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LABOR LAWS FOR WOMEN IN
INDUSTRY IN INDIANA

REPORT OF A SURVEY
BY THE WOMAN IN INDUSTRY SERVICE
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR




AS SUBMITTED TO THE
GOVERNOR OF INDIANA

DECEMBER 31, 1918
Bulletin No. 2

^aSNToJ?

Ves

WASHINGTON
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE




. •

/

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY.

This war brought many changes in the industrial and social
life of the State and none was more significant than the increasing
number of women in industry. Some women were moved by
a desire to render a definite service in the war, while others were
attracted by the high wages offered.
Employers have found these women in industry most efficient
laborers, often excelling men in the same class of work.
It is evident that many of these women will find in the factory
an enlarged field of action and a desirable opportunity to
improve their condition.
I recommend that a law be passed making permanent the Women’s Division
in the Inspection Department, regulating the hours, and safeguarding the work­
ing conditions of women in industry.




Paragraphs from the message of
Governor James

P.

Goodrich

Delivered at the opening of the
Indiana General Assembly
Thursday, January 9, 1919,

3

INDMWA JUMB PXVE OTHESV &'TJKTG&
ilOX 3LXM.XX THE. HOURS OF WONLN’6

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TEXAS

■-NO REGULATION OF
WORKING HOUR'S
FIGURES SHOW EAILV AND
HOURS REGULATED BY LAW



WEE-KUA

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CONTENTS.
rage.

Letter of transmittal...............................................................................................
Foreword and summary.................................................................
Summary of facts.............................................................................................
Recommendations...........................................................................................
Hours of work.....................................................................
Working conditions..................................................................................
Administration of labor laws....................................................................
Conditions of employment of "women in Indiana............................ .....................
Hours of work.........................................
Length of the working day..............................................................................
Overtime..........................................................................................................
Dangers of long hours.................................................................................
Output in relation to hours.............................................................................
The laws of other States..................................................................................
Working conditions..........................................................................................
Washing facilities and drinking water.....................................................
Dressing rooms, lunch rooms and rest rooms..................................................
Posture at work......................................................
Precautions against accidents.........................................................................
The need for new legislation...........................................................................




&

7
9
11
12
12
12
12
13
13
14
1(5

18
19

20
20
23
24
25
25
26




y

LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL.

U. S. Department

of Labor,
Woman in Industry Service,

Washington, December 31, 1918.
Sir: We have the honor to submit the accompanying report,
iving the results of a survey undertaken by the Woman in Industry
ervice at the request of the governor of Indiana and the industrial
board of the State. In acknowledgment the governor has written
the following letter to us under date of January 17, 1919:

f

I have your letter of the 31st and thank you for the report of your first tentative
draft. We appreciate very much the valuable assistance your department was able
to render us in this State. I feel sure it will help the legislature in arriving at the
right sort of conclusion in dealing with theBe questions.

The survey was made between November 20 and December 20,
1918. It was directed by Miss May Allinson, assisted by Miss Agnes
L. Peterson, Mrs Ralph Best, and Miss Mary N. Winslow, of the
staff of this service. The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Depart­
ment of Labor assigned Miss Alice Mueller to assist in the field work.
Mrs. Arthur T. Cox, special industrial inspector for the industrial
board of Indiana, and Mr. George W. Greenleaf and Miss L. E.
Fredericks of the inspecting force of the board, also cooperated in
the investigation.
Respectfully,
Mary Van Kleeck,

,
Hon. W. B. Wilson,
Secretary of Labor.




Director.




LABOR LAWS FOR WOMEN IN INDUSTRY IN INDIANA.
FOREWORD AND SUMMARY.

Two weeks and a day after the signing of the armistice there as­
sembled in Indianapolis at the call of Gov. James P. Goodrich, a
conference composed of representatives of many important groups
in the State to consider a program of reconstruction. Indiana was
the first State thus to assemble its citizens for united action in deal­
ing with problems vital not only to the State but to the Nation.
Among problems stressed by the governor and by several speakers
were those of women in industry. In advance of the conference the
governor had invited the Woman in Industry Service of the United
States Department of Labor to make a brief survey as a basis for a
program of labor laws regulating the employment of women in in­
dustry. A similar invitation was extended to the Woman in Industry
Service by the chairman of the State Council of Defense and by the
Industrial Board of Indiana, whose inspectors cooperated with the
Federal investigators in their work. Especially appropriate and
helpful was the cooperation of Mrs. Arthur T. Cox, special industrial
inspector for the industrial board. Tiiis was the first position ever
held by a woman in connection with the administration of labor laws
in Indiana. The appointment made by the governor during the war,
with expenses paid from his contingent fund for war emergencies,
marked an important step forward in securing more adequate protec­
tion for the working women of the State. The fact that this was done
as a war emergency, however, raises the whole question of the further
action which may he necessary as a permanent program. With this
in view the Woman in Industry Service undertook the collection of
necessary data.
_
The survey was brief, beginning about November 20 and lasting
until December 20, 1918. Table 1 shows the number of establish­
ments investigated and the number of women employed in them.
Table 1.—Number of establishments included in investigation and number of women

employed, by industries.

Industry.

Number
of estab­
Number
lishments of women
employed.*
investi­
gated.
42
16
1
11
10
9
2
6
1
5
2
1
1
3
110

5,198
2,579
1,000
994
648
500
420
323
160
133
49
35
35
226
12,300

» Of 112 establishments visited, two, one in the group engaged in transportation and one making pot­
tery and glassware, did not report numbers of women employed.

101009°—19-----2




9

10

LABOB LAWS FOR WOMEN IN INDUSTRY IN INDIANA.

Thus 112 plants employing more than 12,000 women were in­
spected. They were located in Indianapolis, Logansport, Marion,
Kokomo, Anderson, Richmond, Terre Haute, and Winchester,
In addition 83 women employed in Indiana industries were inter­
viewed at home or elsewhere in order that the workers’ experience
and points of view might be fully represented in any recommenda­
tions to be made.
Attention was focused upon those conditions which most needed
correction and upon those establishments which had demonstrated
the practicability of high standards and it was with this twofold
emphasis in view that the plants to be inspected were chosen. The
scope of the inquiry was limited to hours and working conditions,
that is, to those subjects which in other States have been regulated
by labor laws for the longest period. In general the inquiry was
confined to manufacturing industries, since in them the problems
affecting women seemed to be most urgent and pressing. Equally
important are the conditions of employment in other occupations,
such as employment in mercantile establishments and in trans­
portation; but with the limited time for the survey, so wide a field
could not be covered. It is safe to assume, however, that the pro­
tection necessary in factories against unduly long hours is equally
necessary in other forms of employment.
Although no aspect of the labor problem is more important than
wages, it was not possible to include this subject in the investigation.
It is desirable to point out, however, that in view of the great changes
brought by the war, provision should be made for careful analysis
of the wages of women in Indiana.
No comprehensive statistics arc at hand to show how many women
are now employed in the industries iu Indiana. Even before the
war the number of women gainfully employed in the State was
growing rapidly. In 1880, according to the census, 51,422 women
and girls were gainfully employed. In 1910 the number had in­
creased to 155,731. This increase was more rapid than the increase
in the total population of 'women. In 1880, 7.2 of every 100 women
and girls 10 years of age and over were gainfully employed, while
in 1910, 14.8 in every 100 worked for wages.1 If the percentage of
increase since 1910 has been only as large as between 1900 and 1910,
the total number of wage-earning women in tbc State must now be
approximately 200,000. Because of war conditions, it is probable
that the number is considerably larger than this.
In 1910, the women in manufacturing and mechanical pursuits in
Indiana numbered 39,087, or 25.1 per cent of those gainfully em­
ployed. It seems fair to estimate that in 1918 the number thus
employed was at least 50,000. In 1910, of every 100 women gain­
fully employed, 58 were in occupations other than domestic and
personal service and agriculture, including 25.1 per cent in manu­
facturing and mechanical industries, 2.5 per cent in transportation,
8.1 per cent in trade, 0.2 per cent in public service, 12.8 in professional
service, and 9.6 per cent in clerical occupations.2 If these same
proportions held m 1918, it is probable that the number of women
in the occupations other than domestic service and agriculture at
Thirteenth Census cf the United States, 1910.
pp. 4S-49.




Vol. 4, Population.
A

Occupation Statistics, n. 37

LABOR LAWS FOR WOMEN IN INDUSTRY IN INDIANA.

11

¥
the close of the war was at least 116,000. The growth of the war
industries probably increased the number thus estimated by several
thousand, thus creating for the State conditions demanding thorough
consideration.
SUMMARY OF FACTS.

1. Indiana is one of 12 States having a law prohibiting the employ­
ment of women at night in at least one group of occupations, but
Indiana is also one of the six States having no law limiting the hours
of women over 18 years of age.
2. The lack of such a limitation makes possible abnormally long
hours of employment for women. (a) In 34 establishments, 30 per
cent of all investigated, the regular working day without overtime
was 10 hours or more for 2,817 or 23 per cent of the women employed
in the shops visited. (b) Reports of overtime were made for 53
establishments employing 8,331 women, and of these, 13 establish­
ments, employing 1,993 women, had a working week of 65 hours or
more, (c) Specific instances of overtime legally possible in Indiana
showed women working as long as 65 hours in a week in a clothing
factory, 73 hours in one cannery and 84 hours in another, 75 hours in
a seven-day week manufacturing caskets, and 88 hours and 40 minutes
in an establishment manufacturing automobile parts.
3. In establishments in which such long hours are possible it is
exceedingly difficult to enforce the legal limitations upon the hours of
work of girls under 18 years of age. Indeed enforcement is impossible
without rigid requirements for documentary proof of age, and a much
larger inspection force than the State now has.
4. A mass of evidence is available both in this country and abroad
showing the serious effects of long hours of employment upon the
health of women. This evidence has been accepted by the Supreme
Court of the United States as justifying under the Constitution the
use of the police power of the State in limiting the hours of employ­
ment of women as a necessary measure in the interest of the public
health.
5. Evidence is also available showing that in the long run output
is increased by the shortening of hours, and this evidence is corrob­
orated in the experience of Indiana establishments. Greater output
is due to better health and hence greater efficiency, less absenteeism,
and less “labor turnover.”
6. A number of Indiana establishments have already established
the eight-hour day and find it satisfactory from the point of view of
the health of the workers and the quantity of output. Of those
investigated, 11 establishments, employing 1,137 women, had a work­
ing day of eight hours.
.
7. In working conditions, including washing and toilet facilities,
provisions for seats, rest rooms and lunch rooms, safeguarding of
machinery, ventilation and lighting, great variety has been found in
Indiana factories. Specific codes are needed to establish clearly and
definitely standards which shall result in bringing the worst conditions
up to the level of the best practice already established in many estab­
lishments in the State.
8. The results accomplished by the special industrial inspector,
the only woman in the bureau of inspection during the war, are note­
worthy. Her work demonstrates the necessity for extending it,



12

LABOE LAWS TOE WOMEN IN INDUSTRY IN INDIANA.

.
.
.
'f
and for making special provision for the administration and enforce­
ment of measures of protection for women workers by women directly
responsible to the industrial board.
RECOMMENDATIONS.

Hours of work.

It is strongly urged that Indiana now join with those States which
have placed theii industries on the healthful and efficient basis of the
eight-hour day.
Working conditions.

It is recommended that a bill be drawn embodying the best fea­
tures of the laws of other States and the best practice in Indiana
establishments, establishing a minimum of sanitation and comfort in
factories, and that in addition the industrial board issue explicit
recommendations for service facilities which it may not be advisable
to include in the law at this time but which are desirable as standards
to be advocated.
Administration of labor laws.

Three distinct tendencies are marked in the administration of
labor laws in this country. The first is the enforcement of specific
statutes enacted into law by the State legislature. The second is the
establishment of an industrial commission without statutes to en­
force hut with power to establish safe and healthful conditions
through regulations having the force of law. The Wisconsin plan is
an example. The third is the combination of the two, as in New
York State, where the industrial commission has definite laws to
enforce but is instructed also to formulate codes which, after public
hearings, become part of the labor law.
As it was not possible in this investigation to make a study of the
administration of the laws of Indiana and as the whole subject is
very important it is urged that provision be made for a thorough
inquiry into the best form of administration for Indiana.
Meanwhile it is recommended that in view of the importance of the
problems of woman in industry, the industrial board be enlarged to
include at least one woman in its membership, and that, when a study
is made of the administration of the laws, attention be centered upon
the desirability of establishing as in several other States, a special
bureau for women in industry, whose chief shall be directly responsible
to the industrial board, with power adequately to safeguard the health
of women workers in the States and to study their needs.




CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT OF WOMEN IN INDIANA.

In the State of Indiana, as in other States, a number of establish­
ments employing .women have set a high standard in the conditions
of their employment. Unfortunately other establishments in com­
petition with them have fallen far short of accepted standards. It
is the purpose of labor legislation to establish a uniform minimum
which shall prevent any employer from injuring the State through the
shortsighted policy of permitting long hours and insanitary working
conditions. It is the worst industrial practice which shows most
clearly the necessity for legislative action, while the best establish­
ments demonstrate on the basis of practical experience in business
that the proposed legislation is feasible.
In this report, therefore, emphasis is laid on those conditions need­
ing correction through amendments to the present law dealing with
both the provisions of the law and their enforcement, while the
recommendations are based upon the practice now prevailing in the
best Indiana establishments and sanctioned also by experience in
other States.
In the United States as a whole there is a growing tendency toward
a shorter work day. According to the Census of Manufactures,1 in
1909, 30.6 per cent, or about one-third of the total number of workers,
worked 54 hours or less, while in 1914, 51 per cent, or more than onehalf, were in this group. The same report shows that in 1909 weeks
of 60 or more hours prevailed in 8.7 per cent of the total number of
factories, while in 1914 the per cent was reduced to 5.8. Indiana has
not quite so good a record as the neighboring States of Ohio and
Illinois.i In Ohio, in 1914, 51.9 per cent of the total number of wage
2
earners workde 54 hours or less; in Illinois, 57.9 per cent, while in
Indiana only 41.6 per cent had the shorter working week.
HOURS OF WORK.

The law of Indiana declares that “No person under 16 years of age,
and no female under 18 years of age, employed in any manufacturing
or mercantile establishment, laundry, renovating works, bakery, or
printing office shall be required, permitted, or suffered to work therein
more than 60 hours in any one week, nor more than 10 hours in any
one day, unless for the purpose of making a shorter day on the last
day of the week.”
The only restriction on the employment of women over 18 years of
age was enacted into law in 1899 prohibiting the employment of any
woman or female young person in any capacity for the purpose of
manufacturing between the hours of 10 o’clock at night and 6 o’clock
in the morning. In other occupations employment at night is not
prevented by law.
This provision places Indiana in the group of 12 States which have
been so progressive as to protect women workers against employment
i U. 8. Census of Manufactures Abstract, 1914, ch. 9, p. 482. Table 212.
•Ibid, p. 490, Table 214.




13

14

LABOR LAWS FOR WOMEN IN INDUSTRY IN INDIANA.

at night in at least one occupation; but the fact that it is the only
restriction on the hours of work of women over 18 years of age and
that no limitation is provided in the length of the working day,
places the State in the group of six which have not adopted this
important measure of protection for the health of their citizens.
A woman over 18 in Indiana breaks no law if she begins work in
a factory at 6 a. m. and works until 10 p. m. and has one hour for
her noonday meal; i. e., 15 hours a day. She may work all night
cleaning windows of railway cars switched far up in the yards in
lonely places, or she may wrap bread all night long that the bakers’
customers may have warm, fresh bread for Saturday and Sunday,
and her employer breaks no law, since this work is hot included in
the occupations regulated by legislation.
LENGTH OF THE WORKING DAY.

For the women who are not protected by law from overstrain due
to long hours, the length of the working day which is in force through­
out the State in the establishments investigated would seem to be
a serious menace to health and efficiency.
The following table, gives the prevailing working hours in the estab­
lishments which were visited:
Table 2.—Length of working day in 110 establishments investigated.«

Length of working day.

Less than 8 hours..............................................................................
8
9 and less than 9.......................................................
and less than 10.............................................................................
10 and over................................................... ............ .....................

Total............................................................................................

Number of Number of
establish­
women
ments.
employed.

Per cent of
women in
each speci­
fied group.

2
16
58
34

164
1,517
7,802
2,817

1.3
12.3
G3.4
23.0

110

12,300

100.0

Thus, m 43 establishments, 30 per cent of those investigated,
women were working regularly 10 or more hours a day. It should
be noted that this does not include overtime. The hours shown in
this table are not illegal for any woman over 18 years of age.
It was the impression of the investigators that because of the long
hours prevailing for women workers generally, even the provision of
the law protecting girls under 18 was exceedingly difficult to enforce
and was very generally disregarded throughout the State. In the
establishments visited the employers could give no information as to
the number of women under the age of 18 who were employed by
them, and this indicated that the young girls were not receiving the
benefit to which they were entitled under the law.
In the day nurseries of Indianapolis many little children are cared
for while their mothers are at work. In one of them the children
are brought in before 6.30 a. m., but at 6 p. m., when an investigator
visited the nursery, only three of the 30 children had been taken
home. The mothers of several of these children were working 10
hours a day in a factory. These 10 hours do not include their entire
a Of 112 establishments visited, two did not report length of working day or number of women employed.




LABOR LAWS FOR WOMEN IN INDUSTRY IN INDIANA.

15

time spent in the factory nor their full working day. A woman with
a family to care for must get her own breakfast and that of her
children, before she starts for the factory, which is often at a distance
from her home. Her time then includes her lunch hour, if she lives
too far away to hurry home and prepare it, and this means II hours
in the factory, not merely the 10 hours of actual work. At night
there is the dinner to cook, dishes to wash, sweeping to be done,
and the hundred and one little things that housewives spend their
days doing—and all this after her “day’s work.” One woman who
was interviewed by an investigator said that she had been up until
12 o’clock the night before doing the family washing and had got
up at 5 o’clock that morning in order to get breakfast for her family
before she started work at 7 o’clock.
Table 3 shows the time when the women began work in the
establishments investigated.
Table 3.—Time of starting work in 109 establishments investigated.a

Time of starting work.

Number of
establish­
ments
reporting Number of
women
each
specified employed.
starting
time.h
5
15
74
3

208
1,694
7,861
2,227
151

Thus the large majority of the women employed, 9,763, began
work before 7.30 in the morning. With the time necessary "for
transportation and for household duties before leaving home, this
early opening was a decided hardship for the women workers of the
State.
The present law provides that “not less than 60 minutes shall be
allowed for the noonday meal in any aforesaid establishment in this
State,” but a clause is attached that “ the chief inspector shall have
the power to issue written permits in special cases allowing shorter
meal time at noon.” Out of 112 establishments visited by the inves­
tigators, 35 allowed only 30 minutes for lunch, 16 allowed 40 or 45
minutes, and only 58 allowed the full time required by law. In
3 establishments the length of the lunch period was not reported.
It was not discovered by the investigators in now many of these
cases permits had been issued by the chief factory inspector, but
several of the factory superintendents who were interviewed did not
know it was necessary to secure this permission.
It must be remembered that a 30-minute lunch period means that
girls often do not have time to go outside for lunch, and unless other
provision is made, must eat in the workroom. This is unwholesome,
and it increases fatigue. It should be made possible for the workers
a Of 112 establishments investigated, 3 did not report the time of beginning work.
b In the 109 establishments reporting on this point, 2 had three shifts and 4 had two shifts, so that there
Were 117 reports of the time of starting work in 109 establishments.




16

LABOR LAWS FOR WOMEN IN INDUSTRY IN INDIANA.

to secure a hot and nourishing meal, to be eaten outside the work­
room. If no lunch rooms are accessible in the neighborhood, one
should be maintained in the establishment.
OVERTIME.

In addition to the regular working day, the amount of overtime
required has been very considerable. In some establishments this
overtime has been maintained for weeks and even months at a time,
and this is not due solely to war rush. In the manufacture of candy,
tin cans, clothing, in bakeries and laundries, long hours arid over­
time have been the practice for many years in busy seasons. The
maximum number of hours worked during a rush period was ascer­
tained by the investigators sometimes from the statements of the
managers but more often through personal interviews with Women
workers. Tables 4 and 5 give some idea of the tremendous strain
to which women in manufacturing establishments have been sub­
jected.
Table 4.—Maximum weekly hours of work in 53 establishments in which overtime was
.

reported.

Maximum weekly hours including overtime.

Number of Number of
establish­
women
ments.
employed.

Less than 50 hours................................................
50 and less than 55........................... .....................
60 and less than 65....................................................
65 and less than 70................................................
70 and less than 75....................................................
75 and less than 80........................................
80 and over...................................................................
Total....................................................................

.

'

3
1
21
15
6
1
2
l

450
150
3,198
2,540
1,372
83
142
S96

53

8,331

Thus 53 establishments, or nearly half the number visited, were
recorded as having overtime. It is not to be assumed that the others
never employ women longer than the regular working day. Accurate
reports on overtime are difficult for investigators to secure. The fact,
however, that 13 of the 53 establishments for which overtime was
reported employed women 65 hours or longer in a week and that these
included instances of employment for 70, 75, and 88 hours in a week
shows how urgent is the need for legal protection. The three estab­
lishments in which the week was less than 50 hours even with over­
time were establishments in which the high standard of a regular
44-hour week or less already prevails.
The maximum daily hours reported by 83 women who were inter­
viewed are showm in Table 5.




'E.M amTE^s

70 HOUf'i Wt E. A FOR VOME.N
© C*
PUT W® UMIT ON WE.EK.UY HOUEUO

’Ptwr-UT A

NEBR.

%W

is

-

m

KANS.

WTme

ARK.

L

IN INDIANA.

TEXAS

□- -46 TO .55 HOUR.&
E2 - SS TO 70 HOUR A
H - 70 HOUR-5 A WEEK OR,
NO LIMIT




LABOR LAWS FOR WOMEN IN INDUSTRY

m

isrS-i

18

LABOB LAWS FOB WOMEN IN INDUSTRY IN INDIANA.

Table 5.— Maximum daily hours reported by women employed in establishments in
Indiana.

„

Maximum daily hours.

Number of
women
reporting.
11
21
27
4
13
7
83

Ten of those in the group reporting maximum hours between 9 and
10 a day worked 9 hours and 50 minutes and three worked 9 hours and
40 minutes. One girl, operating a largo screw machine, reported that
she worked until 9 o’clock every night for several weeks during the
war rush and all day Saturday and Sunday, regularly making a day
of 12 hours and 40 minutes or a week of 88 hours and 40 minutes.
This girl was over 18 years of age, so that her employment for these
hours was legal.
Another girl in the same establishment had been working 10 hours
a day since February, and seven days a week with the exception of
every third Sunday when she was free. One girl employed by a
machine company said she worked from 7 a. m. to 8 p. m. the first
day of the week, until 8.30 the next night, and until 9 o’clock the
rest of the week. Deducting one-half hour for lunch and supper, this
made a total of 79J hours for the week. Neither the manager of this
establishment nor of the former one was able to say how many girls
were employed who were under 18. In another factory having con­
tracts for munitions the girls worked during several months for 11
hours and 15 minutes a day, 64 J hours a week. On leaving the factory
they had to travel to town on the street car, which took 40 minutes,
anti then transfer to cars which took them home.
In a printing office it was reported that women worked three hours
overtime about a fourth of the time, printing reports for the State
government, making their working day 11 hours. In the railroad
yards one woman worked from 6 p. m. to 6 a. m. cleaning cars, and in
another place women worked in the yards cleaning cars from 6 p.m.
to 6 a. m., 72 hours a week, no specified time being allowed for lunch.
Women in another department worked 12 hours a day, 7 days aweek.
In a casket company’s factory that had normally a 59-hour week the
girls worked during the influenza epidemic Saturday nights until 10
o’clock and all day Sunday, making a 75-hour week for about three
weeks.
DANGERS OF LONG HOURS.

Long hours for the workers have been recognized by the Supremo
Court of the United States as a serious menace to the welfare of the
State. In the brief presented to the court in the case of Bunting v.
Oregon, which led to a decision declaring constitutional an Oregon
law limiting hours of work, the world’s experience, upon which
101009—19----- 2



LABOR LAWS FOR WOMEN IN INDUSTRY IN INDIANA.

19

legislation limiting hours of labor is based, is summarized as justifying
this use of the police power under the Constitution. The following
statements of fact show the physiological basis for defense of such
laws:
•
The fundamental need of limiting excessive working hours is based on the physio­
logical nature of man. For medical science has demonstrated that while fatigue is a
normal phenomenon—the natural result of bodily and mental exertion—excessive
fatigue or exhaustion is abnormal—the result of overexertion of work pursued beyond
the capacities of the organism.
_ During activity, the products of chemical change increase. An overtired person is
literally a poisoned person, poisoned by his own waste products. These wastes are
poisonous impurities arising from the chemical processes of cellular life. They cir­
culate in the blood, poisoning brain and nervous system, muscles, glands, and other
organs until normally burned up by the oxygen brought by the blood, removed by the
liver or kidneys, or eliminated through the lungs.1
Recent investigations show that not only in the dangerous trades, but in all industries
a permanent predisposition to disease and premature death exists in the common
phenomenon of fatigue and exhaustion. This is a danger common to all workers
even under good working conditions, in practically all manufacturing industries as
distinguished from the specially hazardous occupations.
In ordinary factory work, where no special occupational diseases threaten, fatigue
in itself constitutes the most imminent danger to the health of the workers because, if
unrepaired, it undermines vitality and thus lays the foundations for many diseases.2
The experience of manufacturing countries has illustrated the evil effect of over­
work upon the general welfare. II ealth is the foundation of the State. No Nation can
progress if its workers are crippled by continuous overexertion. The los3 of human
energy, due to excessive working hours, is a national loss, and must inevitably result
in lowering the Nation’s prosperity.3

The women who are working in Indiana are engaged in a great
variety of occupations in which are present many different kinds of
strains increasing the dangers to which they are already exposed by
long hours of work. •
In a study of the occupations in which women were engaged in the
112 establishments visited, the strain of continuous standing at
machines or work tables was noticed by inspectors in 61, or more than
half the places of employment. In addition to continuous standing
other strains in the occupation itself, such as lifting heavy weights
running very fast machines, running machines which are not guarded,
so that constant and close attention must be given to the work, and
operating levers and foot pedals which require considerable strength
to manipulate, were noted in 43 establishments.
OUTPUT IN RELATION TO HOURS.

Apart from the physiological effects, a measure of fatigue can be
found in a worker’s output. Output is a test of fatigue, as it is the
sum of the results of activity which show themselves in a diminished
capacity for doing work. Statistics showing comparative output
under different schedules of hours have been difficult to secure because
establishments have not kept records full enough to afford a basis for
conclusion. But taken in conjunction with the experience of estab­
lishments in our own and other countries, these few opinions and
figures secured in Indiana indicate that the value of shorter hours is
shown not only in the health of the workers but also in the steadiness
of output.
1 Supreme Court of the United States, October Term, 1915, Bunting v. Oregon, Brief for defendant in
Error, vol. 1, p. 265.




20

LABOR LAWS FOR WOMEN IN INDUSTRY IN INDIANA.

In one establishment a manufacturer found that a girl on a milling
machine turned out 426 bolts in eight hours, the normal day. For
two weeks she wTorked 10 hours a day and her output was 4S0 in 10
hours. Thus, her output was 53^ pieces per hour in an 8 hour day
and 48 pieces per hour in a 10 hour day. Another girl on hand work
turned out 59.2 pieces in 41.6 hours in a week, and only 52.3 pieces
in 46.9 hours.
The manager of another factory said, "If you have overtime you
pay for it. When girls work three nights a week until 9 o’clock there
is a noticeable falling off in output after the first week of overtime.”
One establishment kept a record of time lost, and found that when
overtime was worked many more hours were lost through irregularity
of attendance than the number of hours added through overtime.
As one manager in an Indiana factory said, “I gave my girls a
Saturday half holiday. My output was the same. Then I changed
from 10 to 9 hours a day because business was slack, and after 5
weeks the output was again equal to the old 10-hour day.” Another
firm has kept record of output of the same girl on the same job by
day and week. When she worked 47.9 hours a week her output was
59.2 and her productive efficiency rated at 123.8. When this same
;irl worked 7.5 hours a week longer, or 55.4 hours, her output was 4.1
ess, or 55.1, and her productive efficiency was lowered from 123.8 to
96. A similar experience is shown in the report of the British Min­
istry of Munitions in which it is stated that “for women engaged in
moderately heavy lathe work a 50-hour week yields as good an output
as a 66-hour week, and a considerably better one than a 77-hour
week.”1

!

THE LAWS OF OTHER STATES.

The experience thus indicated has led the majority of the States of
the Union to enact laws limiting the hours of women’s employment,
and the constitutionality of these statutes has been upheld not only
by State courts but by the Supreme Court of the United States. The
accompanying maps relating to hours of work show that only six
States have no limitation on the length of the working day of adult
women—Indiana, Iowa, West Virginia, Alabama, Florida, and New
Mexico. The largest manufacturing States, such as New York,
Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, have had legislation thus protect­
ing women for many years. Twenty States limit the daily hours to
eight or nine.
WORKING CONDITIONS.

Second in importance only to the hours which women work are the
conditions which surround them while they are at work, and adjust­
ments of machinery to insure safety and reasonable comfort. Certain
standards for these conditions are accepted as being necessary for
the health and efficiency of women workers.
In some States they are clearly defined in the law, while in others
they are regulated by an industrial commission which is given power
to define and enforce industrial codes dealing with such subjects.
In Indiana the law is vague in a number of points and the industrial
1 Ministry of Munitions, Health of Munitions Workers Committee, Memorandum No. 18, p. 4, London,
1917.




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22

LABOR LAWS FOR WOMEN IN INDUSTRY IN INDIANA.

board has powers of enforcement but not of definition of standards
in the form of codes, and this renders enforcement difficult and un­
even, since it rests so largely with individual inspectors.
In some stablishments in Indiana the service facilities for women em­
ployees are excellent. Modern, sanitary plumbing, clean, well-ventilat­
ed washrooms, and cheerful, comfortably furnished restrooms and lunch
rooms have frequently been found. That this kind of equipment is a
great benefit to the morale of the employees, increases health and
reduces labor turnover, is the testimony of Indiana employers. On
the other hand, in a considerable number of establishments these
facilities were either totally lacking or wholly inadequate. Our
inspector visited two establishments handling food products. It
would seem that for those who are engaged in preparing a product
which is so intimately connected with the public welfare there should
be some standard minimum of sanitary requirements. But this is
not the case in Indiana. One of these two factories was reported by
the inspector as follows:
Small rest room and coat room boxed off from the packing room by a low wooden
partition. Warm and stuffy. Two chairs. One small toilet room partitioned
off by a wooden partition. No outside ventilation. Katlier dirty and messy. No
evidence of washing facilities anywhere. Cloaks hung on nails around walls of small
rest room. No drinking facilities observed.

In marked contrast was the report of the inspector on the other
food factory:
On the second floor the wash room and toilet opened off the cloakroom. They were
very clean and well kept by the matron in charge, who took pride in showing the
room. Cloakrooms were clean. Wraps were hung on racks. Girls put their hats
on shelves above their cloaks. All hooks on racks were numbered and each girl
given her number.

As marked a difference in service facilities is often seen inside of
one factory. In one department the women may have the most
up-to-date equipment for their comfort and welfare, whereas in another
department they may work in a basement with no natural light or
sunshine, dirty and antiquated plumbing, and no place to rest.
There is surely a meat need for the establishment of standards in
these matters for all'estabiishmcnts in the State and for the rigorous
enforcement.
The factory inspection law of Indiana, passed in 1899, provides that
“ a suitable and proper wash room and water-closets shall be provided,
* * * and such water-closets shall bo properly screened and
ventilated and be kept at all times in a clean condition, with not
less than one seat for each 25 persons, and one seat for each fraction
thereof above 10 employed in such establishment; and if women and
ills are employed in any such establishment, the water-closets used
y them shall have separate approaches and be separate and apart
from those used by the men.”
This provision does not define the meaning of “suitable” and
“proper,” and is, therefore, not a guide to employers in determining
in advance the type and arrangement of such facilities as will con­
form to legal requirements. Similarly it gives no clear instructions
to factory inspectors as to the orders which they are justified in issu­
ing in the course of their inspections. As illustrating the difficul­
ties of inspection under such circumstances, the investigators who
visited 48 factories in Indianapolis found only two clear violations

f




LABOR LAWS FOE WOMEN IN INDUSTRY IN' INDIANA.

23

of law in toilet accommodations. On tlie other hand, they con­
sidered it reasonable to recommend improvements in toilet accom­
modations in 31 of these factories. On the whole subject of sanita­
tion and comfort they found only 7 clear violations of the present
law in 112 establishments visited, but 215 recommendations were
made for reasonable improvements in these same plants.
In some factories the toilets were clean and adequate in number
and in conformity with the law; others were not provided with doors
or any kind of screening. In addition to this, five, six, and some­
times eight connected toilets were found provided with a single
automatic flushing device which operated every 15 or 18 minutes.
The toilets in one factory were dark and unventilated, although
outside ventilation had been ordered five months earlier by the in­
dustrial inspector. Many of the toilets in other establishments
were found to have no outside ventilation, with partitions which
did not reach to the ceiling, so that the only ventilation was through
the work room.
In some shops the girls were required to tako^care of the cleaning
themselves; in some others a man was supposed to do this work.
In one establishment where there were five toilets in a row without
doors in front of them, the cleaning was done by a man. Women’s
toilets were sometimes found adjoining the men’s toilets and sepa­
rated from the n by a partition which did not reach to the ceiling.
In one plant working on a munitions contract, it was found that
the toilet accommodations were so inadequate that only one instal­
lation was provided for 128 girls. In another establishment, a
women’s toilet with only eight seats was used by 600 women all
summer. This condition was a direct violation of the law, which
provided that one toilet shall be provided for every 25 women, and
an additional one for every fraction thereof above 10.
WASHING FACILITIES AND DRINKING WATER.

The standard for washing facilities and drinking water has been
recommended by the Women in Industry Service of the United
States Department of Labor as follows:
Washing facilities with hot and oold water, soap, and individual towels should be
provided in sufficient number and in accessible locations to make wasldag before
meals and at the close of workday convenient. Drinking water should be cool and
accessible, with individual drinking cups or bubble fountains provided.

In Indianapolis the investigators considered the washing facili­
ties inadequate in 42 out of 112 establishments visited. Provisions
for drinking water were unsatisfactory in 24 of them.
One tin basin was all that was provided for eight girls in one
establishment. When the investigator visited it early in the day,
the water, which was all that could be obtained for that day, was
already soapy and dirty. No towels were supplied. In another
establishment, where food products were prepared and packed, 45
women were employed in one room trimming meat. Their wash­
ing accommodations consisted of one basin, no soap or towels, and
no hot water. In several food factories, no soap or towels were
provided for the girls. In one bakery which employed 32 girls—
who handled all the cakes made in that establishment—only one



24

labor laws lor women

IN INDUSTRY IN INDIANA.

sink was provided for washing, no soap at all was supplied, and the
girls had to wipe their hands on a dirty roller towel, which was
changed only once a week.
.An uncorked earthen molasses jug filled every morning with a
dirty glass in front of it, supplied all the drinking water in one estab­
lishment. In another establishment drinking water was supplied
from a wooden bucket. The supervisor of women in this plant
said that she thought the bucket was kept covered by a piece of
wood and that each girl had her own glass. A faucet with a tin cup
was the extent of the drinking accommodations in several factories.
In a big establishment where food products were canned, tin cups
were found chained to the wall beside large water tanks in several
workrooms.
The Indiana law covered such conditions as these merely by say­
ing that “a suitable and proper washroom” shall be provided.
Here again is ample evidence of the great need for a definite code
on tlfis subject and increased machinery for its enforcement.
DRESSING ROOMS, LUNCH ROOMS, AND REST ROOMS.

The Indiana law requires that “a dressing room shall be provided
for women and girls, when required by the chief inspector.” The
standard which is advocated by the Woman in Industry Service
of the United States Department of Labor, is that “Dressing rooms
shall be provided adjacent to washing facilities, making possible
change of clothing outside the workrooms. Rest rooms should be
provided.”
Recommendations for improvements in dressing rooms were
made in 50 of the 112 establishments visited, and for improvements
in, or installation of, rest rooms and lunch rooms in 33 plants. In
a cord factory the girls in one department hung their wraps on nails
in the sewing room. The lint from the waste material in the spin­
ning room blew over the partition and settled on the wraps. Nails
on the walls of the toilet room on the second floor were used by
the girls on that floor. In many factories the girls hung their out­
door clothing on the walls of the workshops. In others, racks were
provided for their clothes in the toilet rooms. As the toilets were
often not screened or ventilated, this arrangement was most unsatis­
factory. One girl said she liked to hang her wraps in the workroom
because she could “keep her eye on them better.” Individual
lockers with keys have been installed in some establishments.
In one establishment where 25 girls were employed running lathes
and doing other machine work there was no lunch room or rest room
and the girls were obliged to eat their midday meal in the machine
shop. In a printing office winch employed 35 girls the only accom­
modation that was offered for lunch was a gas burner in one corner
of the workroom where the girls could heat their own coffee. In
another establishment which employed women, the sole equipment
of the lunch room, which was the only place the girls could use
for resting or eating, was a few chairs with legs or backs broken,
which were also used as racks for outdoor wraps, sufficient hooks
not being provided elsewhere. In an automobile-tire factory, 300
girls ate their lunch at the work tables, as no lunch room or rest
room was provided. To rest during the noon hour they stretched



LABOR LAWS FOR WOMEN IN INDUSTRY IN INDIANA.

25

themselves out on the pads of booked rubber in the workroom.
In one laundry visited tired girls were allowed to lie on the tables
in the workroom during the lunch period.
The women in some of these establishments were working 10
hours or more every day except Saturday and Sunday. They
needed some place where they could rest during the noon hour
and where they could get a nourishing lunch or eat in pleasant sur­
roundings the meal which they had brought with them, and they
needed a dressing room where they could change their working
clothes for outdoor apparel.
One manager of a large mill in Indianapolis had recently installed
an attractive cafeteria with space for dancing, and, on the floor
below, shower baths and individual lockers for his women employees.
He said to one of the inspectors that he expected his cafeteria to cost
him several thousand dollars a year over his receipts from it, but that
he believed that it paid through increased efficiency of his workers
and the decreased labor turnover.
POSTURE AT WORK.

One of the methods of relieving fatigue of women workers and of
improving their general health and efficiency is to provide seats for
their use while at work. It is generally accepted that continuous
standing is particularly injurious to women, yet the Indiana law con­
tains no real provision on this subject except in the child-labor law,
which states that girls under the age of 18 years shall not be employed
in any capacity where such employment compels them to stand con­
tinuously. The factory-inspection 1 aw has a clause which requires
that “the employer of such women and girls shall provide a suitable
seat for the use of each female employee, placed conveniently where
she works, and shall permit the use of the same when she is not neces­
sarily engaged in the active duties for which she is employed.” The
last clause permits employment in which continuous standing is the
practice. Girls are standing all day in the work of inspection and
finishing in many factories throughout the State, when an intelli­
gently adjusted seat would permit them to vary their position occa­
sionally from standing to sitting. Girls in one establishment working
on lathes where the operation took several minutes were not pro­
vided with seats because the machines had been put too close to­
gether to make room for a chair or stool.
Even in processes in which the women sit at work, it is a common
thing in factories throughout the State to see them sitting not on
“suitable” seats but on old boxes with wooden slats nailed to them
to serve as backs. An elderly woman in a food-products canning
company peeled onions all day. Her only seat was a pile of onions
which she had heaped up to give herself some support. For those
women who are doing their work seated on boxes and othef insuffi­
cient support, it is clearly within the provision of the law in Indiana
to require that they be provided with suitable seats.
PRECAUTIONS AGAINST ACCIDENTS.

Statistics of accidents to women in industrial establishments in
Indiana in 1917 and 1918, prepared by the secretary of the State
industrial board of Indiana, showed 502 accidents in 1918 as com


26

LABOR LAWS FOE WOMEN IN' INDUSTRY IN' INDIANA.

pared with 404 in 1917, or an increase of over 24 per cent. It was
stated that part of the increase was due to injuries to hands and
fingers in the operation of punch presses in the metal trades, in which
the- number of women increased during the war. These reports of
accidents were received by the board in connection with the adminis­
tration of the State compensation law, requiring payment of com­
pensation for disability lasting longer than seven days. Doubtless
less serious accidents are often not reported. .
The Indiana law provides for “adequate” guards for machinery,
and in many factories the law has been conscientiously followed, but
the number of serious accidents reported, and minor ones probably
not reported, show the need of greater care to insure safety, espe­
cially through a larger force of inspectors. Girls were found working
at emery wheels polishing metal parts in a shower of sparks and
emery dust from which they were not protected either by hoods for
the wheels or gloves and goggles for themselves. Girls who were
daily turning out hundreds of small metal cones from large punch
presses, working at great speed, placed the cones under the presses
with their fingers. In several shops it was noticed that there was
ho protective device on these machines to prevent the release of the
press while the operator’s fingers were under it. That such protec­
tion can be given was shown in other machine shops where automatic
protective devices had been installed, reducing accidents to a mini­
mum. Unprotected belts and pulleys were another great source of
accident in the factories in Indiana. In one shop at the side of an
aisle not more than
feet wide, was a totally unprotected belt run­
ning very fast. In another factory, the belts operating the machines
on each side of a narrow aisle met at an angle not more than seven
feet above the center of the aisle. A person walking down this aisle
had to keep directly in the middle to avoid hitting the belt on one
side or the other.
In a machine shop a young girl was operating a lathe which sent
a shower of hot steel shavings all around her. She wore no goggles
to protect her eyes, nor had there been any attempt to place a shield
around the lathe to catch those dangerous particles. In one factory
a girl was interviewed who said she had been working all the time on
an emery wheel at what she called “amber filing.” “There is a little
hood over the emery wheel,” she said, “but the dust is awful. Most
of the emery wheels you pour water on or something, but not this
kind. It was just dry dust. It does not make me feel bad, but I am
a sight by night, hair and face covered with black dust.” It is a
well-recognized fact that breathing emery dust is very harmful to the
lungs and is likely to result in tuberculosis or other respiratory diseases.
This machine could have been fitted with a proper ventilating hood,
which would have removed the chief dangers.
THE NEED FOR NEW LEGISLATION.

The facts revoalod even in this brief inquiry show that without
State action women workers are subjected to the fatiguo of long hours,
which are clearly detrimental to their health and efficiency. With­
out clearer definitions of standards of comfort, safety, and sanitation
in the workrooms, working conditions are often allowed to exist which

are below a wholesome or decent minimum. Most important of all


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LABOR LAWS BOR WOMEN IN INDUSTRY IN INDIANA.

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28

LABOR LAWS ?OB WOJIE5 IK IKDUSTRY IK IKDIAKA.

is tho need for an adequate inspection force and for a plan of adminis­
tration which shall give recognition to tho urgent problems of women
in industry. It is for the people of Indiana to determine the form
and content of legislation to accomplish these purposes. It may be
appropriate, however, to outline tho tests of adequacy in such laws
which experience has revealed in Indiana and in other States.
1. A clear definition of occupations covered is essential as a means
of enforcement, unless it is deemed wise to include all gainful employ­
ment under tho law.
2. Rcguation of hours of work requires a statement of (a) the
length of the maximum working day permitted, (b) the length of the
working week, and (c) limitation of employment to six days in a week.
Without a clear limitation on the length of the day, tho total weekly
hours permitted might be required in so brief a portion of the week
as to result in exceedingly long daily hours. Without a limitation on
tho total weekly hours, and on tho number of days of employment in
a week, a day of rest is not assured and weekly hours may be there­
fore excessive. Moreover all three restrictions are necessary for effec­
tive enforcement.
3. A period of rest at night should be assured both to prevent em­
ployment all night, and to make more possible the enforcement of
the daily limitation of hours, by naming a closing hour after which
>resence in the establishment is a violation of law regardless of the
ength of employment.
4. A definite requirement should be made for a sufficiently long
recess at noon and for a limitation on the maximum hours of con­
tinuous employment, as otherwise the strain and speed of modem
industry may result in continuous work, without tho necessary provi­
sion of time for food and rest before fatigue results hi exhaustion from
which recovery is difficult.
5. Provision for comfort and sanitation should be so definite as
to leave no doubt in the minds of employers, workers, and inspectors
as to their application in any plant.
6. Because of the complexity of industrial conditions, and, espe­
cially the differences between different industries, the administrative
authorities should have authority to build up codes of regulations
for these different occupations, basing them always upon the mini­
mum standards of health and safety which are found to be common
to all occupations.
7. It has been found that enforcement of the laws limiting hours
of labor is greatly facilitated by the requirement that in each work­
room a printed notice be posted stating the exact hours of work
required of the women employed there. Employment of any woman
at a time other than that stated in the notice is deemed a violation
of law. In addition to the posted notice it is also desirable to require
the keeping of a time book with records of the actual daily hours of
each woman employed, since the hours for individuals often differ
from those of the department as a whole. These two forms of records
provide a means of enforcement depending upon inspection and not
upon the testimony of workers. Fear of losing a position makes
workers always unwilling to testify in court against their employers,
and tins has resulted in difficulties out of which have come the sug­
gestions for requiring records to be available as evidence.
8. An effective labor law must contain, also, a clause defining
penalties
 for violation.

{



LABOR LAWS FOR WOMEN IN INDUSTRY IN INDIANA

29

9. Public opinion should demand that employers be prosecuted for
violations of law and that appropriate sentences bo imposed upon
those who are convicted in court. Vigilance in requiring compliance
with the laws on the statute books is essential if the labor legislation
of the State is to be an effective agency for establishing proper con­
ditions of employment.
10. It should bo said, however, that prosecution is only one means
of insuring compliance with the law. It is only when employers have
become so enlightened and progressive as to accept the standards
imposed by the State as the basis for efficiency in industry to be
adopted willingly and not through the compulsion of threatened pun­
ishment that a satisfactory condition can be said to prevail. When
this is achieved the inspectors of the State department of labor
become advisors in the application of standards rather than police­
men. The test of achievement in this respect, however, is to be found
not in the absence of prosecutions, but in the actual conditions exist­
ing in the industries of a State. It is fair to assume always that the
effectiveness of the laws enacted and of their administration is to be
found in the actual hours and working conditions found in the
industries.
11. With the growing complexity of the problems of women’s
employment and with the increase in their numbers in industry it
becomes important that State departments of labor should be equipped
not merely to enforce lawTs regulating their employment, but to study
their needs and to observe new conditions. To accomplish this task
it is necessary that women should be in responsible positions, as mem­
bers of industrial boards or as chiefs of divisions directly responsible
to the boards or to the labor commissioner. This is important not
merely to represent the interests of women workers, but to add the
wisdom of new points of view to the labor department in dealing
with all the problems of labor affecting, as they do, both men and
women.
.
12. Measured by these tests the Indiana law has both strong and
weak points. Indiana has, for instance, a prohibition of night work,
applying to manufacturing; a prescribed lunch period of one hour,
with a requirement for posting the written permit if a shorter period
is allowed; provisions relating to comfort and sanitation; and a law
limiting the daily and weekly hours of labor of girls under 18 yearn of
age, with provision for posting a notice of the hours of labor required
of them. But Indiana does not prohibit night work in any occupa­
tion other than manufacturing; does not define explicitly enough the
standards of comfort and sanitation which should be established; does
not insure one day of rest in seven for girls under 18, nor does it require
the keeping of a time book with the exact record of the working time
of the girls to whom the law limiting hours of work applies. Most
important of all, the Indiana law does not limit the daily or weekly
hours of employment of adult women in any occupation; only two
women have been appointed in the inspection force and women are
not represented on the industrial board. It is clearly important,
therefore, in the interest of progress in labor legislation that action
should be taken on the recommendations of the governor in his mes­
sage of 1919, “that a law be passed making permanent the women’s
division in the inspection department, regulating the hours and safe­
guarding the working conditions of women in industry.”



o


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102