direction of the head thereof, and shall initiate and
supervise such programs of personnel training and management as the head
thereof after consultation with the Civil Service Commission shall approve,
including the establishment of a system of service ratings for department and
field forces outside of the Classification Act of 1923, as amended, which shall
conform as nearly as practicable with the system established under the said
act. Subject to the approval of the head of such department or establishment
and of the Civil Service Commission he shall establish means for the hearing
of grievances of employees and present appropriate recommendations for the
settlement thereof to the head of his department or establishment * * *.

These provisions are, in our opinion, a major development toward
the setting up of machinery for the proper handling of personnel
problems of Government workers. Similar provisions should be
adopted for all State employees as well.
The New York State Department of Labor has no full-time per­
sonnel director for a large number of its employees. O f the 7,696
persons employed in the department on June 30, 1938, there is a full­
time personnel director for 4;988 persons in the division of placement
and unemployment insurance and another for 1,386 persons in the
State fund. The 1,322 employees in the remaining divisions of the
department, however, do not have this service. The personnel prob­
lems of any large group of workers is a full-time job and it is im-




19 3 8

portant that the persons doing this job have sufficient time to do it
We hope that the work of the Federal Government in setting up
the machinery for taking care of personnel will be an impetus for the
States to take similar action. We hope that in the near future we
may find a full-time personnel director in each large department o f
every State; for it is only with the proper handling of personnel that
we can hope to attain a career service for Government employees.
These aspirations are expressed not primarily for the benefit o f
government employees, although it is quite true that it is only by the
proper handling of personnel that a career service for government
employees may be attained. The sound arguments for civil service
must be based upon the quality of the work performed by civilservice employees as compared with that rendered under the “ spoils5
system. It would seem that no informed person could have any
doubt as to which method of recruiting employees is most advan­
tageous for the State from the standpoint of efficiency and economy.
Advocates of civil service should keep constantly in mind that the
merit system is always on trial and that the final arbiter of its worth
is informed public opinion. Unless the general public is, and re­
mains, convinced that employees chosen through civil-service meth­
ods render a consistently high average o f performance, the pressure
for “jobs” will undermine the entire system.
The future growth and development of civil service is largely in
the hands of those governmental units which now have merit systems
in effect. Long years o f politically appointed employees, with the
inevitable wholesale turn-over following elections, have clearly dem­
onstrated the weakness of the traditional American method embodied
in the 100-year-old slogan “ To the victors belong the spoils.5 Public
opinion has expressed itself through national political platforms and
an impressive array of nonpolitical organizations, a partial list of
which appeared in the report of this committee for 1936 at Topeka.
There now exists a widespread and genuine interest in, and desire
for, recruitment by civil-service methods and permanent tenure based
upon a record of high performance. Now is the time to capitalize
upon this interest and render a convincing demonstration of highgrade public service.
Care should be taken that no movement for organization of civilservice workers should give rise for apprehension that it is merely
another o f the many pressure groups seeking gains for itself with­
out respect to the general welfare. Such action upon the part o f
organized civil-service workers will, and should, be self-defeating.




It is to be regretted that lack of information does not permit a
detailed presentation of the development of civil service in the
Dominion and Provinces o f Canada. However, the following report
which appeared in the August 1938 issue of the Civil Service Assem­
bly is worthy of note.
Twenty-five recommendations pertaining to the organization of the Canadian
civil-service system were submitted on June 27 to the Canadian Parliament by
a special committee of the House of Commons. * * * Included among the
recommendations was the suggestion that positions in the national civil service
be classified in five or six broad divisions with not more than nine horizontal
salary grades in each. At present, positions are allocated to many different
classes, each class having its own salary range. The proposed schematic ar­
rangement would make the classification and pay plans of the Canadian civil
service more similar to the plans in effect in the Federal Government of the
United States.
The committee also recommended that periodic audits be made of depart­
ments, units, or branches to determine overlapping, overstaffing, or understaffing
of the departments, and that a system of periodic service ratings be instituted.
It was proposed that in a case where the complaint of a civil servant cannot
be otherwise adjusted, an ad hoc board of appeals be established for this pur­
pose. The board would consist of a nominee of a civil-service organization
named by the appellant, a nominee of the deputy head of the department
affected, and a nominee of the chairman of the Civil Service Commission. To
facilitate the desirable reinstatement of able persons who have resigned from
the service in good standing, it was further proposed that under specified con­
ditions the Civil Service Commission be permitted to appoint without competi­
tion any person who has already held a permanent position in the civil service.

Factory Inspection

Suggested Establishment o f a Section on Factory Inspection in
the I. A . G . L. O.
R e p o r t o f C o m m it t e e o n F a c t o r y I n s p e c t io n , b y

J o se p h


T one

( C o n n e c tic u t

D e p a r t m e n t o f L a b o r ), C h a irm a n

Pressure o f work has made it impossible for the members of your
committee to meet together, much less to confer with the committee
appointed by the national advisory committee on safety and health
of the Division o f Labor Standards of the United States Department
o f Labor. Through correspondence, however, your committee has
been able to reach an agreement on several essential points relating
to the creation of the proposed section. W e feel that such a sepa­
rate and special section dealing with health and safety matters could
be both useful and desirable so long as it is retained as a vital part
o f the association and its scope strictly limited to matters concerning
the health and safety of workers. Factory inspection, in the broadest
sense o f the term, includes within its scope not only factories but
all workplaces. It includes not only matters affecting health and
safety of workers, but hours, wages, industrial relations, industrial
home work, and all other matters covered by protective labor laws
and regulations. I f the proposed section were to include factory in­
spection in its most inclusive sense, there would be no point in creat­
ing it, since it would cover everything covered by the association.
The problems o f the technique of inspection o f plants for the
elimination or control of physical hazards to health and to safety
have little in common with the problems connected with working
hours, wage rates, wage payments, industrial relations, and industrial
home work. The training requisite for health and safety inspectors
is a special training that has little relation to the training for other
inspection functions. For these reasons we feel that the proposed
section should be called the health and safety section o f the Inter­
national Association of Governmental Labor Officials, and should
devote its activities to the improvement of methods and technique
in this special field o f labor inspection and labor-law enforcement.
The health and safety section should, of course, include within its
purview not only factories but all workplaces.



It is greatly to be desired that our International Association of
Governmental Labor Officials should have closer contact with the
International Association of Factory Inspectors. This latter organi­
zation has been in existence for many years and has served most use­
ful purposes in acquainting the factory inspection divisions of Euro­
pean countries with the methods and technique of factory inspection
in the various countries which are members of the association. Since
the absorption of the Association of Factory Inspectors, the weak
and tenuous contacts between American factory inspectors and Euro­
pean factory inspectors have been broken, we feel that it is very
desirable that these contacts and relations should be restored and
made more vital. Through the creation of the health and safety
section, factory inspection in this country can be more important and
technically more efficient. These desirable results can be brought
about, in our opinion, by making provision for special programs deal­
ing with methods and techniques of health and safety inspection in the
several States of the Union. Much valuable information could be
obtained by sending specially qualified representatives of the health
and safety section to attend the conferences of the International
Association o f Factory Inspectors. We believe all these desirable
results will be furthered by the creation of the proposed health and
safety section. The fear expressed by some that the creation of the
proposed section may split the International Association of Govern­
mental Labor Officials into tw^o separate and distinct associations
seems to us groundless.
Mr. L u b in . It appears that this report deals primarily with the
question o f developing a separate section and does not go into the
problems o f factory inspection, such as are usually gone into by the
various committees in the form of a discussion of the problems in­
volved in the field with which the committee concerns itself. In
view of the fact that the report emphasizes and deals with the whole
question of a separate section, and in view of the fact that the execu­
tive board at its meeting today discussed that question, I think it
fitting that the discussion of the report itself be delayed until the
executive board makes its report on the meeting that it held today.
Accordingly, I suggest that this report be laid on the table pending
the submission of the executive board’s report at the business meet­
ing on Saturday.
[Mr. Lubin’s motion was seconded and carried.]

Business Meetings— Reports and Resolutions

Report o f the Secretary-Treasurer
Since the Toronto convention the Alabama Department of Labor and the
Alberta Department of Trade and Industry have joined the association. The
membership now stands as follow s:

United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
United States Bureau of Mines.
United Slates Children’s Bureau.
United States Employment Service.
United States Women’s Bureau.
United States Division of Labor Standards.
United States Social Security Board.
National Labor Relations Board.
Alabama Department of Labor.
Arkansas Department of Labor.
Colorado Industrial Commission.
Connecticut Department of Labor and Factory Inspection.
Illinois Department of Labor.
Iowa Bureau of Labor.
Kansas Commission of Labor and Industry.
Massachusetts Department of Labor and Industries.
Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Inspection.
New Jersey Department of Labor.
New York Department of Labor.
North Carolina Department of Labor.
Oklahoma Department of Uabor.
Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.
Puerto Rico Department of Labor.
Rhode Island Department of Labor.
South Carolina Department of Labor.
Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.
West Virginia Department of Labor.
Wisconsin Industrial Commission.
British Columbia Department of Labor.
Department of Labor of Canada.
Ontario Department of Labor.
Quebec Department of Labor.

Delaware Labor Commission.
New Hampshire Bureau of Labor.
North Dakota Department of Agriculture and Labor.
Ohio Department of Industrial Relations.
Alberta Department of Trade and Industry.

Leifur Magnusson, American representative of International Labor Office.
A. L. Fletcher, Assistant Administrator in Charge of Compliance, W age and
Hour Division, United States Department of Labor.




The proceedings of the Toronto convention have been printed as Bulletin
No. 653 of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of
The committees which were continued from last year and which have pre­
pared reports for presentation to this convention, are as follow s:
C om m ittee on u n em ploym en t com pen sation .— George E. Bigge, United States
Social Security Board.
C om m ittee on m inim um -w age law s.— Frieda S. Miller, New York Department
of Labor, chairman; Louise Stitt, United States Women’s Bureau; Mrs. Rex
Eaton, British Columbia Board of Industrial Relations; Mrs. Elizabeth R.
Elkins, New Hampshire Bureau of Labor.
C om m ittee on old-age assistan ce.— Harry R. McLogan, Wisconsin Industrial
Commission, chairman; Glenn A. Bowers, New York Department of Labor;
Robert Lansdale, Committee on Public Administration; H. J. Berrodin, Ohio
Department of Public W elfare; W . A. Pat Murphy, Oklahoma Department
of Labor.
C om m ittee on w age-claim collection laws.— E. I. McKinley, Arkansas De­
partment of Labor, chairman; O. B. Chapman, Ohio Department of Indus­
trial Relations; Morgan R. Mooney, Connecticut Department of Labor; W . A.
Pat Murphy, Oklahoma Department of Labor; Harry R. McLogan, Wisconsin
Industrial Commission.
C om m ittee on industrial h om e w o r k .— Morgan R. Mooney, Connecticut Depart­
ment of Labor, chairman; Frieda S. Miller, New York Department of Labor;
Martin P. Durkin, Illinois Department of Labor.
C om m ittee on civil serv ice.— E. B. Patton, New York Department of Labor,
chairman; Maud Swett, Wisconsin Industrial Commission; Leifur Magnusson,
International Labor Office; Gerald Brown, Canada Department of Labor; Gerard
Tremblay, Quebec Department of Labor; Leonard D. White, Civil Service Com­
C om m ittee mi tvom efi in in d u stry .— Mary Anderson, United States Women’s
Bureau, chairman; Frieda S. Miller, New York Department of Labor; Margaret
McIntosh, Canada Department of Labor; Florence A. Burton, Minnesota Depart­
ment of Labor and Industry; Mrs. Louise Q. Blodgett, Rhode Island Department
of Labor; Mrs. Daisy L. Gulick, Kansas Commission of Labor and Industry.
C om m ittee on child lal)or.— Beatrice McConnell, United States Children’s
Bureau, chairman; Morgan R. Mooney, Connecticut Department of Labor;
O. B. Chapman, Ohio Department of Industrial Relations; Mrs. Louise Q.
Blodgett, Rhode Island Department of Labor; B. W . Cason, Louisiana Depart­
ment of Labor; T. E. Whitaker, Georgia Department of Labor.
The following committee, which was appointed at the meeting last year, will
also present its report:
C om m ittee on fa c to r y in sp ection .— Joseph M. Tone, Connecticut Department of
Labor, chairman; Ralph M. Bashore, Pennsylvania Department of Labor and
Industry; T. E. Whitaker, Georgia Department of Labor.
In view of the interest shown at the Toronto meeting in the problem of
apprenticeship training, your president deemed it advisable to appoint a
standing committee on apprenticeship training. This committee, which will
present a report at this meeting, is as follow s:
C om m ittee on a p p ren tice train ing.— Voyta Wrabetz, Industrial Commission of
Wisconsin, chairman; George A. Krogstad, Michigan Department of Labor;
William F. Patterson, Federal Committee on Apprentice Training.

R eceipts
Sept. 15. Balance in bank________________________________________________ $1, 478. 32
30. Iowa Bureau of Labor, 1938 dues______________________ $25. 00
30. Puerto Rico Department of Labor, 1938 dues_______
25. 00
30. Georgia Department of Labor, 1938 dues____________ 25. 00
30. Oregon Bureau of Labor, 1938 dues__________________
25. 00
30. Oklahoma Department of Labor, 1938 dues_________
25. 00
Oct. 12. New Jersey Department of Labor, 1938 dues________ 25. 00
12. Illinois Department of Labor, 1938 dues_____________
25. 00
N ov. 22. Michigan Department of Labor, 1938 dues__________
25. 00



Feb. 16.
Apr. 22.
M a y 3.

19 3 8

July 15.
Aug. 10.

$780. 00

Total receipts________________________________________________


R eceipts— Continued
Rhode Island Department of Labor, 1938 dues____ $25. 00
North Carolina Department of Labor, 1939 dues____
2 5 .0 0
Illinois Department of Labor, 1939 dues____________
25. 00
Ontario Department of Labor, 1939 dues___________
25. 00
Quebec Department of Labor, 1939 dues____________ 25. 00
Connecticut Department of Labor, 1939 dues______
25. 00
Oklahoma Department of Labor, 1939 dues________
25. 00
British Columbia Department of Labor, 1939 dues. 25. 00
Colorado Industrial Commission, 1939 dues________
25. 00
10. 00
New Hampshire Bureau of Labor, 1939 dues_______
Missouri Department of Labor, 1939 dues__________
25. 00
2 5 .0 0
W est Virginia Department of Labor, 1939 dues______
Delaware Labor Commission, 1939 dues____________
10. 00
Alberta Department of Trade and Industry, 1939
10. 00
Kansas Commission of Labor and Industry, 1939
25. 00
Alabama Department of Labor, 1939 dues__________ 25. 00
Arkansas Department of Labor, 1939 dues___________
25. 00
Massachusetts Department of Labor and Industries,
1939 dues____________________________________________ 25. 00
South Carolina Department of Labor, 1939 dues____
25. 00
Wisconsin Industrial Commission, 1939 dues________
2 5 .0 0
Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry,
1939 dues____________________________________________
25. 00
Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, 1939
dues__________________________________________________ 25. 00
Puerto Rico Department of Labor, 1939 dues________
25. 00
Iowa Bureau of Labor, 1939 dues___________________
25. 00
New Jersey Department of Labor, 1939 dues________
25. 00

2, 258. 32

Disbursem ents
Oct. 28. Caslon Press, 1,250 letterheads, 1,000 envelopes, 150
programs for Toronto meeting_____________________ 52. 10
28. John B. Clark, bonding secretary-treasurer period
October 20, 1937, to October 20, 1938____________
5. 00
N ov.
2. B. Saurioi, services at Toronto convention_________
10. 00
2. A. Little, services at Toronto convention___________
10. 00
2. L. Cummins, services at Toronto convention_______
10. 00
2. Doris Patterson, reporting Toronto convention____ 100. 00
22. A. L. Fletcher, telegram to W . A. Pat Murphy, from
1. 85
12. Cash, postage for secretary’s office__________________
5. 00
M ay
12. Cash, postage for secretary’s office__________________
1. 00
1. Cash, postage for secretary’s office__________________
5. 00
Aug. 15. Caslon Press, 1,000 letterheads and 1,000 envelopes. 24.60
SePt- 6. Bank charge for handling checks from Quebec,
South Carolina, and Puerto Rico_________________
. 88
6. Lewis Co., 200 badges for Charleston meeting------15. 18
6. Postal Telegraph-Cable Co., wire to W . A. Pat
Murphy, Oklahoma, and reply____________________
2. 26
Total disbursements_________________________________________

242. 87

SePt. 8. Net balance____________________________________________________
2, 015. 45
Since the Charleston meeting the following membership checks have been
.Sept. 30. New York Department of Labor, 1939 dues-------------------------30. North Dakota Department of Agriculture and Labor, 1939
30. Rhode Island Department of Labor, 1939 dues--------------------30. Ohio Department of Industrial Relations, 1939 dues------------

$25. 00
10. 00
25. 00
10. 00



In accordance with the recommendation of the executive board at the Toronto
meeting, which was approved by the membership of the Association, the sum of
$300 was set aside to pay the travel expenses of the executive board members to
attend board meetings. No requests for expenses have been submitted to the
secretary, thus placing the original sum of $300 in the net balance shown above.

I s a d o r L ttbin ,

S e c r e ta r y - T re a su r e r .

Report and Recommendations o f the Executive Board
Your executive board has held two meetings during the past year. The first
meeting was held in Washington on March 4. Those present were: W . A. Pat
Murphy, president; Miss Frieda Miller and John W . Nates, vice presidents; A. L.
Fletcher, member ex officio; Isador Lubin, secretary-treasurer. The secretary
reported to the board that the National Fire Protection Association had recog­
nized the eligibility of our Association to membership in its organization and
had invited our Association to designate a member to work in the field of
standards for eliminating fire hazards in industry.
Among the other items considered by the board was the program for the
present meeting, and it was the board’s recommendation that the meeting devote
itself to the discussion of problems of wage and hour administration and the
conciliation of labor disputes. It was the board’s opinion that these two items
constituted a growing problem for State labor departments and that in these
fields lay opportunity for great expansion in the coming year.
The secretary-treasurer of the Association submitted his resignation to the
board at the March meeting. Your president refused to entertain the resigna­
tion, but upon being resubmitted by your secretary-treasurer, the matter was
placed before the board for consideration. Your board unanimously refused to
accept the resignation, despite the fact that your secretary-treasurer pleaded
that his duties in the Bureau of Labor Statistics were of such a nature as to
consume all of his time.
Your board thinks that the membership of the Association will agree that the
excellent nature of the present meeting furnishes sufficient evidence of the
justification of the board’s action in refusing to accept the resignation.
The second meeting of the board was held on September 8 in Charleston,
S. C. Your board voted to recommend to the Association that we continue our
attempts to federate our Association with the Association of Unemployment
Compensation Commissioners and the Association of Employment Office Execu­
tives. Although little progress has been made in this direction during the past
year, your board is of the opinion that the welfare of labor requires the ulti­
mate consolidation of all State agencies affecting the welfare and security of
workers, and that labor as a whole will benefit by the consolidation of the
associations concerned with unemployment compensation and employment-office
administration with our Association.
1. W ith a view to continuing our attempts to federate these organizations,
your board recommends that we continue the appropriation of $500 for travel
expenses of the president or other officials designated by the executive board
to act in behalf of the Association in contacting the Association of Unemploy­
ment Compensation Commissioners and the Association of Employment Office
2. Your board further recommends that this appropriation of $500 be available
for travel expenses for your president or other officials designated by the execu­
tive board to attend meetings of State legislatures, upon the invitation of State
labor commissioners, to present the official attitude of the Association toward
proposed labor legislation.



19 3 8

3. Your board further recommends that an appropriation of $300 be made
for travel expenses of members of the executive board for the attendance of
board meetings.
4. Your board further recommends that you authorize the payment of $10Q
to Miss Lucille Gaiser for stenographic and transcription services for the,
minutes of this convention.
5. Your board further recommends the authorization of expenditure not to,
exceed $50 for gifts to such persons as helped our Association in a clerical and
in other ways at this meeting.
6. Your board has given careful consideration to the question of developing a
separate unit within the Association for factory inspectors. It is the unanimous,
opinion of your board that the Association experiment with a program which,
will be attractive to factory inspectors before attempting to develop an inde­
pendent unit for this group of State labor department employees. Accordingly,
your board suggests that the twenty-fifth convention, to be held in 1939, make
provision for an entire day’s program to be devoted to problems of factory,
inspection. It is your board’s opinion that such a program may be attractive,
to State labor department inspectors as well as valuable to State labor com­
missioners. It is recommended that the day’s program on factory inspection be
as elaborate as possible, and deal not only with techniques of inspection but
also provide exhibits and other educational materials which may be of value
both to inspectors and State labor commissioners.
Pending the holding of such a meeting, as part of our program for the
twenty-fifth convention, the board recommends that we delay further consider­
ation of the development of a separate unit for factory inspectors within the
7. The board has given consideration to the question of the place of the 1939
convention. The association made a tentative commitment at its Toronto con­
vention in 1937 to the city of New York. It is the opinion of the majority o f
your board that New York be reserved for the year 1940, on the assumption that
the W orld’s Fair will be continued into 1940, and that the 1939 meeting be held
in some other city.
8. Your executive board recommends that the Association recognize the serv­
ices of Maj. A. L. Fletcher, both as commissioner of labor of the State of North
Carolina and as a past president of this association, in the form of an honorary
life membership in this Association.

Resolutions Adopted by the Convention

Minimum Wage and Child Labor
W h erea s, the United States Congress has enacted a law regulating wages,,
hours, and child labor, thereby emphasizing the Nation-wide need for adequate
labor standards for all employees; and
W h erea s, a large number of States have in the past enacted minimum-wage
laws for women and minors, the constitutionality of which has been upheld by
the United States Supreme C ourt: Therefore be it
R esolved , That all States not now having minimum-wage legislation for
women and minors draft such legislation in conformity with the standards
approved by this association and present such bills to the next session of their
legislature; and be it further
R eso lved , That although the constitutionality of the Federal wage-hour law
has not been tested in the courts, the States nevertheless extend the applica­
tion of minimum-wage legislation to men. It is recommended that this be



done by the introduction of new legislation which will not endanger present
minimum-wage laws for women and m inors; and be it further
R e s o l v e d , That States having minimum-wage laws be urged to take con­
certed action in establishing minimum-wage standards for industries which
are interstate in nature; and be it also
R e s o l v e d , That this Association urge that adequate appropriations be grant­
ed for the enforcement of minimum wage legislation.
2. W h e r e a s , the reports of the committees on minimum wages, women in in­
dustry, and child labor of the International Association of Governmental L a­
bor Officials have emphasized the need for uniformity in State standards in
these fields and have recommended that the laws of the individual States be
brought into conformity with the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938; be it
R e s o l v e d , That the International Association of Governmental Labor Officials
express its appreciation of the efforts of the Secretary of Labor, Frances Per­
kins, for her efforts toward making the benefits of wage and hour legislation
available to workers in intrastate commerce through the appointment of a
special committee of State representatives on State minimum wage maximum
hour law s; and be it further
R e s o l v e d , That this association make available to the committee appointed
by the Secretary of Labor, both as a body and through its individual mem­
bers, such services as may be conducive toward the realization of such bene­
fits to workers in intrastate commerce.
3. R e s o lv e d , That the International Association of Governmental Labor
Officials actively support:
The amendment of State child-labor laws to bring the State standards for
the productive industries up to those of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and ex­
tend these standards to intrastate occupations not covered by the Fair Labor
Standards A ct;
The provision for employment certificates for all minors up to 18 years of
age and for adequate supervision of the issuance of such certificates by the
State department of labor or the State department of education;
The extension of State compulsory school attendance laws to all children
under 16 years of age and to those between 16 and 18 unless legally employed ;
and be it further
R e s o l v e d , That in the enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act the
greatest possible utilization be made of State and local officials enforcing State
child-labor laws and issuing employment certificates, and that the fullest
cooperation of the State labor departments be extended to the Children’s Bu­
reau in the administration of the child-labor provisions of the act, and be it
R e s o l v e d , That State industrial accident and disease reporting systems be
extended with a view to providing sound statistical information with respect
to the accident and health hazards of young workers to provide a basis for the
determination of hazardous occupations under the Fair Labor Standards Act

and under the State child-labor laws.
4. R e s o l v e d , That the International Association of Governmental Labor Of­
ficials reaffirm its position with respect to the vital importance of ratification
of the pending child-labor amendment and urge that every effort be made to
secure ratification in those States that have not yet taken affirmative action.

161045°— 39-




193 8

Industrial Home Work
5. W h e r e a s , the United States Congress has enacted a law regulating wages,
hours, and child labor in interstate industries; and
W h e r e a s , industrial home work is a method of industrial production which
is characterized by low wages, long hours, and child labor through which the
manufacturer may evade the requirements of wage, hour, and child-labor
regulations; and
W h e r e a s , a number of States have already enacted regulatory legislation
making ultimate elimination of industrial home work possible, and
W h e r e a s , the International Association of Governmental Labor Officials has
repeatedly urged strict control looking toward the eventual elimination of in­
dustrial home w ork; be it
R e s o l v e d , That the Administrator of the W age and Hour Division and the
Chief of the Children’s Bureau be urged to take every step possible to insure
application of the wage, hour, and child labor provisions of the Fair Labor
Standards Act to the home-work practice, and that the Administrator be
urged to include in each minimum-wage order issued under the law a pro­
vision prohibiting industrial home work in the industry or industries covered;
and be it further
R e s o l v e d , That in addition each State not having adequate home-work legis­
lation be urged to enact promptly legislation looking toward the elimination of
industrial home work within the State.

Small-Loan Laws
6. W h e r e a s , it is generally recognized that wage earners over the United
States are being made victims of exorbitant money interest rates charged by
associations and individuals commonly known as “loan sharks” ; and
W h e r e a s , the workers of the United States generally are looking to the sev­
eral departments of labor for active assistance relating to their w elfare; there­
fore be it
R e s o l v e d , That this convention instruct the incoming executive board to ap­
point a committee for the investigation of this practice and to make its report
to this body at its next annual convention.

7. W h e r e a s , at the request of the International Association of Governmental
Labor Officials, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Depart­
ment of Labor undertook a thorough survey of State labor departments as to
(1) their structure and functions, and (2) their inspection activities, and
W h e r e a s , this report now has been completed for distribution at this meet­
ing, and
W h e r e a s , after the field work was comjpleted and in the midst of the com­
pilation of this report, Miss Estelle Stewart, who had put devoted and intelli­
gent effort into its preparation, was called from our m idst; be it
R e s o l v e d , That the International Association of Governmental Labor Officials
express: First, to her family our sense of loss at her going; and second, to
the Bureau of Labor Statistics our thanks and appreciation for the final com­
pletion of the report built on her efforts, which gives to the members of this
Association and to other State officials a most valuable and much needed back­
ground of information on the status and the inspection activities of State labor
departments, and which we hope the Bureau of Labor Statistics may now fur­
nish in printed form and keep current from time to time.



8. B e it reso lv ed , That this convention extend its sincere thanks to the Hon­
orable Olin D. Johnston, Governor of the State of South Carolina, the Honor­
able Burnet R. Maybank, mayor of the city of Charleston, Commissioner John
W . Nates and members of his staff, and the Boy Scouts, for the fine hospitality
accorded the delegates during our stay in Charleston; and be it further
R eso lv ed , That we extend our thanks to the Francis Marion Hotel and all
others who have contributed to our pleasure while guests in this city.
9. B e i t resolv ed , That the convention accept the reports of the following
officers: the president, the secretary-treasurer, and the executive board; and
be it further
R esolved , That the convention accept the reports of each of the following
named committees: Old age assistance laws, minimum wages, apprenticeship
training, unemployment compensation, women in industry, child labor, wageclaim collections, home work, and civil service.
10. B e it resolv ed , That this association recognize the contribution of Maj.
A. L. Fletcher to the welfare of labor as commissioner of labor of North Caro­
lina, and as president of this association; and be it further
R esolved , That in appreciation of the above service he be elected to an honor­
ary life membership in this association.
11. B e it resolv ed , That the association hereby extends to the president, the
Honorable W . A. Pat Murphy, our appreciation of his fine service both as to his
program of labor legislation in his home State and as president of this
B e it resolved , That this association meet in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for its twentyfifth annual convention in 1939, and that this body recommends to the twentyfifth convention that it vote that the 1940 meeting be held in New York City.

Report o f Auditing Committee
Your auditing committee reports that it has examined the books of the asso­
ciation and has found them to be neatly kept and in balance as reported by the
The cash balance carried over was $1,478.32. Receipts for the year totaled
$780; disbursements amounted to $242.87, making a net gain of $537.17, and
leaving a total cash balance of $2,015.45.

Report o f Nom inating Committee
The nominating committee submits its recommendations for officers for the
ensuing year, as follow s:
P r esid en t.— Martin P. Durkin, Illinois Department of Labor, Chicago, 111.
F ir s t v ic e p resid en t.— Adam Bell, British Columbia Department of Labor,
Victoria, B. C.
S econd v ic e p resid en t.— Frieda S. Miller, New York Department of Labor,
New York, N. Y.
T hird v ic e p resid en t.— Voyta Wrabetz, Wisconsin Industrial Commission,
Madison, W is.
F o u rth v ice p r esid en t.— John W . Nates, South Carolina Department of Labor,
Columbia, S. C.
F ifth v ice p resid en t.— E. I. McKinley, Arkansas Department of Labor, Little
Rock, Ark.
S e creta ry -trea su rer.— Isador Lubin, United States Bureau of Labor Statistics,
Washington, D. C.
These recommendations have

the unanimous

support of

the nominating

Appendix A .— Partial Report on Activities o f State Depart­
ments o f Labor

Explanatory Notes

At the request of the executive board o f the International Asso­
ciation of Governmental Labor Officials, the United States Bureau
of Labor Statistics early in 1937 undertook to make a survey of the
activities of the State departments of labor. Between March 1 and
August 31 representatives of the Bureau visited 38 State departments
in order to obtain factual material on their operations. Data so
obtained were supplemented from annual or biennial reports and
other official publications o f the State agencies, the latest session
laws, and by correspondence. In all, information was obtained
covering 43 States. The study did not attempt to cover Arizona,
Idaho, Mississippi, and South Dakota, which do not have depart­
ments of labor as defined in this report, and Montana, where there
is a division o f labor and industry within the department of agri­
culture, labor, and industry, but where the major employment is in
agriculture and mining.
The preparation of this material for presentation at the 1938
session o f the International Association of Governmental Labor
Officials was well advanced in the spring of the current year, when
the death of Miss Estelle M. Stewart, who had planned, directed, and
done most of the work on the survey, made it impossible to carry it to
completion within the time allotted. A t the time when the work was
interrupted Miss Stewart had almost completed two of the major
sections o f the study, namely, those dealing with the structure and
functions o f State departments of labor and with their inspection
services. In order that this information might be made available to
the association, the effort was made by the Bureau to complete the
report by sending copies of Miss Stewart’s preliminary drafts to the
various State offices and asking for corrections and suggestions, and
in some cases for additional material. As the material for this
report was assembled in 1937, changes in personnel and activities
since that time are not covered, except in a few instances where the
States have voluntarily supplied additional data.



The attached copy of the two sections of the report referred to
have been corrected in the light of the communications received from
the States which replied. In the case of the States which did not
reply or did not reply in full, there are necessarily certain points on
which information is lacking or unsatisfactory.
September 1, 1938.
I sador L ijbin,
C o m m is s io n e r o f L a b o r S ta tis tic s .

Section I .—Structure and Functions o f State Departments
of Labor
A State department of labor1 is a unit of the executive branch of
a State government, created by law for the specific purpose of serving
the interests of the workers o f the State. This service lies primarily
in the administration and enforcement o f definite laws enacted by the
legislative branch o f the State government to regulate working con­
ditions. Secondarily, it takes the form of educational and promo­
tional work directed toward greater safety and security for the
workers and improved industrial relations between employers and
employed, and o f helping workers, individually and in groups, to
obtain the maximum benefit of the laws, policies, and programs
designed to promote their welfare.
The scope and effectiveness of a State department of labor are
conditioned first by the law creating it; second, by the nature and
extent of the labor laws over which it has jurisdiction; and third, by
the adequacy o f its appropriation and personnel. In all three partic­
ulars the importance of labor departments as administrative branches
o f State governments and as social-welfare agencies has been growing
Historical Development of State Labor Departments

State departments of labor as they exist today had their beginnings
in the “ bureaus of statistics of labor” which were created in the period
1869-90. These were primarily fact-finding mediums, not adminis­
trative agencies. Their activities were confined to acquiring and dis­
seminating information concerning the industrial conditions of their

1 The term “department of labor” is used throughout to apply to the State agency
adm inistering labor laws. That is the term used in 25 States, some of which include
“industry” in the title. In 7 States the agency is known as the industrial commission
and in 2 States the term “department of industrial relations” is used. In 4 other
instances, the agency is known as a “bureau of labor” or “bureau of labor statistics,”
and in 3 States the expression “commissioner of labor and statistics” is used. Func­
tionally, however, w ithin the lim its of the organic acts creating them, they are depart­
m ents of labor as here defined. Labor activities are carried on to some extent by sub­
ordinate units in governmental departments of varied scope in 3 States, w hile 4
States have not developed agencies that would come w ithin the accepted definition of
department of labor. Two of the last-mentioned group have industrial accident boards,
and in all States a governmental unit exists, either independently or in some branch of
the State government, for the adm inistration of the unemployment compensation act.



day. The surveys of wage rates and methods of payment, working
hours, child labor, accident hazards, sweatshops, and living and social
conditions of workers that were made by these pioneer State labor
agencies furnished the factual background and the stimulus for much
of the early labor legislation. Enforcement of the labor laws they
were instrumental in passing was delegated to the bureaus of labor
statistics, however, only in exceptional cases. In nearly every in­
stance a new State agency was created to administer each type of
labor law, as it was adopted. Thus, as the volume of labor laws ex­
panded, the number o f unrelated, independent administrative agen­
cies increased. A child-labor board, a State board of arbitration and
conciliation, free employment offices, and later, a minimum wage com­
mission and a workmen’s compensation commission, might exist side
by side within the framework of a State’s executive machinery, each
administering one law or set o f laws, while the bureau of labor
statistics continued its statutory function independently.
A movement was started in Wisconsin in 1911 to coordinate and
consolidate these scattered activities into one administrative State
agency. Because the enforcement o f most o f the labor laws had
been assigned to the Wisconsin Bureau of Labor Statistics, that State
had somewhat fewer administrative agencies than could be found in
more industrial States in 1911. Even so, other agencies were func­
tioning in the fields of adjustment of industrial disputes, job place­
ment, and workmen’s compensation, when the Industrial Commis­
sion of Wisconsin was established on July 1, 1911.
The Wisconsin Legislature of 1911 had passed an extraordinary
number of labor laws, aimed at a comprehensive program for protec­
tion of the worker and the improvement o f working conditions. Un­
der the law creating the industrial commission, administration of all
these laws, as well as earlier legislation affecting workers, was taken
over by the newly formed agency. This jurisdiction extended even
to the workmen’s compensation act, although that law had created a
board for its administration. This board was organized and had
been functioning only a few weeks when it was superseded by the
industrial commission.
In addition to the integration of administrative and enforcement
activities under one head, the act creating the Industrial Commis­
sion of Wisconsin contained a new and revolutionizing theory o f
administrative government. This was the grant o f legislative author­
ity to the commission by which rules and regulations having the force
o f law could be adopted and enforced by the administrative agency
to amplify and supplement statutory regulation.
The unitary plan o f labor-law administration, coupled with the
power to issue orders and regulations enforceable as law, came to be



known as the “Wisconsin idea.” It was so widely discussed and
debated as to develop into a movement in a very short time. Massa­
chusetts followed the example of Wisconsin in 1912, centering its
varied activities relating to labor into one agency. The New York
Department of Labor, which had been organized in 1901 by consoli­
dating several agencies administering labor laws, was reorganized in
1913 into a still more integrated body with legislative authority.
Several other States took similar action in the same year. For many
years thereafter there was a marked trend toward integration and
concentration of labor activities under one head as State depart­
ments of labor were created or expanded. Two functions, however,
were excluded from the jurisdiction of the labor department in many
States. These were the administration of workmen’s compensation
laws, which was regarded as quasi judicial in character, and the super­
vision and regulation of working conditions in the mining industry.
In those two fields the earlier practice of setting up separate and inde­
pendent agencies was retained to a great extent. Massachusetts is
nevertheless the only predominantly industrial State in which the
department o f labor is wholly dissociated from administration of
the workmen’s compensation act. While mine regulation is included
in the jurisdiction of the department o f labor in some of the mining
States—notably Ohio, Indiana, and Kansas—that function is per­
formed by separate departments in other leading coal States.
Social-security legislation reversed to a considerable degree the
movement toward integration that had been in progress for a quarter
century. The agencies for the administration of unemploymentcompensation laws which have been set up are, in all but 19 of the
States, wholly unrelated to the State department of labor, although
in some instances they have been combined with the agency adminis­
tering accident compensation. Moreover, in many o f the 29 States
having separate machinery, the unemployment-compensation agency
has absorbed the placement function previously exercised by the
department o f labor, and in at least two instances the statistical
activities o f the labor department have been transferred to the newer
agency. With this division of function, the number o f State de­
partments o f labor having jurisdiction over the entire field of labor
activity has been materially reduced, since in several States in which
labor-law administration was formerly centralized in one body the
independent agency created to discharge the unemployment-insurance
function has limited the field of the original labor agency.
The same tendency is apparent in the grant to State departments
o f health o f social-security funds for work in connection with occu­
pational diseases and health hazards in industry. In that case, how­
ever, the fusion has not actually occurred, since State departments



19 3 8

o f labor which were carrying on industrial-hygiene activities have
continued to do so.
Four milestones mark the progress of State departments of labor
over the half century during which they have been developing. The
first was the creation, in rapid succession, o f bureaus o f labor statis­
tics. Starting in Massachusetts in 1869, these fact-finding agencies
were established in practically all except the purely agricultural
States within the next 20 years. They were the trail blazers that
marked the paths the departments which superseded them were later
to follow. Their investigations into industrial and social conditions
in the early days; o f the industrialization of the United States were
revealing, and because they carried with them the prestige o f impar­
tial study by governmental authority they opened the way for legis­
lative regulation o f the conditions they exposed. The social purpose
to be served by the pioneer bureaus o f labor statistics was suggested
in 1873 by the Governor of Massachusetts, in his annual message to
the legislature. He was in fact appealing to that body not to abolish
the first permanent governmental agency ever created for the continu­
ous study o f working conditions and labor relations in industry. In
the course o f his address he said:
W e ought approximately to know, for instance, how many grown persons
there are in the State, not prevented from labor by vice, indolence, or physical
infirmity, who cannot procure comfortable homes for themselves and their
dependents, fair education for their children, adequate provision for sickness
and old age, and sufficient leisure for the comprehension and discharge of the
duties of citizenship. The incapacity to procure this is poverty. W e ought to
know whether the proportion of such persons is increasing or diminishing;
whether our legislation hastens or can be made to hasten the decrease or
counteract the increase. I f there is carried on in the State any business so
unremunerative that it will not permit the employers to pay those employed
such wages as are necessary to keep them from poverty, however desirable that
business is it ought to cease. And surely we ought to know, if it be possible
to ascertain, whether there are really among us employers who are laying up
great riches for themselves by keeping their employees in a condition of
impoverished dependence.

The second essential step was taken when labor-law administrators
were clothed with police power and given the right o f entry into all
places of employment affected by the labor laws, to check up on the
extent o f compliance and to take action against violators. The right
o f entry was accepted in many States as a matter of course, insep­
arable from the right o f the State to regulate working conditions.
In some States, however, it was a right that had to be fought for,
and even now is not absolute in all States. Similarly, not all State
departments o f labor have original jurisdiction in the matter of
proceeding against violators o f the labor laws.
The third step, integration, has already been discussed. • That
development, like the creation of the Federal Department of Labor,



tended to give to workers a recognized status as one o f the dominant
factors in society and in government, and to endow the governmen­
tal agency representing them with the prestige o f a coordinate arm
o f government, equal in rank with those serving in other fields.
Again, this end has not been attained in all States, but every State
has an agency o f some type that is engaged in furthering the interest
o f the workers. In a few instances these activities are confined to
workmen’s compensation and safety promotion, and unemployment
compensation and placement.
The fourth milestone, which until recently had been reached by
only a small group o f State labor departments, was the power to
issue administrative orders and to make rules and regulations having
the full force and effect of statute law. Within the past few years
that authority has been granted to a considerable number o f the oldei^
organizations and has been written into the organic acts of most o f
the State departments o f labor that have been created within the past
decade. This expansion of authority made it possible to get away
from the inflexibility o f statute law, by which the province o f in­
spectors and enforcement agents was limited to carrying out specific
and often wholly inadequate provisions o f the law. By building up
codes to supplement statute law, departments of labor are enabled to
keep pace with changing conditions, processes, and practices in
The creation of State departments of labor has been an accom­
paniment o f industrialization. The first departments were in the
predominantly industrial States of Massachusetts, New York, Penn­
sylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and New Jersey. Industrial and labor activ­
ity, as these have advanced to other sections of the country, have pro­
duced the need and the demand for such governmental agencies, and
their establishment has followed. Ten years ago only Virginia and
Tennessee, among the southern States, had active State labor depart­
ments. As industry has spread to the South, one after another of
the southern States has established these agencies, and in most in­
stances plans and programs that have proved successful in the older
industrial centers have been adopted. A t present only the nonin­
dustrial mountain States are without the integrated machinery present
in greater or less degree in the remainder of the States for the regula­
tion of industrial conditions affecting the health, safety, and welfare
o f wage earners.
Jurisdiction of State Labor Departments

While the statutory jurisdiction, functions, and procedures o f all
State departments o f labor are similar, and in a number o f respects
are identical, there is, in practice, no one function which is discharged
by all of them. Some States have no general factory inspection



19 3 8

service, although that is the basic function of most departments o f
labor. One State limits its inspection activities to conditions affecting
women and children, while in other States enforcement of the childlabor law is outside the jurisdiction of the department of labor. The
expression most frequently used in the organic acts to define the duties
o f State labor agencies is “general administration and enforcement
o f all labor laws,” as well as any specific functions which may be
listed. Occasionally, with respect to the smaller, weaker agencies,
the statutory jurisdiction granted in the organic act is limited to “ all
labor laws the enforcement of which is not specifically and exclusively
vested in any other officer, board or commission.” Laws enacted
subsequent to the passage of the creative act ordinarily stipulate that
administration and enforcement thereof are in the hands of the State
labor departments.
Custom and necessity have combined to add functions and activities
not specifically assigned by law. Among these probably the most
usual and most important are intercession in industrial disputes, and
collection of wage claims. Both these duties are specified in the
organic act creating departments of labor in some States. In Massa­
chusetts, for example, the procedures to be followed by the board of
mediation and arbitration are outlined in the law, and the South
Carolina act makes it mandatory upon the department o f labor to
intercede in strikes. Similarly, some State departments are charged
with the duty of assisting workers to obtain unpaid wages, and in
other States the enforcement of laws requiring the payment o f legiti­
mate wage claims is assigned to the department of labor. On the
whole, however, the discharge of those and similar functions has been
assumed by common consent, in the absence of any direct authoriza­
tion, because activities of that nature are necessary in promoting the
interests o f the workers.
On the other hand, some departments of labor find it impossible,
because of insufficient money and personnel, to discharge duties specifi­
cally assigned by law. To some extenl, therefore, to say that certain
statutory duties devolve upon an agency does not necessarily mean
that that duty is regularly discharged. In the matter o f licensing feecharging employment agencies, or home workers, for example, it may
be wholly beyond the capacity of the agency to make the inspections
that are legally a prerequisite to the granting of licenses. In such
cases the granting of the license is a perfunctory clerical task rather
than an administrative function.
Structure and Organisation

With the exception of three States—Georgia, North Carolina, and
Oklahoma—in which the head of the labor agency is an elected offi-



cial, departments of labor are under the executive direction of per­
sons appointed by the governors of the respective States.
Qualifications of appointees other than “competent” and “ suitable”
tire seldom set forth in the laws. When conditions are named, they
call either for a person “ identified with labor interests,” as in Virginia
and West Virginia, or one who “ shall have been for at least 5 years
immediately preceding his appointment actively identified with labor”
in the State, as in Kansas and North Dakota. The Governor of South
Carolina is required to “ appoint the commissioner of labor from three
persons whose names shall be submitted to him by the South Carolina
Federation o f Labor.” 2
O f the 43 organizations treated throughout this report as departments
o f labor under the definition given on page 175, 6 are under multiplehead administration, and 37 are under the direction of a single admin­
istrative head. The multiple-head, or commission, form is found in
Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Minnesota, Utah, and Wisconsin. The
commission type o f administrative machinery is quite general in
dealing with workmen’s compensation, and, except in Delaware, the
commissions listed are compensation commissions as well as the heads
of the department of labor. It by no means follows, however, that
these are the only States in which workmen’s compensation admin­
istration and the general functions of a department of labor are
Various structural forms have been developed as increased activ­
ities have called for expanded machinery. A considerable number
o f State departments of labor of the single-head type—including the
large departments o f California, Illinois, and New Jersey—have
within them subordinate units of the commission type which admin­
ister the workmen’s compensation laws. In Pennsylvania the work­
men’s compensation bureau within the department of labor admin­
isters the workmen’s compensation law, but a special board hears and
determines appeals from decisions o f the referees in workmen’s com­
pensation cases. A more recent development extended the commis­
sion form of administration within a single-head department to
unemployment insurance. On the other hand, departments of labor
under the administration of a single executive may exist, as in
Kansas, Michigan, Nevada, and New Mexico, as units o f a commis­
sion whose primary function is administering workmen’s compen­
General, basic structure o f this character is usually prescribed by
the organic act. Within the organization as created by statute, the
administrative machinery is determined by the extent and diversity
of functions to be performed and the size of the staff. The extent

8 Act No. 694 of 1936, sec. 2.



193 8

of organization in terms o f staff depends in turn more upon the
amount of money available for salaries than upon the needs of the
service. The consequence of that condition is that specialization
and departmentalization are in many instances impossible because
of lack o f funds and personnel. That means that the small staff
that can be maintained must often serve as inspectors, prosecutors,
conciliators, and in any; and all other capacities called for in the
performance of the duties of the agency, with the exception of place­
ment and mine inspection, which are always specialized functions.
In contrast to these single-unit organizations, the larger, and more
particularly the older, State labor departments have specialized
and departmentalized their administrative machinery to a high
Departmentalization, like the basic structure of the agency, is de­
termined by the organic act in some States. Where this practice has
been followed, the most generally used wording of the act is merely
to list the bureaus or divisions that shall be created and maintained
within the department. Thus the act creating the Oklahoma De­
partment o f Labor (sec. 3746, C. O. S.) states that it “shall be
divided into four bureaus as follow s: Statistics, arbitration and con­
ciliation, free employment, and factory inspection.” The Washing­
ton law provides that “the department of labor and industries shaE
be organized into and consist of three divisions.” California, Ohio,
and Tennessee are additional instances in which departmentalization
has been written into the organic act by creating specific bureaus or
divisions. In Illinois and in New Jersey the law goes much further,
and in addition to making statutory bureaus, stipulates in consider­
able detail the functions, duties, and procedure of each bureau.
Other laws, found in several States, avoid this rigidity by creating
statutory units to discharge functions already within the jurisdiction
o f the department, and granting its administrative head power to
establish new divisions to carry out new duties, or whenever neces­
sary to effect efficient administration of the agency. This is the
system under which the departments of labor in Arkansas, Minne­
sota, North Carolina, and Rhode Island, for example, operate.
Complete authority is granted the commissioner or other directory
head in New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Ala­
bama, Georgia, and Virginia to create such administrative machin­
ery as his judgment directs and as may prove necessary or desirable
for effective administration. The point is not covered at all in some
laws. In such cases the commissioner is apt to proceed in the same
manner as that followed by commissioners having statutory au­
thority, and create functional units within the department as needed.
The Connecticut Department of Labor and Factory Inspection and




the Maryland Commissioner of Labor and Statistics are instances
of this practice.
Organization may follow geographical as well as functional lines
through a system of branch offices. This division is, as a rule, made
necessary by the dispersion of industrial areas. The Missouri De­
partment of Labor and Industrial Inspection, for example, main­
tains administrative offices in Jefferson City, the State capital, and
a field office in each of the largest cities of the State, St. Louis and
Kansas City. These offices are working units organized in the same
plan and discharging the same functions as the central office and each
is under the direction of a deputy commissioner. California and
Washington follow a similar plan. The New York Department of
Labor has a dual system, maintaining administrative offices in the
State capital, Albany, and in New York City, and additional func­
tional offices, each under the direction of an assistant commissioner
and more or less duplicating the main office in structure and activties, in four important industrial centers (Albany, Buffalo, Rochester,
and Syracuse).
Certain activities, in some States, may be carried on through
branch offices located nearer the industrial center of the State than
is the administrative office at the capital. The work of the Industrial
Commission of Wisconsin dealing with women and children and with
apprentices is handled through the commission’s office in Milwaukee,
because that is the employment center for those workers. Mine in­
spection bureaus of State labor departments are apt to have head­
quarters in the mining center o f the State, rather than in the capital,
as is the case in Kansas. The State employment service, in all States,
functions through a main administrative office and local employment
offices situated throughout the State to serve the entire population.
S in g le -u n i t a g e n c ie s .3
—The simplest structural forms and the
smallest staffs are to be found, obviously, in the States with a mini­
mum of industrial activity and of labor legislation. The smallest
offices, in point o f personnel, are those of Nevada and New Mexico,
each of which consist of a commissioner and one clerical assistant.
In Nevada the commissioner o f labor is also a member of the indus­
trial commission, the agency which administers the workmen’s com­
pensation act. He is designated commissioner of labor by the gover­
nor, and his jurisdiction is limited to the enforcement of labor laws
“ the enforcement of which is not specifically and exclusively vested
in any other officer, board, or commission.” An identical statutory
9 State employment services are not considered in the follow ing discussion o f organiza­
They are in all cases separate functional units with subdivisions based upon
functions or geographical location or upon both. The nature o f the placement activity
and the requirements o f the W agner-Peyser A ct make it necessary for the employment
service to be organized as an entity.





19 3 8

limitation is placed upon the activities of the labor commissioner o f
New Mexico, who is employed by the labor and industrial commission
as its administrative officer. In both States the principal activity of
the labor commission, outside the accident-compensation field, is the
collection o f wage claims. The Nevada commissioner compiles and
publishes a biennial report of his activities which includes also recom­
mendations for legislation, the placement record of the employment
service, some wage data, and other material of labor interest.
The North Dakota agency is similarly constituted, the commis­
sioner being the deputy commissioner of the larger State department
of agriculture and labor, of which the labor division is a subordinate
unit. The chief activity of the commissioner here also has to do
with wage claims and the publication of a monthly bulletin present­
ing material o f interest to labor. He cooperates with the minimumwage secretary, who administers the minimum-wage law. There is
no inspection staff. The labor agency in Kentucky is also a unit o f
a State executive department of broader scope, the department o f
agriculture, labor, and statistics. In this instance the activities are
almost wholly inspectorial, under the direction of a chief labor
inspector. Inspection is directed toward compliance with the labor
laws, which deal in large part with working conditions o f women and
The structure of the Labor Commission of Delaware differs from
that of all other States. The commission is a nonsalaried body o f
five members appointed by the governor, the chief function of which
is advisory and policy forming. It employs a staff o f three, two o f
whom are administrative officers enforcing the labor laws through
inspection; the third is a secretarial assistant to the two inspectors.
One inspector administers and enforces the child-labor law; the
other, the laws applying to women. Except for the workmen’s com­
pensation act and the unemployment compensation act, each adminis­
tered by a separate commission, Delaware has no general labor laws.
Other small agencies with limited activities are those o f Vermont
and Wyoming.
Single-unit structure does not necessarily indicate either limited
activities or a lack of labor laws. Rather it often means an appro­
priation so small that the size o f the staff which can be employed
does not justify functional division and specialization. This situa­
tion obtained in a number of States where both industrialization and
the volume of labor laws coming within the jurisdiction of the de­
partment o f labor would normally call for the setting up o f bureaus
or divisions. The Missouri Department o f Labor and Industrial
Inspection is a case in point. There a small staff o f inspectors, a
chief clerk, a statistician, and three stenographers, in addition to the
commissioner and the two deputy commissioners in charge of branch




offices, carry on such unrelated activities as general industrial inspec­
tion, inspection of mattress and bedding manufacture in the interest
o f public health, regulation and licensing of fee-charging employ­
ment agencies, and the necessary research work involved in serving
as the official source of information relating to labor legislation and
working conditions. Moreover, the department is required to com­
pile a directory of manufacturers in the State and statistical data
dealing with articles manufactured, production costs, and other mat­
ters not immediately related to labor. Other less industrial States
present the same problem of diversified duties through a general
staff that in most instances consists primarily of inspectors. The
South Carolina Department of Labor, with a staff of 12 exclusive
of the commissioner, has the same statutory obligation to compile a
directory and specific data dealing with manufacturing enterprises
in the State as that called for in Missouri, and in addition to the
inspection functions it is required by law to intercede in all labor
On the other hand, specialization is possible without departmental­
ization, as the organization o f the Texas Bureau of Labor Statistics
and the Industrial Commission of Utah illustrate. While the gen­
eral inspectors on the staff of the Texas bureau make the customary
inspections of industrial and mercantile establishments, special in­
spectors deal with oil and gas wells and with boiler inspections, but
all are under the direct supervision of the commissioner. Similarly,
each o f the various activities discharged through the Industrial Com­
mission o f Utah, which include inspection of coal and of metal mines,
general factory inspection, industrial relations, wage-claim adjust­
ment, and minimum-wage administration, is carried on by a staff
member who has no other duty and who is under the immediate direc­
tion of the commissioners.
D e p a r t m e n t a liz e d a g e n c ie s .—In its simplest form the depart­
mentalization of a State labor agency calls merely for the distribu­
tion of each of the various duties that the agency is organized to
perform to the section of the staff best qualified to handle it, and
delegating supervisory authority and responsibility for the proper
discharge of that particular function to a section or bureau chief.
This is the most usual practice among State labor departments. The
bureau thus segregated then can, and does, train the personnel and
develop the special techniques necessary for the discharge o f the
duties in its own limited field. Insufficient personnel may, however,
militate against the specialization that is usually the objective in
breaking the staff up into sectional units. The Washington Depart­
ment of Labor and Industries, for example, is organized into func­
tional divisions, but the statement was made to the Bureau repre-



19 3 8

sentative that it is frequently necessary to assign division staffs to
different types of work.
The extent to which division of w ork is carried out depends chiefly
on the diversity of statutory duties and customary functions dis­
charged by the labor agency, which, in turn, is determined by the
volume of labor laws. The simple form of coordinate bureaus under
the direction of bureau chiefs responsible to the commissioner is
found in States in which labor legislation ranges from inconsiderable
to quite comprehensive. Thus the organization in New Hampshire
falls into four groups: Factory inspection, minimum-wage admin­
istration, unemployment compensation, and State employment serv­
ice. The North Carolina Department of Labor is divided into (1)
the division of standards and inspection, the enforcement unit which
is subdivided into three bureaus (factory and mercantile inspection,
boiler inspection, and mine inspection); (2) division of statistics;
(3) bureau of labor for the deaf; (4) veterans’ service division
(placed in the department of labor by statute, but having little labor
significance). Closer subdivision is found in the Maryland agency,
which operates through the divisions of industrial inspection, chil­
dren, street trades, statistics, boiler inspection, and bureau of mines.
Even in a highly industrial State like Illinois, the organization ma­
chinery follows the simple pattern of coordinate bureaus responsible
directly to the head o f the department.4 In this case the machinery
is statutory rather than administrative, as previously pointed out.
Divisions through which the Illinois Department of Labor functions
are: Factory inspection; private employment agencies; statistics and
research; women’s and children’s employment (including minimum
w age); unemployment compensation; State employment service.
A slight difference in administrative detail is found in two mul­
tiple-head agencies, the Industrial Commission of Colorado and the
Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. In these organiza­
tions the three commissioners divide among themselves administra­
tive and supervisory authority over the various functions. Thus in
the Minnesota department activities are classified into three groups,
and each commissioner takes charge of one group. The bureau chief
at the head of each of the activities within a given group is respon­
sible to the commissioner controlling that group. The system in
Colorado is similar, except that there two commissioners share
coordinate functional responsibility under the general administrative
direction of the third commissioner, who is the chairman.
A more complicated administrative mechanism is introduced into a
number of organizations through the medium of a commission with
*W ith the single exception o f the organization adm inistering the workmen’ s compensa­
tion law, which is outside the scope o f this report.




which the administrator divides responsibility. In most cases this
mechanism applies not to the whole organization but to specific func­
tions. It is, in fact, in many instances, a survival of the days of
independent administrative agencies. California offers the clearest
example of this system of commission administration of specific func­
tions within the structural form of a unitary department. Thus,
three of five functional divisions of the California Department of
Industrial Relations (divisions of industrial accidents and safety,
immigration and housing, and industrial welfare) are under the
direction of a commission appointed by the Governor. These com­
missions, with the exception o f the industrial welfare commission,
act through staff officers appointed under the State civil-service sys­
tem, so that in practice they may have little actual connection with
routine, day-by-day, administrative affairs. They do, however, deter­
mine policies and procedures, and to that extent affect administrative
practices and standards.
California shares with Arkansas and Oregon the method of admintering the minimum-wage law through commissions which are not
organic units o f the department. The Arkansas Industrial Welfare
Commission is composed of two members appointed by the Governor
to represent employers and two members appointed by the commis­
sioner o f labor to represent the workers. The administration and
^enforcement o f the statutory minimum wage is in practice the func­
tion of the commissioner of labor and the woman inspector on his
staff, but the commission is a policy-making and appeal board. The
State Welfare Commission o f Oregon is a tripartite body of three
members appointed by the Governor, which makes rules and regula­
tions for the enforcement of the minimum-wage law and other special
legislation for women and minors, and determines policies and pro­
cedures which are then put into effect by State employees. The
Oklahoma Department of Labor is the medium through which the
industrial welfare commission, an ex officio body of State officials,
administers the law regulating minimum wages and maximum work­
ing hours for both men and women. The Minimum Wage Commis­
sion of Massachusetts, which also determines policies and procedures,
is a tripartite body, but the members are officials of the administering
agency, the Massachusetts Department of Labor and Industries.
A tendency is evident to create this type of machinery, which might
be characterized as being a related part but not a working unit of the
department o f labor mechanism, in the administration o f the newer
laws dealing with unemployment compensation and labor relations.
Commissions discharge both these functions within the framework of
the departments of labor of Connecticut and Massachusetts. A tri­
partite board within the Rhode Island Department of Labor, repre161045°— 39------ 13






19 3 8

senting industry, labor, and the public, administers the unemployment
compensation system, while in New York, Pennsylvania, and Wiscon­
sin labor boards administering labor relations act are appointed by
the governor. Although attached to the State labor agencies, their
status differs from that of the subordinate administrative bureaus
created by the labor agencies themselves.
The most elaborate departmental machinery is found in the two
leading industrial States, New York and Pennsylvania. In addition
to functional units which are themselves closely subdivided, each
department has attached to it, as an integral administrative authority,
a board which establishes rules and regulations, formulates and pro­
mulgates codes, determines policies and methods of procedure, and
hears and decides cases appealed from the administrative acts of the
commissioner and his subordinates. In New York this is a salaried
board; in Pennsylvania the members receive expenses of $15 per day
plus traveling expenses. To emphasize the contrast between the
comparatively simple structural forms o f the single-unit departments
and those whose functions require only a minimum o f functional
division with the minute specialization practiced in the largest State
labor department, it may be of interest to present in outline the plan
of organization of the New York Department of Labor. Eliminating
divisions and bureaus which deal with workmen’s compensation, that
plan is as follow s:
Administrative office.
Bureau of accounts.
Labor publications editor.
Board of standards and appeals.
Labor relations board.
Labor mediation board.
Division of inspection.
Bureau of factory inspection.
Bureau of mercantile inspection.
Bureau of boiler inspection.
Bureau of mines, tunnels, quarries, and explosives.
Bureau of building constructions and public assembly.
Division of engineering.
Division of placement and unemployment insurance.
State employment service.
Bureau of junior placement.
Division of statistics and information.
Division of women in industry and minimum wage.
Bureau of home-work inspection.
Bureau of enforcement of woman- and child-labor laws.
Division of bedding.
Division of industrial hygiene.
Division of industrial relations.
Bureau of mediation and arbitration.
Bureau of labor welfare.
Division of industrial code.



Appropriation and Salaries

Among the many problems that State labor departments have to<
meet, the one that the administrators stress most in discussing their
work is insufficient appropriation. Industrial expansion, increased
labor legislation, and growing economic problems and disturbances
all react upon State labor agencies, not only to augment the volume
o f work they are called upon to do, but also enlarge their opportuni­
ties for contributing to social progress. But the available money
Seldom keeps pace with increased duties and is almost never sufficient
to meet the challenge of greater opportunity.
In practically all States boiler inspection is a self-supporting activ­
ity and in some instances elevator inspection is nearly so. Adminis­
tration o f the bedding laws is income producing. Licensing of occu­
pations in most cases and of private employment agencies in all
cases produces revenue either for the State or for the labor depart­
ment directly. But by and large, a labor department is dependent
upon the appropriation it receives from the legislature, even when a
portion o f that amount is income from its own activities.
The appropriation available to each State labor department is not
in all cases the total amount available for the work of the labor
department. This is because where the department operates the State
employment service 5 the sum appropriated by the State is matched,
dollar for dollar, by the Federal Government, and where the labor
department administers the unemployment-insurance system it does
so without expense to the State government, since all administrative
costs o f unemployment compensation are borne by the Federal Gov­
ernment through the Social Security Board.
It must be emphasized that no comparative analysis of appropria­
tions as between the various State labor departments, even in similar
jurisdictions, can be fairly made. To begin with, it is, unfortunately,
not always possible to separate the cost of workmen’s compensation
administration from that of other activities. Secondly, the volume o f
labor laws may be much greater in one State than in another of com­
parable population and industrial development. Thirdly, the appro­
priation allotted to a State labor agency dealing with highly cen­
tralized industrial areas, as for example Maryland, might be more
nearly adequate than the same amount o f money at the disposal of a
State agency which, to reach a comparable number of workers, would
have to spend large sums for travel and maintenance expenses of its
The minimum salary for a commissioner in the reporting States was
$2,400 a year, the maximum $12,000, and the average about $4,000.
6The appropriation fo r the employment service sometimes exceeds greatly the amount
available fo r all other activities combined.





193 8

For an assistant commissioner the range was from $1,800 to $9,000.
Bureau chiefs received between $1,375 and $9,000 per year.

Section 2.—Inspection Activities o f State Departments o f Labor
The basic and in some cases the only function of a State labor
department is the administration and enforcement of State laws
relating to industrial and public safety and health, hours of labor,
and the terms and conditions under which men, women, and children
work in occupations protected by laws. The primary medium by
which these laws are enforced and continuing compliance with them
is secured is regular, routine inspection. Hence a close relation
is apparent between the volume and kind o f labor laws in force
in a given jurisdiction and the nature and extent of its inspection
The inspection work of State labor agencies may be grouped broadly
into three fields, as being directed toward securing observance of (1)
general labor legislation dealing with working conditions for practi­
cally all wage earners; (2) specific legislation affecting women and
children; and (3) legislation concerned primarily with public safety
and public health. All three fields are covered by the inspection staffs
of labor departments in some large industrial States. Other States,
with less o f the specific type of laws generally classed as labor laws,
pay more attention to safety measures provided in statutes dealing
with elevators, boilers, and construction for public use, which are
directed toward safety of the public rather than of workers as such.
A few States limit their inspection activities to the working condi­
tions of women and children. The corollary of the last-mentioned
situation is, of course, that labor laws in those States apply only to
women and children.
Limits are set by law to the jurisdiction of State labor agencies
in all three fields. Even where labor legislation is comprehensive as
to the hazards and working conditions regulated by law, its applica­
tion may be limited to plants with a specified minimum of employees.
This varies from 3 in some States to 10 in others. Certain occupa­
tions and industries, such as domestic service and agriculture, are
usually exempted from the operation of all the labor laws of a State.
Mercantile and commercial establishments are excluded in a number
of States. The jurisdiction of State agencies with regard to public
safety is to a large extent limited to areas not covered by municipal
and other local authority. On the other hand, certain activities o f
State labor departments, which in several instances consume consider­
able time and effort on the part of inspection staffs, are in fact a
public health function. These activities are concerned with laws




regulating the sanitary conditions under which bedding and uphol­
stered articles, children’s clothing, toys, etc., are manufactured.
Thus, there is no uniformity as to what constitutes the inspection
work of State labor agencies. The extent and nature of the function
is predetermined by the laws to be enforced by the agency by means
o f inspection. These vary from State to State. Practically all States
that have a governmental unit concerned with labor have some degree
o f jurisdiction over the working conditions of women and children,
but even in that field laws and standards differ. The degree of ade­
quacy achieved by State labor agencies in the discharge of their in­
spection functions is necessarily conditioned by the amount qf money
and personnel available for the purpose. In those respects also uni­
formity is totally lacking, except in the attitude of all State labor
department executives that money and personnel are never sufficient
for complete enforcement.
This discussion deals specifically with the work o f inspection staffs
in connection with the administration and enforcement of general
labor laws. Some activities confined to specific fields, such as the
administration of minimum-wage laws and home-work regulations,
are merely touched upon. Neither is inspection by agencies other
than State labor departments, such as the Interstate Commerce Com­
mission, Bureau of Marine Inspection, etc., included, as it was in­
tended to treat this subject separately in a broader discussion of the
activities of governmental agencies in accident prevention. The pur­
pose o f this report is to outline the scope and general functions of
the regular inspection staffs of State labor departments and to indi­
cate the part they play in the administration of the labor laws.
Historical Development of Factory Inspection

Factory inspection grew out o f the necessity for providing special
machinery to enforce child-labor laws. When these laws were first
enacted, the legal theory was that enforcement could be secured
through complaints o f persons affected by violations! and consequent
prosecution through ordinary court channels. Nullification through
inaction was the result.
In 1866, a generation after it had passed its first law restricting
the employment o f children, Massachusetts deputized one police offi­
cer to enforce observance of the child-labor and school laws, but did
not give him the right to enter factories for purposes of investigation.
I t was not until 11 years later, in 1879, that that power was ex­
plicitly given by an act which provided for the delegation of two or
more police officers as inspectors of factories and public buildings.
Later still, factory inspection was made a distinct division within
the district police department.






193 8

New York created a factory-inspection service by legislation in
1886, after having depended upon general legal and penal machinery
to enforce its labor laws, which at that time concerned women and
children almost solely. Prior to 1899 tax assessors in Pennsylvania
were supposed to act upon violations o f the labor laws, but in that
year factory inspection was established. In Connecticut the enforce­
ment of the child-labor laws devolved upon the State board of edu­
cation until 1887, when a special office was created.
As early as 1884, Ohio had established an independent office o f
State inspector o f shops and factories, at a salary of $1,500 a year.
The duties o f this office covered not only enforcement o f laws apply­
ing to women and children, but the maintenance of safe and sanitary
working conditions, as they were at that time understood. The law
dealt specifically with “ heating, lighting, ventilating, and sanitary
arrangements” of shops and factories, with fire hazards, and with
the prevention o f accidents by proper guarding o f “belting, shafting,
gearing, elevators, drums, and machinery.”
New Jersey had created a similar office by statute in 1883, but
appointment thereunder was not made until 2 or 3 years later. W is­
consin created a bureau o f labor and industrial statistics in 1887
and made the inspection o f factories, hotels, and public buildings
one o f the duties o f the bureau through a special inspector appointed
under the act.
In 1887, then, factory inspection in the United States was carried
on in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and
Wisconsin. The entire force in these States consisted of only 19
men—7 in Massachusetts, 4 each in New Jersey and Ohio, 2 in New
York, 1 in Wisconsin, and 1 in Connecticut—and the emphasis was
on protection o f women and children. In that year, at the instiga­
tion o f Henry Dorn, the chief inspector in Ohio, factory inspectors,
with the exception of those in New York and Wisconsin, met in
Philadelphia and organized a national association. This organiza­
tion met annually thereafter until it merged in 1914 with what is
now the International Association o f Governmental Labor Officials.
During the early years, discussions on the floor o f these conven­
tions, and official reports of the factory inspection departments, show
that their greatest problem and chief interest were child labor and
compulsory education, with, working conditions and accident preven­
tion a gradually growing but still secondary consideration.
By 1890, Illinois, Maine, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island had been
added to the States which had established State regulation and
official inspection, and these States were represented at the 1890 con­
vention. Also by that time women had been added to the inspection
staff in both New York and Pennsylvania. Addressing the conven-



tion, the first woman factory inspector—she was called inspectress
then—said: 6
I do not wish to be misunderstood and to be considered a so-called “blue­
stocking” or advocate of woman’s rights and suffrage, but I do claim that
there are certain spheres in life where women’s efforts are unquestionably
essential and almost necessary to accomplish satisfactory results. * * * As
long as society permits the labor of women and children in factories, either to
earn their own livelihood or to assist their husbands and parents to eke out
an existence, so long as this deplorable state of affairs lasts, I say women as
factory inspectors are a necessity, and that it becomes a woman’s duty to
help and look to it that they are not abused and imposed upon by avaricious
or immoral employers.

Three years later a woman was made chief factory inspector in
Illinois. Now the laws of many States require that women be em­
ployed as factory inspectors, sometimes specifically in the interests o f
woman and child workers, but oftener, in actual practice, in regular
inspection work.
Effective compulsory education and truancy laws and the gradual
raising o f the age limit for working children throughout the country
as a whole have materially changed the inspectors’ field o f operations.
With new conditions to meet and, by and large, a complete reversal
o f the employers’ attitude toward inspection and supervision, fac­
tory inspection today really bears little resemblance to the pioneer
movement of the close of the nineteenth and the beginning of the
twentieth century.
Aspects of Inspection

So many phases of inspection for purposes of enforcement have
developed as labor laws have increased in number and coverage that
the generic term “ factory inspection” is misleading. Much more than
inspection o f manufacturing plants is involved. Inspection of boilers,
elevators, and fire escapes, which is called for under laws directed at
public safety as well as labor conditions, involves buildings used
by the general public, such as schools, theaters, hotels, etc. In prac­
tically all States which make boiler inspection a function o f the State
labor agency that phase of inspection is specialized. To some extent
elevator inspection is also a specialized activity. But the factory
inspector’s field o f operation may take him, for example, into pri­
vate homes (in the enforcement of industrial home-work laws and
regulations) and into mercantile establishments, beauty parlors, pri­
vate employment agencies, and lumber camps, as well as into factories.
Still another aspect of inspection as carried on by some State labor
departments concerns the product of a factory rather than its work0 International Association, of Inspectors of Factories and Workshops. Fourth annual
convention, held at New York City, August 27-30, 1890, pp. 5 1 -5 4 : Women Factory
Inspectors and Their Usefulness, by Mrs. Alex Bremer. Boston, 1890.



19 3 8

ing conditions. The product in such cases is mattresses and other
kinds of bedding, upholstered furniture, and the like. Inspection is
in the interest of the general public and the consumer, not the worker,
and involves protection against public health hazards and illegal
adulteration o f materials used in production.
F a c t o r y in s p e c tio n .—The following concise analysis of factory
inspection to enforce regulatory laws applying to manufacturers was
made several years ago by an experienced factory inspector.7
Inspection can be considered in two ways. One is the inspection of physical
equipment. This inspection covers, first, the production equipment, by which is
meant the machinery that is used directly in the manufacturing processes. The
study of this machinery is made for the purpose of listing unguarded danger
points for which guards are required in the law.
* * * The inspection
covers, second, such physical equipment as is used indirectly in production,
such as elevators, fire escapes, etc. The inspection covers, third, the sanitation
equipment, by which is meant the machinery for removing dust, fumes, and
gases; the sanitary conveniences, washrooms, lockers, etc., chairs for workers;
and all other equipment which may be known as sanitation requirements, as
distinguished from safety requirements, may be considered in this classification.
The study of this machinery is made for the purpose of listing such items as do
not comply with the law. * * *
The other phase of inspection is the inspection of factory supervision. This
inspection covers the field of hours of labor of women employees, hours of
labor and permit requirements of employed children, and the regulated or
prohibited employments of both women and children. This is an inspection
responsibility quite different from the inspection of physical equipment for
safety and sanitation. This type of work requires most careful and thorough
examination of records. It frequently requires personal interviews with em­
ployees, either in the shop or at their homes. In the child-labor inspection
there is required not only careful examination of time cards and records
but search for and examination of the original evidence of age upon which
labor permits are issued. * * *
In the inspection of the physical conditions of a shop, it is conceivable that
the time may come when it could be said that a shop complies with the law.
By that is meant that, insofar as devices are required for safety and health,
everything has been done.
I f the law requires automatic covers on ex­
tractors, then when such covers are installed the machine is safe. This does
not, however, relieve the department of inspection of responsibilities altogether,
as there will always be the need of inspection of the maintenance of the safe­
guards, though such inspections are not as imperative nor needed as frequently.
In the inspection of factory supervision relating to hours of labor, wages,
child labor, and controlled or prohibited employments, however, a factory cannot
safely be said to comply with the law except for the specific time when an in­
spection is made, Changes in the working force, in supervisory and managerial
personnel occur much more frequently than changes or deterioration in physical
equipment. Therefore, if it is contemplated to enforce all laws with the same
faithfulness, the inspections of factory supervision should be made oftener
than inspections of physical equipment. It is to be noted, also, that these two
purposes in inspection obviously call for different types of procedure,

7 U. S. Bureau o f Labor Statistics Bull. No. 352, pp. 84, 8 5 : Inspection service, by
T racy Copp. W ashington, 1923.



I n s p e c t i o n o f n o n m a n u fa c tu r in g e s ta b lis h m e n ts .—In many States
the laws give the State labor department very little jurisdiction over
the physical conditions of work in nonmanufacturing establishments
other than laundries and dry-cleaning plants. Legislation calling
for seats for women employed in retail stores comes within the prov­
ince o f State labor departments, while in some cases the sanitary
facilities and conditions of those same stores are the concern of the
public health authorities. The equipment and facilities of beauty
shops are seldom subject to inspection or regulation by the State labor
agency, although in some instances local electrical and health inspec­
tors may exercise a degree of jurisdiction. Working conditions other
than those growing out of the physical aspect of an establishment
may, on the other hand, be regulated by statute. Thus, hours of
labor and the length of the workweek, rest periods, child labor, and,
in the minimum-wage States, earnings may be regulated by law in
establishments not affected by laws dealing with safety and health.
These laws are administered and enforced by the State labor agency.
The procedure, however, is that described in the foregoing quotation
as inspection of supervision. It involves detailed examination of
time records, pay rolls, age certificates, and any other pertinent evi­
dence, and personal interviews and visits with employees to obtain
confidential information. Inspection of work premises may be lim­
ited to checking up on the posting of the notices required by law,
such as schedules o f hours permitted and hours worked, wage scales
or piece prices, minimum hourly rates, etc. Kegulation of fee­
charging employment agencies calls for examination of their books
arid their methods of doing business.

Organisation of Inspection Staffs

The size and type of the inspection staff of a State department
o f labor, its composition, and the extent of subdivision and special­
ization, depend upon the volume and coverage of the labor laws, the
money appropriated for inspection purposes, and the personnel
available, rather than on the actual needs of workers and employers
for State supervision and assistance. Probably little exception will
be taken to the attitude common to all State labor department ex­
ecutives that the number of inspectors and the amount of money
are never sufficient to do thoroughly the work demanded by an ade­
quate enforcement program, however limited the coverage of the
labor laws may be. When more laws are enacted or the field to be
inspected expands for other reasons, the staff is seldom increased
proportionately. Thus, as the responsible officials point out, the
issue to be decided is what phase of the work is imperative and
what phase is the least likely to suffer from lack of supervision.



193 8

Most State laws require at least an annual inspection of all places of
employment within the State that are subject to inspection. With
the present organization and money available for the discharge o f
that function, however, even that minimum is not possible in all
The labor departments of two States—Alabama and Delaware—
attempt no general factory inspection, confining their activities’
wholly to enforcement of laws applying to women and children, or„
in the case o f Alabama, to children. Only one inspector is employed
in Alabama. Delaware has two inspectors— one to enforce the
child-labor law and one to supervise the working conditions o f
women. One general factory inspector was provided for by the;
Legislature o f Arkansas in 1937.
From this irreducible minimum o f coverage and personnel the
scale ascends through various types o f organization to that o f the
New York Department of Labor, which has separate staffs of in­
spectors for most of the activities which it pursues in the adminis­
tration and enforcement o f the labor laws.
S p e c ia liz e d sta ffs .—In New York a corps of 100 industrial in­
spectors deals with safety and sanitation, factory management, time
records, the posting o f the labor laws and other notices required by
law, etc. Nearly every other function of the department which calls
for inspection is discharged through a special unit. These units
cover mercantile establishments, with a staff of 49 inspectors; con­
struction, with 25; bedding and upholstery manufacture, with 20;
tunnels and quarries, with 3; industrial home work, with 20; em­
ployment conditions o f women and minors, with 20; and inspection,
o f boilers and other pressure vessels with a special detail o f 12 boiler
Few other States subdivide their staffs as closely as does New
York, although California and Pennsylvania follow somewhat the
same plan. Special mercantile inspectors were reported in only
three other States. Although Pennsylvania has no mercantile in­
spectors as such, the female inspectors attached to the various super­
vising offices act almost exclusively as merchantile inspectors. Su­
pervision o f working conditions in buildings and construction is a
specialized function in eight other States, while elevator inspection,
not separately treated in New York, is a specialized activity in
several States. The manufacture of bedding and upholstery is un­
der the supervision o f separate units in Connecticut and Pennsylva­
nia, as well as in New York. Those two States also have a special
detail for investigating the conditions under which industrial home
work is carried on. Inspection of tunnels, caissons, quarries, and
sand and gravel pits is assigned to a single inspector or to a special



unit in several States, in addition to New York. Activities not in­
cluded in the New York program which in certain other States call
for specialized inspectors cover labor camps, oil fields, electrical
installations and processes, and marine inspection.
Two fields, on the other hand, are in most instances assigned to
special inspection staffs. These are the administration and enforce­
ment o f laws dealing with women and minors, and the inspection of
boilers and unfired pressure vessels. With regard to women and
children, these units may deal with general inspection and enforce­
ment of special legislation, including minimum-wage laws. With
few exceptions, specially organized staffs within the State labor
agency concentrate upon general labor laws applying to women
and minors, upon observance of the minimum-wage laws, or upon
both types o f legislation.
The inspection of boilers and other pressure vessels is a technical
process requiring knowledge, training, and an inspection technique
that differ entirely from those called for by inspection to enforce
labor laws. Hence a separate technical unit is demanded and is
practically always set up in the State labor departments of those
States which place boiler laws under the jurisdiction of that agency.
Boiler inspection divisions are found in the State labor departments
o f almost half the States covered by this survey. The number of
inspectors in each division varies from 1 to 50.
However, not all States have State boiler laws, and not all State
boiler laws come under the jurisdiction o f the department of labor.
In Massachusetts, for example, the administration of all laws of that
nature, which are public safety measures rather than labor laws, is
the function of the department of public safety.
A third field in which inspection is always a specialized function
is mining. That function is not included in the duties of State de­
partments of labor as a rule. On the contrary, in most mining
States a State department of mines is responsible for the adminis­
tration and enforcement o f all laws and codes governing the mining
S p e c ia liz a tio n in g e n e r a l in s p e c tio n s ta ffs .—The foregoing outline
o f specialization is concerned solely with instances in which the unit
deals only with a special field. The unit may consist of one inspector
or of many, but in any case it exercises a specific function to which,
normally, it is limited. Specialization is also found to some extent
among general inspectors. The distinction is that the general inspector
is a specialist only incidentally or occasionally, while the specialized in­
spector might conceivably not even be qualified to do general work.
Thus an analysis of the organization and field of activity of State
factory inspection staffs suggests that the general, all-round inspector
is the backbone of the inspection system.



19 3 8

A t the same time, a degree of specialization in the general staff is
frequently expedient and sometimes necessary. There is a growing
tendency to assign woman inspectors exclusively to mercantile estab­
lishments, laundries, beauty parlors, and other woman-employing
enterprises. Inspection of certain types o f mechanical equipment
or of processes may be intrusted to general inspectors whose special
training or experience qualifies them for that particular field. In
Ohio, for example, high-pressure piping comes under the jurisdiction
of general inspectors especially equipped to handle that type of work,
and in Minnesota certain inspectors are assigned exclusively to con­
struction duty and wrecking operations. Some inspectors in New
Jersey have emphasized the technique peculiar to the inspection o f
bakeries and are occasionally called upon by their colleagues in other
districts to assist in handling problems connected with the baking
industry. Specialization along administrative rather than industrial
lines was reported in a few instances. To illustrate, the services of an
inspector with exceptional experience or unusual skill in handling
difficult cases may be used in any locality or any industry when an
emergency arises or when evidence is needed in connection with prose­
cution for violation.
G e n e r a l in s p e c tio n s ta ffs .—On the whole, however, inspection to
secure continuous compliance with the State labor laws is the task o f
the general inspection staff of the State labor agency. It is to a
representative of this group that the generic term “ factory inspector”
is usually applied. As already suggested, he is not only a factory
inspector, but also an inspector of retail stores, laundries, restaurants,
and other types of service establishment, and in some instances o f
private homes. He frequently fulfills the duties of fire marshal in
inspecting the fire protection of theaters, schoolhouses, and hotels, as
well as of factories and other workplaces.
The smaller the staff the greater and more diverse the field covered
by each inspector. Vermont, for example, has only one inspector.
His duties embrace all establishments in the State employing five or
more workers. His field of operation thus including not only manu­
facturing plants, but quarries, restaurants and lunchrooms, and retail
stores. Theoretically it covers boilers as well, but boiler inspection
has been delegated to the insurance carriers. No other State has a
one-man all-purpose inspection staff, but general inspection staffs of
two and of three are maintained in several States. The general staff is
sometimes supplemented by a special detail covering women and
A l lo c a t io n o f in s p e c to r s .—An inspector is assigned to a given dis­
trict in most States—a system which the State of New York claims
to have originated. Within that district he plans his own itineraries
and routes his own work, as a rule, In a few States, however, all the



inspectors8 work out from the headquarters of the department of
labor, on assignments prepared by the executive head of the inspection
service. The duration of assignments varies, but in general, work is
planned for 1 week or for 2 weeks, and the inspector returns to head­
quarters when the assignment is completed.
Another variation of this system is found, notably in California,
where the State is divided into geographical areas, and the inspectors
work out of the field office of the area to which they are assigned.
Territorial division is not usual in the case of special inspectors
dealing solely with woman and child labor. In most States this
special detail consists of only one or two inspectors, who cover the
entire State. The same system o f assignment out of a central office
is used, however, in Wisconsin, where a staff of six inspectors is at­
tached to the woman and child labor department.
Elsewhere the practice of districting the territory to be covered is
followed, and inspectors are assigned to and responsible for routine
work within the district. The New Jersey Department of Labor
follows a slightly different plan, by which inspectors are located in
given districts but receive their assignments through the executive
office. In districting, the aim is to divide as equably as possible the
number o f establishments to be covered. In concentrated industrial
areas such as are found in New York City, Chicago, and Philadel­
phia, an inspector’s district may comprise, territorially, only a few
city blocks. In West Virginia, on the other hand, the average area
assigned an inspector is 14 counties, and in some States even larger
areas must be covered by a single inspector. Five of the nine inspec­
tion districts into which New York is divided are in the metropolitan
area of Greater New York. Similarly, Maryland is divided into 11
inspection districts, 9 o f which are in Baltimore County. The rest
o f the State is divided territorially into western Maryland and the
eastern counties, each covered by 1 inspector.
The assignment of inspectors to districts is usually rotated, al­
though the method used in rotating differs. In some States, Mary­
land and Rhode Island among them, allocations are changed at
regular intervals. The more usual practice, however, is an indetermi­
nate duration subject to administrative action. The theory with
regard to shifting personnel is, as expressed by one chief inspector,
that “ an inspector should not be too well acquainted with his district.”
In exceptional circumstances an inspector may remain indefinitely
8 With the exception of one in Minnesota, who is located in Duluth.



19 3 8

in a district and instances of 20 years o f service in the same location
have occurred in New York.9
The block system is ordinarily followed in carrying out routine
inspections in congested city districts; that is, the inspector divides
his district into “blocks” of convenient size, and then visits consecu­
tively each establishment in the block subject to inspection. Thus a
day’s work might involve the inspection o f many different types o f
places o f employment— a large chain store and a small neighborhood
notion store, a large bakery and a small job print shop, a drycleaning plant and a cigar factory, a restaurant and an automobile
repair shop.
Outside the cities, the block system is not especially applicable, and
in nonindustrial centers and States inspection is more apt to proceed
by industry or type o f establishment.
This discussion o f the routing o f work applies only to regular,
routine inspection. A large part o f an inspector’s time, however,
is taken up with investigation of complaints and of accidents, as
directed by his supervisor or the main office. Ordinarily, investiga­
tions take precedence over routine inspection.
S u p e r v i s o r y sta ffs .—Few factory inspection divisions have a super­
visory personnel other than a chief factory inspector and a chief
boiler inspector. Some State labor commissioners are themselves the
chief factory inspectors, and in a few instances the deputy commis­
sioner discharges that function.1
The term “ chief factory inspector” is used in a considerable num­
ber of States, while “ safety engineer” is the title used in a few cases.
Where the entire inspection service is organized as a bureau or divi­
sion within the State labor agency, the executive in charge, in most
cases called the director, is in effect the chief inspector.
Local supervisors are found in a few instances. In Missouri the
supervisors are located in the St. Louis and Kansas City offices o f
the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Inspection. They
are in fact deputy commissioners in charge of the offices serving the
urban centers of the State. At the same time they supervise and
direct the work of the inspectors attached to those offices.
The New York Department of Labor, with its large inspection staff
responsible for about 65,000 inspections annually, has a rather elab­
orate organization. Each of the 9 inspection districts into which the
9 This discussion of length of service in a district is applicable to relatively few States,
as it presupposes a condition of tenure of office. That condition is far from general, and
the practice of changing the entire personnel of a State labor department with each
change of administration prevails in a number of States. Moreover, the turn-over rate
of the factory inspection staff in some States is high.
1 States in which the commissioner of labor or the deputy commissioner function as
chief of the inspection service are: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, New
Jersey, Oklahoma, and Oregon.



State is divided— 5 in Greater New York, and 4 up-State—is under
the direction o f a supervisor. Over the New York City supervisors,
is a chief factory inspector and a chief mercantile inspector, and over
the supervisors in up-State districts is one chief inspector serving
in both the factory and mercantile fields. The director of the division
o f inspection is the executive head o f the entire inspection service.
P e r s o n n e l ,—The merit system is applied to the selection of inspec­
tors in comparatively few States. In these States applicants for posi­
tions as inspectors are subjected to examination, either competitive or
Most State labor commissioners express a preference for experi­
enced mechanics or factory workers in selecting inspectors. In one
State, for example, just half the staff of general inspectors were
machinists. In two specialized fields—boiler and elevator inspec­
tion—inspectors and supervisors are practically always mechanical
tradesmen familiar with the technical aspects of the manufacture!
and installation, as well as of the operation, of the equipment with
which they are concerned. The chiefs o f the safety and factory
inspection divisions of State departments of labor are in a few in­
stances men with engineering degrees who have had special training
in safety work and accident prevention.
General inspectors are preponderantly men—exclusively so in New!
York and Minnesota, and as a rule in the States having only small
staffs. The laws of some States, however, specify that a certain
number o f inspectors, usually one or two, shall be women. The
special inspection staffs dealing with working conditions of women
and minors and the legislation governing their employment are
composed almost entirely of women.
Some boiler-inspection laws contain a clause specifying the quali­
fications that must be met by the inspectors enforcing the law. Spe­
cific standards o f that character are seldom encountered, even as
administrative measures, with relation to general inspectors.
As before stated, department heads prefer as inspectors men trained
in the mechanical trades or those with definite factory experience.
In a conference on the administration of labor laws held in Wash­
ington, D. C., under the auspices of the United States Department
o f Labor in October 1937, several State labor commissioners stated
that they recruited applicants for positions as factory inspectors
through the trade unions.
While there is considerable turn-over among the inspection staffs
of State labor departments, long terms of service were also reported
from States without civil-service tenure, as well as from the States
having a merit system. Turn-over is accounted for in a number of
ways, but probably political changes and the slow rate of advance-



19 3 8

ment from low entrance salaries explains it in large part. State­
ments were made to Bureau representatives by administrative officers
in a number of instances that difficulties are often found in filling
vacancies on the inspection staffs, partly because the entrance salary
is not commensurate with the educational qualifications and experi­
ence demanded by the work or by civil-service rules.
The salary scales of the predominant groups of inspectors em­
ployed by State labor departments in the enforcement of labor laws
range from $1,248 to $4,200 for general inspectors, $1,200 to $3,000
for boiler inspectors, and from $1,200 to $2,700 for woman and child
labor inspectors. Practices with regard to expense accounts and per
diem allowances in addition to salary vary widely. An allowance
for gasoline and oil is general, and in a few States is the only addi­
tional compensation. Other States pay a definite daily rate for time
away from the home office, and still others use the expense-account
system, reimbursing the inspector for all costs incurred during an
inspection tour that are definitely chargeable to State work. Specific
data on the subject of remuneration other than salary were not ob­
tained by the Bureau.
T r a in in g o f in s p e c to r s .— Systems and programs for training new
inspectors are almost wholly lacking. Except in a few States, new
men, whatever their qualifications and experience, and however se­
lected, are put into the field on their own resources as soon as they
are appointed. Unless their selection was made upon the basis o f
knowledge o f the labor laws of the State and the industrial hazards
and conditions which inspection is designed to correct, their training
is apt to be obtained by a costly method of trial and error.
A degree of coaching and supervision is, however, practiced in
some States. These are, generally speaking, the same States as
those using some form of merit system as a basis of selection. Thus,
the recruit may be assumed to have the fundamentals o f labor legis­
lation at his command, and some sort of background of related ex­
perience upon which to draw in his new undertaking.
For new appointees the training method used is, first, to detail
them for a brief period to the headquarters office for general instruc­
tions and to get a broad survey of the laws and their coverage, pro­
cedure, and office routine. Then each new man is sent into the field
as understudy to an experienced inspector. This period, in Wisconsin,
may range from a week to a month; in New Jersey 2 weeks is the
usual term. The New York inspector who is in charge of a trainee’s
induction to field duty is required to give him specific instructions
in the labor code, and in the procedure and details of making an in­
spection. In North Carolina a new man makes inspections under
supervision o f several inspectors, including the chief. The proba-


2 03

tionary period during which the new inspector is under supervision
is indeterminate in most cases, although it is fixed at 4 to 6 weeks in
Maryland, 3 months in New Jersey, and 6 months in North Carolina.
The supervisory staff in New York is expected to continue the field
training o f all inspectors, new and old, by occasionally accompany­
ing them on their trips to observe and criticize. The chief of the
inspection service o f the Wisconsin Industrial Commission spends
about 3 days a year in the field with each inspector.
Staff conferences for all inspectors are another training medium.
These are held three times a year in Wisconsin and in North Carolina,
and at regular intervals in New Jersey. The commissioner of the
Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Inspection inaugu­
rated in 1935 an annual training institute of 1 day for the inspectors
and supervisors in that State, at which scientific addresses and prac­
tical demonstrations are given. The Illinois factory inspectors as­
signed to the Chicago districts meet each Saturday morning in the
office of the chief inspector for instructions and reports, and to dis­
cuss problems and exchange experiences.
The chief inspector of one highly industrial State remarked to the
Bureau representative that “ it takes 5 years to train an inspector.”
Another declared, at a meeting of governmental labor officials, that
“ even the best inspector is of very little value for a year after his
appointment. After 2 or 3 years he begins to be fairly good. * * *
He is better year after year as long as he is mentally and physically
Recognizing the need o f training programs for the inspection staffs
of State labor departments, and appreciating the difficulties which
the departments themselves face in meeting that need, the United
States Department o f Labor has undertaken to provide, through its
Division of Labor Standards, a brief, intensive training course for
States requesting that service. The Division of Labor Standards
organizes the training classes and enlists the cooperation of officials
of State and local labor and public health agencies, employers, and
outstanding authorities in the fields of industrial safety and health
and labor-law administration. Instruction is given through lectures
and round-table discussions. Practical work is provided by visits
to various types o f industrial establishments, which are inspected
under the guidance of experienced inspectors skilled in the various
techniques required in an adequate technical and scientific inspection
o f workplaces.
This movement was initiated in Baltimore in February 1936, when
factory inspectors from Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, and
West Virginia attended an intensive training institute. The first
meeting was followed by one organized at the request o f the Penn1610450
—39----- 14



19 3 8

sylvania Department o f Labor and Industry. A third was held in
Chicago, to which factory inspectors of other States were sent for
instruction in the fundamentals of industrial safety and health and
to observe the factory-inspection technique of especially competent
inspectors. The training course provided by the Division of Labor
Standards extends over a period of 10 days to 2 weeks.
Inspection Procedure

Broadly speaking, inspection of places of employment, as carried
on by State labor agencies, is for the purpose of insuring continuous
compliance with la ter legislation and public-safety laws to which
workplaces are subject, and prompt and satisfactory correction of
conditions therein which do not conform to the standards set by
those laws. The legal authority o f a State labor department falls
into one o f three broad divisions—either it is specifically limited by
statute, or the agency is given a general mandate to maintain ac­
ceptable working conditions for the groups of workers for whom
the laws offer protection, or the statutory boundaries are so vague
< to allow the agency considerable discretionary latitude. Inspection
procedure, as well as enforcement, is necessarily affected by the de­
gree of authority with which the inspector is invested. Inspectors
have police power and the right of entry within the fields covered by
law, but these fields may be quite limited.
Missouri and Tennessee afford examples of States in which the laws
define explicitly what the labor agency may require of employers in
the way o f safety measures and employment standards. In the pre­
dominantly industrial States, and in several of the southern States
in which departments of labor have been created recently, the State
labor agency has power to issue rules and regulations supplementary
to the labor law, which have equal authority. Inspection in those
States can be far more detailed and exacting than is possible in States
where the procedure, as to both inspection and enforcement, is pre­
scribed by statute. In the third group of States, labor-law adminis­
trators frankly admit that at times they issue directions for the cor­
rection of conditions, both specific and general, which are in fact
outside the scope of their absolute powers. They add, however, that
by keeping within reason and practicability and by establishing the
need for the directed change, the authority thus assumed is seldom
G e n e r a l in s p e c tio n s .—Inspections are made without advance notice,
but the usual custom followed by an inspector is to go first to the
employer or his representative in the plant and announce his purpose
of making an inspection. A standard inspection form is used in most
States, on which plant conditions, in varying degrees of detail, are



noted. These blanks are as a rule filled out in triplicate; one copy
goes to the main office of the agency, one to the plant, and one to the
inspector’s file. The information entered on the inspection forms
covers (1) the physical conditions o f the plant structure; (2) adequacy
and condition of machinery guards, etc.; and (3) the presence or
absence o f notices, records, etc., required by law. Where inspection
methods are highly systematized, a different form is used for each
type o f information, and for each type o f establishment (manufactur­
ing, mercantile, restaurant, etc.).
Information dealing with plant structure describes the adequacy
o f the light, heat, ventilation, floor and aisle space, and working space
allotted each worker; the condition, with respect to safety, of the
floors, stairways, elevators, and hoists; general cleanliness and “ house­
keeping” ; toilet facilities and arrangements for drinking water; and
the amount and kind of fire protection and fire prevention provided.
In an initial inspection of a new building, or a building or workshop
newly occupied as such, cubic air space, window space, floor dimen­
sions, fire egress and fire escapes, and other pertinent information
dealing with the structural aspects of the plant and its suitability as
a workplace are determined for permanent record.
Inspection to determine proper safeguarding of machinery and
equipment is a detailed, technical process, but it is also more concrete
than most of the other phases of factory inspection. Safety laws and
codes prescribe, either in general or in detail, the types of guards
or other protective devices, vents, exhausts, etc., that are to be provided
to meet known hazards connected with the operation of hand and
power machinery, dust-producing processes, and the like. Inspection
thus becomes a matter of scrutiny to make sure that these devices are
properly installed and in working order, and that all normal and
apparent hazards such as projecting ends, moving belts, and open pits,
are being dealt with satisfactorily.
Detection of unsafe practices on the part of management and o f
workers is less objective, but fully as important to the realization o f
the inspector’s purpose to make a plant safe. However, except in
code States, he may be exceeding his authority if he undertakes to
issue orders concerning practices and methods he regards as unsafe.
Safety programs and educational campaigns are designed to take the
place of mandatory orders in overcoming accident and health hazards
growing out of carelessness and bad work habits.
The points to be considered in the aspect of factory inspection
involving plant management are in all jurisdictions fixed by the labor
laws. Hence they may be few and simple, dealing perhaps only with
the provision o f seats for woman workers, the proper filing of age
records and employment permits o f young workers, and the posting



19 3 8

o f the labor laws. On the other hand, they may involve an enormous
amount of detailed investigation into plant records showing working
hours and overtime, pay-roll data, and compensation-insurance cover­
ages, as well as into the legal status o f employed children and statutory
provision for the comfort of working women, and in some States, men.
Check must be made of the posting not only of labor laws, but of time
sheets, minimum-wage orders (where issued), safety regulations, and
any other placards mentioned in the laws. Inspectors must ascertain
whether or not engineers, firemen, electricians, and other maintenance
employees have active licenses, where these are required by law, and
whether or not evidence to that effect is displayed as called for by
law. In many States first-aid kits and medicine chests, fitted up
according to specifications, are required equipment in certain types
o f establishment, or where a certain minimum number o f workers are
employed. Making inventory of this equipment is one o f the duties
o f an inspector during a general routine inspection of a plant.
F r e q u e n c y o f in s p e c tio n s .— State laws dealing with inspection o f
places of employment usually stipulate that each plant to which the
law applies shall be visited at least once a year for inspection purposes.
Every State inspection service attempts to meet that required mini­
mum, but not all are able to do so every year. Entirely aside from
the problem of wholly inadequate personnel faced by some State labor
departments, three other time-consuming factors affect the carrying
out of the annual inspection program. These are investigations o f
complaints, which call for visits to workers’ homes, interviews, and
conferences as well as special plant inspection; investigations of fatal
and serious accidents; and reinspections to check up on compliance
with official orders. The third activity mentioned is not discharged by
inspectors in all States. Complaints, on the other hand, are always
investigated, no matter what the source, and in most States are given
precedence, within reason, over routine work. Accidents must be
followed up as promptly as possible, for the double purpose of insuring
correction of the causative conditions, and of determining causes and
surrounding circumstances while evidence is obtainable.
I f all or any of these related duties attain considerable volume
during the year, the time must necessarily be found at the expense o f
routine general inspection.
By and large, however, the standard of one annual general inspec­
tion of each manufacturing plant and important nonmanufacturing
establishment is met. In some States it is exceeded. The Connecticut
Department of Labor and Factory Inspection, for example, reports
that its staff makes a complete survey of the State three times in 2 years,
with semiannual inspection o f plants that are very large or unusually
difficult. The Missouri law calls for semiannual inspection o f all



plants affected by the law. Massachusetts makes an annual general
inspection, and quarterly reinspections for particularly hazardous
processes and substandard plants. The practice in Maryland is to
carry on general inspections throughout the year and to concentrate on
mercantile inspections during the Christmas holiday season, assigning
the whole inspection staff to that duty for about 10 days.
Inspection for safety in construction, of course, requires timely
action on the part of the inspectors. Supervision of building opera­
tions in Minnesota is carried on, according to the State official inter­
viewed, “anywhere from once a day to once a month.”
The practice is occasionally followed, of which Nebraska and
Washington are instances, of inspecting all the plants in selected
industries or services in succession, so planned and rotated as to cover
the State in a year. Working under that system, an inspector in
Washington is expected to report upon an average of 2 small and 1
large establishments within the industry daily.
With only 2 general inspectors in the field, the Kansas Commission
o f Labor and Industry finds it impossible to make a thorough survey
o f the State even once in 2 years. A complete inspection was made
in 1934, with the help of temporary inspectors. On the basis of
information obtained then, subsequent work has been planned to
cover places in greatest need of attention. During 1937 the grain
elevators of the State were intensively studied.
S p e c i a l in s p e c tio n fie ld s .—Procedure and technique in some of the
specialized fields are very different from those employed in general
factory and mercantile inspection to enforce labor laws. In some
cases protection of the workers is not the objective. This is especially
true with regard to inspection of mattresses and other specified ar­
ticles, and of hotels and buildings used for public assembly. At the
same time, unless a special unit within the inspection service of a
department of labor discharges these functions, the general inspector
Inspection to enforce the bedding and upholstery laws involves two
points of detail in addition to regulating the general sanitary condi­
tions of the premises in which the goods are manufactured. These
are, first, determination of the cleanliness of any used material enter­
ing into the product; and second, inspection to enforce the label laws.
A third item, covered by law in some States, deals with the permis­
sible proportion of used and reconditioned material in articles sold
as new goods. Label laws in some cases require that a statement of
the kind of material used in manufacture appear on the label, as well
as the inspector’s stamp. In those States the inspector must be
familiar with the contents of the mattresses and pillows that he
stamps. In all cases he must be in a position to certify that all



19 3 8

worked-over material was properly sterilized before it was used..
Enforcement of the label laws also calls for inspection outside the
factory, as these laws stipulate that no mattress or other designated
article may be sold within the State unless it carries an acceptable
certificate o f inspection. Hence a check of these goods on the retail
market is occasionally necessary.
After buildings are erected and in use,1 responsibility for public
safety therein devolves upon State labor departments in compara­
tively few States, and in them it is in most instances shared with
local authorities; that is, the State agency is responsible only where
no local authority exercises jurisdiction. All types of buildings, in­
cluding churches, may be subject to inspection by building inspectors.
Their chief responsibility, however, relates to fire hazards and fire
equipment, and sanitary matters. An interesting use of the technical
knowledge of building inspectors attached to the State labor depart­
ments of Indiana and Ohio was reported. In both States building
inspectors were sent into the flood areas after the disastrous floods
o f 1986 to make a thorough inspection o f all buildings, including
private dwellings, affected by high water. Pennsylvania also used
its force to inspect buildings affected by flood waters in 1936. As a
result of their surveys, many structures were shown to be seriously
damaged or so undermined as to be unable to bear continual strain,,
and were accordingly condemned.
In some States—notably Iowa and Virginia—inspectors of the
State department of labor are responsible for the enforcement of
laws requiring fire escapes of an approved type on all buildings over
a certain height. Inspection of elevators in buildings other than
factories is the function of the State labor agency in several States.
Some States limit that activity to uninsured elevators, leaving with
the insurance carriers the responsibility for maintaining the safe con­
dition and operation of the elevators for which they assume the risk.
Generally, elevator inspectors employed by insurance companies are
subject to examination and license by the labor department and act
as its deputies in the inspection o f insured elevators. I f a municipal­
ity within the State has its own elevator-inspection service, the State
does not exercise jurisdiction over municipally inspected elevators.
The Wisconsin Industrial Commission accepts the reports of inspec­
tors employed by municipal governments and by insurance companies*
but it also registers and gives an official number to every building
elevator in the States. It passes upon all plans for installation and
makes the initial inspection after the equipment has been installed.
31 Several State departments of labor exercise supervision over the erection of public
buildings, or of all buildings of a certain type or size, to the extent of requiring approval
of the plans for such structures before construction is commenced. This is not an.
inspectional function, however.



In several States the official elevator inspector occasionally checksup the reports received from the insurance company’s inspectors,,
while in Iowa such reports have no official status.
The usual practice with regard to boiler inspection is similar to
that followed in elevator inspection; that is, a certain amount of the
work is delegated by the State labor agency either to municipal in­
spectors or to the insurance carriers. Actual inspection by the State
boiler inspectors is thus limited to uninsured boilers under State
jurisdiction. Practically all State labor departments require that the
inspectors employed by the insurance companies qualify for State
.license before their reports are accepted as official. New installations,
and changes in pressure in all boilers, whether insured or not, are
subject to inspection and approval by the State boiler inspectors in
a number of instances. The jurisdiction and activities of the boiler
division of the New Jersey Department of Labor and of the Indus­
trial Commission of Wisconsin extend also to refrigerating plants.
Pennsylvania has taken over all elevator and boiler inspection under
a law of 1937. Inspectors of insurance companies are permitted to
inspect if they hold commissions.
Boiler inspection is a highly technical process. Unlike the pro­
cedure in factory inspection, arrangements must be made in advance
o f an inspector’s visit, in order to have the boiler out of use, cooled
and prepared for both internal and external inspection. Only one
instance was found in which boiler inspectors perform other duties
in connection with the work of the State labor department. This
was in Wisconsin, where a considerable proportion of the uninsured
boilers are in small cheese factories in remote rural districts. Boiler
inspectors serving those districts also make general inspections. The
factory inspectors are thus relieved of the necessity for covering in­
accessible areas which the boiler inspector must visit.
Inspection to enforce industrial home-work laws is another activity
requiring a special approach. Except in States with advanced legis­
lative control of home work, laws regulating that practice are little
more than public health laws. An annual inspection is made prior
to the renewal of the license given by the State permitting manufac­
ture on the premises. This inspection, however, is limited in most
States to a survey of general sanitary conditions in the home and
ascertaining whether or not any contagious or infectious disease is
present in the household.
A somewhat similar public-health activity, that is, however, more
directly in the workers’ interest, is the inspection o f labor camps.
While, generally speaking, this obligation, so far as it is discharged
at all, devolves upon county and other local health officers, some
State departments of labor assume a degree of jurisdiction and
responsibility. This is especially true of the Minnesota Department



19 3 8

o f Labor and Industry, and o f the Washington Department of Labor
and Industries. In the latter case inspection of working and living
conditions in logging and lumber camps comprises a large part o f
the duties of the department, since lumber is the leading industry of
the State. In Minnesota the industrial inspectors attached to the
department of labor assume the obligation of enforcing the health
department’s sanitary code for labor camps. Annual inspection is
made if possible, and complaints are investigated as promptly as
circumstances permit.

Inspectors are the primary agents through whom compliance with
the labor laws is obtained. They take the initial steps to secure com­
pliance on the ground when corrections are ordered, and they fur­
nish the information on which administrative action is taken. More­
over, in many States, they are the prosecutors when court action
becomes necessary. Although some States have wide powers, and
may at once tag and seal a defective or dangerous machine and for­
bid its use, and may act peremptorily in a case of violation of the
child-labor or the women’s hours law, drastic action of that sort is
practically never taken. The modern approach to observance of labor
laws is to secure cooperation and willing compliance and to use
compulsion only when the appeal to reason and self-interest fails.
All State labor officials report that prosecution is a last resort, the
need for which is constantly decreasing as efforts to educate em­
ployers with regard to the value of voluntary compliance become
more and more successful. State labor commissioners and their legal
staffs also frankly say that persuasion is often far more productive
o f results than is prosecution, because it is very difficult to get em­
ployees to testify to violations in a court o f record, when this pro­
cedure is necessary, and also because even on the best evidence
conviction is far from certain, particularly in local courts.
The changing viewpoint over the years with regard to methods o f
enforcement in the administration of labor laws is evident in the
official reports o f State labor commissioners. Educational campaigns
in the interest of safety proved as effective as did police power in
instilling respect for safety laws, while the rapid spread of work­
men’s compensation legislation gave point to the argument that
^safety pays.” Administrative officials agree that enforcement o f
safety laws grows less difficult steadily. That is less true of the
newer movement to control health hazards, the seriousness of which
is not recognized so fully as is that of accident hazards. Still less
progress, relatively, had been made toward securing general com­
pliance with laws governing working hours and employment con­
ditions outside the safety field. Infractions and violations of safety



and sanitation laws are easily detected and action to correct them is
definitive. But greater vigilance is required in the matter of observ­
ance o f the women and child labor laws, and the cooperation o f
management is much more difficult to obtain.
A practice closely related to the movement for compliance through
cooperation is the rating or “honor list” system, as in Missouri and
North Carolina. The North Carolina Department of Labor issues
a “ Grade A Certificate” to any employer whose plant, on two suc­
cessive inspections, meets or exceeds the requirements set by the
department. The certificate remains the property of the department
and is removable in case standards of working conditions and con­
formity with State laws and codes fall below grade A requirements.
I f removed, the certificate may be restored only under the same condi­
tions as the original issue—that is, a grade A rating in two succes­
sive inspections. The list o f grade A establishments is published
from time to time in North Carolina Labor and Industry, the monthly
bulletin of the department of labor. The Missouri Department of
Labor and Industrial Inspection publishes an honor list of employers
whose cooperation with the department is especially commendable.
I n v e s t i g a t i o n o f c o m p la in ts .—Every labor department must rely
to some extent upon complaints and charges o f unsatisfactory work­
ing conditions made to them by the workers affected or by others
interested. These are looked upon by State officials as an indication
o f the day-by-day attitude of employers toward conforming to the
standards set by statute which could not be assessed fairly by any
amount o f official supervision. For that reason anonymous com­
plaints are accepted and given the same weight and consideration
as those that are identifiable, because of the workers’ recognized fear
of discharge or reprisal. State labor department inspectors investigate
all complaints, so far as that is practicable. Usually this duty takes
precedence over other work, with the exception of the investigation
o f accidents.
The handling of complaints calls for a different procedure and
technique from those used in inspection. The inspector becomes an
investigator and to some extent a detective. A very large proportion
o f the complaints concerning working conditions of women deals
with long hours in mercantile employment, and of children, with
illegal employments. In such cases inspectors may obtain evidence
by purchasing goods or services in a normal manner. This type of
technique is particularly useful in checking up on the growing prob­
lem presented by highway lunch stands and taverns, “curb service”
refreshment stands, and similar businesses, where young girls are
reported as working very late hours, sometimes serving liquor in
violation o f laws fixing a minimum age for that occupation.



19 3 8

Personal interviews with workers filing complaints and with their
fellow employees are necessary and as a rule are carried on in the
workers’ homes, or in any event outside the place of employment.
Persons not directly involved, but who may have information bearing
on the case are also visited, in the effort to learn as much as possible
about employment relations in a plant under investigation. Work
o f this nature occupies an appreciable part of an inspector’s time,
and encroaches severely on what should be free time so far as his
own normal working hours are concerned. Most administrators feel,
however, that it is work that must be done, even though little tangible
proof of law violations results. Many complaints arise from mis­
understandings that the inspector can straighten out. Some of them
are unfounded grievances or deliberate misrepresentations; some­
times, on the other hand, they are the means of exposing systematic
^evasions of the labor laws that might not be apparent through
ordinary supervisory methods.
E n f o r c e m e n t p r o c e d u r e .—When violations, infractions, and devia­
tions from required standards are found by the inspector in the course
o f his survey of a plant, they are noted in detail on the inspection
form in use by the State department of labor which he represents.
Generally, he leaves with the employer or his representative a copy o f
the notation showing improper conditions in the plant. Then one
of two methods is followed. Either the inspector makes out the
correction order covering each point, and hands it to the manage­
ment before he leaves the plant, or he reports conditions to the admin­
istrative office and orders are sent out from there. The first method
is used chiefly in States with small organizations and insufficient cler­
ical staffs. The highly organized departments have, as a rule, rather
elaborate systems of handling compliance orders. In Massachusetts,
for example, a letter is sent out over the signature of the director of
industrial safety o f the Massachusetts Department o f Labor and In­
dustries, dealing with each item noted on the inspector’s report which
calls for a formal correction order. This letter states the violation
in specific terms and quotes the law under which the order is issued.
The order is then issued, explicitly stating the action that must be
taken to remedy the situation. A memorandum to that effect is sent
to the inspector.
Most States grant a definite period of time in which the correction
is to be made, the length o f which depends on the seriousness of the
hazard or the violation, and the amount o f work involved. Where
rebuilding or replacements are necessary, sufficient time is allowed
for proper adjustment. In the case of certain types of administrative
infractions, such as the employment of a young worker in an illegal
occupation, or the absence o f notices that are supposed to be posted,



immediate correction is ordered, and is usually demanded by the
inspector before he leaves the premises.
From that point one of two methods is pursued. The most widely
used practice is to accept the sworn statement of the employer or his
representative that the order has been complied with and the cor­
rection made in conformity with the law and the official instructions.
I f the affidavit is not received within the time set for its return, a
second letter is sent by some departments. Others send the inspector.
Some States using the affidavit method try to make a reinspection to
check up on compliance, particularly where the violation was a seri­
ous one. Usually, however, follow-up is left for the next regular
inspection o f the plant.
The second method is a personal follow-up o f correction orders,
either through the inspector issuing the order or the district super­
visor. As many visits may be made as are necessary to insure a satis­
factory adjustment. This is the method used in most of the industrial
States, in which the limited territory covered by the individual
inspector makes revisits feasible. The report of the work of the
New York State factory inspectors for the calendar year 1936 shows
63,590 regular inspections and 66,233 compliance visits in connection
with 153,730 orders issued by the department. O f 16,727 orders
issued by the Massachusetts Department of Labor and Industries in
a year, 6,930 were verbal orders issued and complied with at the time
o f the inspection, and 9,676 involved reinspections. The record in
New Jersey in 1937 was 16,132 general inspections and 49,000 visits.
The total number of visits, however, includes investigations of com­
plaints and of accidents, and does not show what proportion involved
compliance with orders.
Several State labor agencies—notably New York, Maryland, and
Wisconsin—have a special technique for handling cases in which
compliance with orders is not forthcoming or is unsatisfactory. O f­
fenders are directed to appear in person for a conference with the
State labor officials. A t this conference the violation and the statute
violated are reviewed and discussed, and instructions as to the proper
corrective measures are repeated. The occasion is used to further the
educational and cooperative approach to labor-law observance, while
its specific purpose is to secure a signed promise that correction will
be made. I f the promise is not kept, or if the employer does not com­
ply with the summons to a conference, punitive action is apt to
Where the violation concerns safety, involving the use of dangerous
and unprotected machinery or processes, some States resort at times
to the practice of tagging and sealing the machine, or, where a health
hazard calls for emergency action, shutting off power. Breaking the
official seal in such instances is a criminal offense. The seal is remov-



19 3 8

able only by an official of the State labor department. Hence the
defect must be remedied and a reinspection made before the machin­
ery can be put back into production. Drastic action of this character
is seldom actually taken, but administrators feel that the fact that
they possess that power is a great incentive toward compliance on the
part of a recalcitrant employer.
P r o s e c u t io n ,—When court action becomes necessary, some State
labor departments must rely upon other agencies to institute and
carry through a case. An uncooperative attitude on the part of local
prosecutors is, it was reported, one of the difficulties encountered,
by certain labor departments in prosecuting violators and securing
convictions. In several other States the inspectors handle their own
cases, sometimes with the help of local prosecutors or of the State;
attorney’s staff. The departments of labor in the larger industrial
States have either their own legal divisions with staff attorneys, or tho
services o f a special detail from the office of the attorney general o f
the State.
There is noticeable uniformity in the type of violations which
State labor agencies have to take into court. For the most part these
involve the illegal employment of women, either for too many work­
ing hours, or during hours in which such employment is prohibited,
or in prohibited occupations.
Even in these cases, which, State labor-law administrators agree,s
respond less readily to the conciliatory approach than do other types
o f violation, court action is usually a last resort. In further support
o f their contention that even successful prosecutions are not always
effective disciplinary measures, they point to the fact that court
action must be taken repeatedly against the same offenders. The
policy of making a separate offense and a specific charge for each day
on which violations continue, and assessing the entire penalty against
each count, is tending, in the States which are writing that policy
into their labor laws, to curb the repeaters. But the difficulty o f secur­
ing conviction, or, upon conviction, adequate penalty, leads most State
labor departments to rely chiefly upon educational methods and
guidance rather than upon either police power or court action. At
the same time, they emphasize the fact that it is absolutely necessary
that they should have unquestioned police power and effective penalty
clauses, and that they do not hesitate to use either or both in circum­
stances where only drastic action gets results.

Appendix B .— Organisation o f International Association o f
Governmental Labor Officials
Officers, 1938-39

President.—Martin P. Durkin, Chicago, 111.
First vice president.—Adam Bell, Victoria, B. C.
Second vice president.—Frieda S. Miller, New York City.
Third vice president.—Voyta Wrabetz, Madison, Wis.
Fourth vice 'president.—John W. Nates, Columbia, S. C.
F ifth vice president.—E. I. McKinley, Little Rock, Ark.
Secretary-treasurer.—Isador Lubin, Washington, D. C.
Honorary Life Members

P. H a m b r e c h t , Wisconsin.
E. W ood , Louisiana.
IL i n n a B r e s e t t e , Illinois.
Dr. C. B. C o n n e l l e y , Pennsylvania.





H. H


J r., Virginia.

New Hampshire.
R. H. L a n s b u r g h , Pennsylvania.
A l ic e M c F a r l a n d , Kansas.
H. M. S t a n l e y , Georgia.
A. L. U l r i c k , Iowa.
D r. A n d r e w F. M c B r id e , Minnesota.
L o u is e E. S c h u t z , Minnesota.
M a j . A . L. F l e t c h e r , North Carolina.





S. B.

it t e r ,


a v ie ,

Adopted at Chicago, 111., May 20, 1924 ; amended August 15, 1925 ; June 3, 1927 ; M a y 2 4 ,
1928 ; M a y 23, 1930 ; September 15, 1933 ; September 29, 1934 ; Septem ber 16, 1937

r t ic l e


S e c t i o n 1. 'Name.— This organization shall be known as the International
Association of Governmental Labor Officials.


r t ic l e


S e c t i o n 1. O b je c ts . — To encourage the cooperation of all branches of Federal,
State, and Provincial Governments who are charged with the administration
o f laws and regulations for the protection of women and children, and the safety




19 3 8

and welfare of all workers in industry; to maintain and promote the best possible
standards of law enforcement and administrative method; to act as a medium
for the interchange of information for and by the members of the association
in all matters pertaining to the general welfare of men, women, and young
workers in industry; to aid in securing the best possible education for minors
which will enable them to adequately meet the constantly changing industrial
and social changes; to promote the enactment of legislation that conforms to
and deals with the ever-recurring changes that take place in industry, and in
rendering more harmonious relations in industry between employers and em­
ployees, to assist in providing greater and better safeguards to life and limb
o f industrial workers, and to cooperate with other agencies in making the best
and safest use of property devoted to industrial purposes; to secure by means
of educational methods a greater degree of interstate and interprovincial uni­
formity in the enforcement of labor laws and regulations; to assist in the
establishment of standards of industrial safety that will give adequate pro­
tection to workers; to encourage Federal, State, and Provincial' labor depart­
ments to cooperate in compiling and disseminating statistics dealing with
employment, unemployment, earnings, hours of labor, and other matters of
interest to industrial workers and of importance to the welfare of women
and children; to collaborate and cooperate with associations of employers and
associations of employees in order that all of these matters may be given
the most adequate consideration; and to promote national prosperity and inter­
national good will by correlating as far as possible the activities of the members
of this association.

A rticle
S ection


1. M em b ersh ip.— The active membership of this association shall

consist of—
(a ) The United States Department of Labor and subdivisions thereof, United
States Bureau of Mines, and the Department of Labor of the Dominion of
(b ) State and Provincial departments of labor and other State and Provincial
organizations administering laws pertaining to labor.
(c) Federal, State, or Provincial employment services.
Sec. 2. H o n o ra ry m em b ers.— Any person who has rendered service while
connected with any Federal, State, and Provincial department of labor, and the
American representative of the International Labor Office, may be elected to
honorary membership by a unanimous vote of the executive board.
S ec . 3. A sso cia te m em b ersh ip s.— Any individual, organization, or corporation
interested in and working along the lines of the object of this association may
become an associate member of this association by the unanimous vote of the
executive board.

r t ic l e


S ection 1. O fficers.— The officers of this association shall be a president, a
first, second, third, fourth, and fifth vice president, and a secretary-treasurer.
The executive board shall consist of these officers, together with the outgoing
president, who shall serve as an ex-officio member of the board for 1 year.
S ec . 2. E lectio n o f officers.— Such officers shall be elected from the members
at the regular annual business meeting of the association by a majority ballot
and shall hold office for one year, or until their successors are elected and



S e c . 3. The officers shall be elected from representatives of the active mem­
bership of the association.

r t ic l e


S e c t i o n 1. D u ties o f th e officers.— The president shall preside at all meetings
of the association and the executive board, preserve order during its delibera­
tions, appoint all committees, and sign all records, vouchers, or other documents
in connection with the work of the association. He shall fill all vacancies;
caused by death, resignation, or otherwise.
S e c . 2. The vice presidents, in order named, shall perform the duties of the
president in his absence.
S e c . 3. The secretary-treasurer shall have charge of all books, papers, records^
and other documents of the association; shall receive and have charge of all
dues and other m oneys; shall keep a full and complete record of all receipts and
disbursements; shall keep the minutes of all meetings of the association and
the executive board; shall conduct all correspondence pertaining to the office;
shall compile statistics and other data as may be required for the use of the
members of the association; and shall perform such other duties as may be
directed by the convention or the executive board. The secretary-treasurer shall
present a detailed written report of receipts and expenditures to the convention.
The secretary-treasurer shall be bonded for the sum of $500, the fee for such
bond to be paid by the association. The secretary-treasurer shall publish the
proceedings of the convention as promptly as possible, the issue to consist of
such numbers of copies as the executive board may direct. The secretarytreasurer shall receive such salary as the executive board may decide, but not
less than $300 per year.
Sec. 4. The business of the association between conventions shall be conducted
by the executive board, and all questions coming before the board shall be de­
cided by a majority vote, except that of the election of honorary members, which
shall be by unanimous vote.

r t ic l e


S e c t i o n 1. F in a n ces.— W ith the exception of those organizations included
under (&) of section 1 of article III each active member shall pay for the year
ending June 30, 1936, and thereafter annual dues of $25, except that where the
organization has no funds for the purpose, and an individual officer or member
of the staff wishes to pay dues for the organization, the fee shall be $10 per
annum for active membership of the organization in such cases.
The executive board may order an assessment levied upon affiliated depart­
ments not to exceed 1 year’s dues.
Sec. 2. The annual dues of associate members shall be $10.


r t ic l e


S e c t i o n 1. W h o en titled to v o te .— All active members shall be entitled to vote
on all questions coming before the meeting of the association as hereinafter

S e c . 2. In electing officers of the association, State departments of labor
represented by several delegates shall only be entitled to one vote. The dele­
gates from such departments must select one person from their representatives
to cast the vote of the group.



The various bureaus of the United States Department of Labor and the
Department of Labor of Canada may each be entitled to one vote.
The rule for electing officers shall apply to the vote for selecting the convention

r t ic l e



S e c t i o n L M eetin g s.— The association shall meet at least once annually at
;such time and place as the executive board may decide unless otherwise ordered
by the convention.

r t ic l e


S e c t i o n 1. P r o g ra m .— The program committee shall consist of the president,
the secretary^treasurer, and the head of the department of the State or Province
within which the convention is to be held, and they shall prepare and publish
the convention programs of the association as far in advance of the meeting as
S e c . 2 . The committee on program shall set aside at least one session of the
convention as a business session, at which session the regular order of business,
and election o f officers, shall be taken up, and no other business shall be
considered at that session until the “ regular order” has been completed.


r t ic l e


S e c t i o n 1. R u les o f ord er. — The deliberations of the convention shall be gov­
erned by “Cushing’s Manual.”

r t ic l e


S e c t i o n 1. A m en d m en ts. — Amendments to the constitution must be filed with
the secretary-treasurer in triplicate and referred to the committee on constitu­
tion and bylaws, A two-thirds vote of all delegates shall be required to adopt
any amendment,

r t ic l e


S e c t i o n 1. O rd er o f b usin ess.—
1. Roll call of members by States and Provinces.
2. Appointment of committees:
(a ) Committee of five on officers’ reports.
( b ) Committee of five on resolutions.
(c) Committee of three on constitution and bylaws.
(d ) Special committees.
3. Reports of officers.
4. Reports of States and Provinces.
5. Reports of committees.
6. Unfinished business.
7. New business.
S. Election of officers.
.9. Adjournment.



Development o f the International Association o f Governmental
Labor Officials 1

Association of Chiefs and Officials of Bureaus of Labor


Convention held at—


1 September 1883______ Columbus, Ohio_______ H. A. Newman_______
2 June 1884________ . . . St. Louis, Mo_________ _. _do__ _. __________
3 June 1885____________ Boston, Mass . ______ Carroll D. Wright___
4 June 1886................... Trenton, N .J _________
do ...........................
5 June 1887.................. . Madison, W is ________
__do____ _ ____ _ _
6 May 1888. ................. Indianapolis, Ind-_....... ____d o .................... . _
7 June 1889.................. Hartford, Conn_______ . __do____
1890?.......................... . Des Moines, Iowa_____ ___do___
8 M^H891__.............. . Philadeiphift,\Ba._____
9 May 1892................... Denver, Colo _____ . Charles F. Peck...........
.................... . Albany' N. Y ______
10 May 1894 __________ Washington, D. C. __ _ Carroll D. Wright..........
11 September 1895______ Minneapolis, Minn___
d o ..........................
12 June 1896_________ .. Albany, N. Y _________ ____do..............................
13 May 1897___________ Nashville, Tenn_______
14 June 1898.............. ...... Detroit, Mich ______
15 July 1899..... ........... .
Augusta, Maine______
do............... ..........
16 July 1900..................
Milwaukee, Wis_______ ____do..... ........................
17 May 1901 ................. St. Louis, Mo_________ ____do............................ .
18 April 1902................... New Orleans, L a .__ _
19 April 1903__________ _ Washington, D. C____
do................. ...... ...
20 July 1904____________ Concord, N. H_______
.do_ _ _ ..............
21 September 1905______ San Francisco, Calif__
22 July 1906____________ Boston, Mass_________ Charles P. Neill.............
23 July 1907____________ Norfolk, Va___________ ____do__......... .................
24 August 1908_________ Detroit, Mich___ ____ . . __do________________
25 June 1909____________ Rochester, N. Y__....... . ____do____________ _ __

Henry Luskey.
John S. Lord.
E. R. Hutchins.
Frank H. Betton.
L. G. Powers.
Samuel B. Horne.
James M. Clark.
W. L. A. Johnson.

Known as Association of Governmental Labor Officials, 1914-27; Association of Government Officials
in Industry, 1928-33.


International Association of Factory Inspectors




June 1887..... ........ .......
August 1888_________
August 1889_________
August 1890_________
Atigagtrtg&k. ______
September 1892______
September 1893___ .
September 1894__ _ .
September 1895__ _ .
September 1896 ._ .
August and Septem­
ber 1897.
September 1898 ____
August 1899 _______
October 1900
September 1901___ __
December 1902 __
August 1903 . ______
September 1904____
A ug^ttMI05
June 1906 ... ___
June 1907___________
June 1908___________
June 1909___________



Convention held at—


Philadelphia, Pa____
Rufus Wade________ _
Boston, Mass ________ _ .do____ _____ _____
Trenton, N. J._ _____ ___do________________
New York, N. Y______
d o ..........................
Cleveland, Qhio_______
Hartford, Conn. _ ____ William Z. McDtmald...
Chicago,111___________ John F r a n e y ...___
Philadelphia, Pa ___ _ .. ___________
do ___________
Providence, R. I ____
Toronto, Canada .
C. H. Morse __
Detroit, M ich ________ Rufus R. Wade______
Boston, Mass
d o _______________
Quebec, Canada ______
do. _ ____________
Indianapolis, Ind ___ James Campbell______
Niagara Falls, N. Y _.
.do___ _________
Charleston, S . C ____ John Williams________
Montreal, Canada . . . James Mitchell_______
St. Louis, M,or______ Daniel H. McAbee____
Detroit ,,Mieh ___ „ Edgjir T.D& yies... ...
Columbis,’Ohio ______ Malcolm J. McLead___
Hartford,. Conn_______ John H. Morgan______
Toronto, Canada______ George L. McLean____
Rochester, N . Y__.......... James T. Burke_______

Henry Dorn.
L. R. Campbell.
Isaac S. Mullen.
Mary O’Reilly.
Evan H. Davis.
Alzina P. Stevens.
Joseph L. Cox.
R. M. Hull.
Davis F. Spees.
C. V. Hartsell.
Thomas Keity.

Joint Meeting of the Association of Chiefs and Officials of Bureaus of Labor
and International Association of Factory Inspectors

N o.


Convention held at—



August 1910....................

E . J. W atson.

September 1911............
September 1912_______
M a y 1913
_ „

Hendersonville, N . C .,
and Columbia, S. C.
Lincoln, N ebr__________
Washington, D . C ______
Chicago, 111 _____________

J. Ellerly Hudson............


Louis G u y o n ....................
Edgar T . Davies..............
A . L . Garrett.....................

W . W . W illiams.
D o.
W . L . Mitchell.

161045°— 39-




International Association of Governmental Labor Officials 1

[Resulting from amalgamation of the Association of Chiefs and Officials of Bureaus of Labor and the Inter­
national Association of Factory Inspectors]






June 1914_____
June-July 1915.
July 1916_____
September 1917.
June 1918..........
June 1919...........
July 1920_____
May 1921.........
May 1922_____
May 1923..........
May 1924_____
August 1925___
June 1926_____
May-June 1927.
May 1928.
June 1929May 1930.
May 1931.
September 1933 ».
September 1934.
October 1935___
September 1936.
September 1937..
September 1938.

Convention held at—


Nashville, Tenn_______
Detroit, Mich........ ........
Buffalo, N. Y . . . ....... .
Asheville, N. C ............
Des Moines, Iowa_____
Madison, Wis_...............
Seattle, W ash.;_______
New Orleans, La______
Harrisburg, Pa..............
Richmond, Va....... ...
Chicago, 111___________
Salt Lake City, Utah....
Columbus, Ohio__ ____
Paterson, N. J ........... .
New Orleans, La...........

Barney Cohen________
James V. Cunningham .
Oscar Nelson..................
Edwin Mulready....... .
C. H. Younger..... .........
Geo. P. Hambrecht____
Frank E. Hoffman____
Frank E. Wood_______
C. B. Connelley_______
John Hopkins Hall, Jr..
George B. Arnold_____
H. R. Witter...... ...........
John S. B. Davie..........
fH^M. Stanley2 . . .........
[Andrew F. McBride___
/Andrew F. McBride 3...
[Maud Swett...................
Maud Swett__________
John H. H. Ballantyne A
W. A. Rooksbery...........
fE. Leroy Sweetser«.......
(E. R. Patton_____ ____
T. E. Whitaker...........
Joseph M. Tone.............
A. W. Crawford_______
A. L. Fletcher...... .........
W. A. Pat Murphy.......

Toronto, Canada........ .
Louisville, K y................
Boston, Mass.............. .
Chicago, 111.....................
Boston, Mass_________
Asheville, N. C ..............
Topeka, Kans........... .
Toronto, Canada...........
Charleston, S. C............

W. L. Mitchell.
John T. Fitzpatrick.
Linna E. Bresette.
Louise E. Schutz.
} Do.
} Do.
} Do.
jMaud Swett.
Isador Lubin.

1 Known as Association of Governmental Labor Officials, 1914-27; Association of Government Officials
in Industry, 1928-33.
2 Mr. Stanley resigned in March 1928.
3 Dr. McBride resigned in March 1929.
*No convention was held in 1932, but a meeting of the executive committee and other members was held
Mr. Ballantyne resigned in January 1931.
in Buffalo in June 1932 to discuss matters of interest to the Association,
e Mr. Sweetser served as president from May 1931 to the end of December 1932.

Appendix C .— Persons Attending the T w e n ty -fo u r th Conven­
tion o f the International Association o f Governm ental Labor
A rk a n sa s

E. I. McKinley, commissioner of labor, Little Rock.
H. C. Malcom, deputy commissioner of labor, Little Rock.
Mrs. Bess Proctor, secretary, industrial welfare commission, Little Rock.
C olo ra d o

W . H. Young, chairman, industrial commission, Denver.
C on n e c tic u t

Morgan R. Mooney, deputy commissioner of labor, Hartford.
D e la w a r e

James M. Reese, labor commissioner, Wilmington.
D i s t r ic t o f C o lu m b ia

Arthur J. Altmeyer, chairman, Social Security Board.
Mary Anderson, director, Women’s Bureau, United States Department of
Elmer F. Andrews, administrator, Wage and Hour Division, United States
Department of Labor.
Clara M. Beyer, assistant director, Division of Labor Standards, United States
Department of Labor.
James P. Davis, Prison Industries Reorganization Administration.
L. Fletcher, W age and Hour Division, United States Department of
D. Yates Heafner, Conciliation Service, United States Department of Labor.
D. Kossoris, Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of
Swen Kjaer, Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor.
Isador Lubin, Commissioner, Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States De­
partment of Labor.
Beatrice McConnell, Children’s Bureau, United States Department of Labor.
A. Louise Murphy, Division of Labor Standards, United States Department of
William F. Patterson, Federal Committee on Apprentice Training, United
States Department of Labor.
Miss M. E. Pidgeon, Women’s Bureau, United States Department of Labor.
Charles F. Sharkey, Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of




Arthur G. Stevens, Jr., Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department
of Labor.
Louise Stitt, Women’s Bureau, United States Department of Labor.
Sidney W . Wilcox, Chief Statistician, Bureau of Labor Statistics, United
States Department of Labor.
V. A. Zimmer, Director, Division of Labor Standards, United States Depart­
ment of Labor.
F lo r id a

Robert W . Davis, director, division of workmen’s compensation, industrial
commission, Tallahassee.
Wendell C. Heaton, chairman, industrial commission, Tallahassee.
Illin o is

Martin P. Durkin, director, department of labor, Chicago.
Iow a

W . W . Kelley, factory inspector, bureau of labor, Des Moines.
Milton Peaco, commissioner of labor, Des Moines.
K a n sa s

Bessie Cole, director, women’s division, commission of labor and industry,
K e n tu ck y

W . C. Burrow, commissioner of industrial relations, Frankfort.
Emmett Durrett, department of industrial relations, Frankfort.
Edward F. Seiller, department of labor, Louisville.
M a ssa ch u setts

James T. Moriarty, commissioner of labor, Boston.
M ic h ig a n

George A. Krogstad, chairman, department of labor and industry, Lansing.
M is s o u r i

Mary Edna Cruzen, commissioner of labor, Jefferson City.
N e w H a m p s h ir e

John S. B. Davie, commissioner of labor, Concord.
N ew ' J e r s e y

C. George Krueger, deputy commissioner of labor, Trenton.
N ew Y ork

Meredith B. Givens, division of placement and unemployment insurance,
department of labor, New’ York City.
Kate Papert, department of labor, New York City.
Eugene B. Patton, director, division of statistics and information, department
of labor, New York City.

N o r th C arolin a

S. P. Brewer, Charlotte.
Paul R. Christopher, Charlotte.
Richmond C. Nyman, Charlotte.
O h io

O. B. Chapman, director of industrial relations, Columbus.
Harold M. Miller, department of industrial relations, Columbus.
O k la h o m a

0 . L. Crain, department of labor, Oklahoma City.
Mrs. Zelda Harrel, department of labor, Oklahoma City.
W . A. Pat Murphy, commissioner of labor, Oklahoma City.
M. S. Runyan, department of labor, Oklahoma City.
Mrs. Kathryn Van Leuven, department of labor, Oklahoma City.
P e n n s y lv a n ia

Ralph M. Bashore, secretary of labor and industry, Harrisburg.
R h o d e Isla n d

Joseph L. Breen, department of labor, Providence.
Thomas F. McMahon, director, department of labor, Providence.
S o u th C arolin a

Mrs. Anne A. Agnew, department of labor, Columbia.
Claud R. Boland, department of labor, Columbia.
P. M. Camak, industrial commission, Columbia.
C. R. Carter, director of inspection, department of labor, Columbia.
Maj. Henry F. Church, Charleston.
John W . Duncan, industrial commission, Columbia.
A. L. Gibson, Spartanburg.
W . R. Harley, employment service, Charleston.
A. J. Hatfield, unemployment compensation commission, Columbia.
Gov. Olin D. Johnston, Columbia.
B. A. Knowlton, Columbia.
R. H. McAdams, department of labor, Columbia.
James B. Mahoney, chamber of commerce, Charleston.
Coleman C. Martin, industrial commission, Columbia.
John W . Nates, commissioner of labor, Columbia.
C. C. Scarborough, Jr., Winnsboro.
Fred D. Townsend, Columbia.
Y. W . Vaughen, Belton Mills, Belton.
1. J. Via, department of labor, Columbia.
S o u th D a k o ta

Ralph S. Rice, deputy industrial commissioner, Pierre.
T en n essee


G. Scott, commissioner of labor, Nashville.




Morton Beyer, McLean.
Thomas B. Morton, commissioner of labor, Richmond.
W e s t V irg in ia

Clarence L. Jarrett, commissioner of labor, Charleston.
John F. Woods, Jr., factory inspector, department of labor, Charleston.
W is c o n s in

Maud Swett, field director, woman and child labor, industrial commission,
Voyta Wrabetz, chairman, industrial commission, Madison.
B r i t is h C olu m b ia

Adam Bell, deputy minister of labor, Victoria.