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Letter of transmittal
Part I.—Introduction
Scope and method_____________________
Summary of findings
Part II.—Standards proposed by the National Committee on EmployerEmployee Relationships in the Home________________
Part III.—Requirements for workers over 21 years of age _ ___________
A.—Standards of non-fee-charging employment agencies______
Wages, hours, etc
B.—Standards of two fee-charging employment agencies____
C.—Special placement procedures_________________________
Investigation for satisfactory and permanent placements
Adjustment of difficulties___
Coordination of training and placement ______________________
Informal discussion and follow-up_______________
Part IV.'—Requirements for workers 21 years of age or under___________
The agencies reporting action__________________________________
Provisions of the standards reported_________________________
A.—For workers who live in their employers’ homes___________
Definition of work and the type of work to be done_______
Payment in addition to board and lodging_____________
Living conditions______________________________________
Time off
B.—For workers who do not live in their employers’ homes____
Wage scales for hourly work______________________________
Earliest hour to start work _ _________________
Time of leaving employer’s home in evening______________
Miscellaneous provisions
Recommendations and special placement procedure___
Special placement procedure
Methods of follow-up____________________________ __
Part V.—Requirements for college students_____________________________
Provisions of the standards reported________________________________
Hours----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Time off
Payment in money
Work requirements
Living conditions
Miscellaneous provisions
Sample standards____________________________ ___________ . _ __
Methods of applying standards________________________ ____
Investigation of applicants
Follow-up after placement
Part VI.—Effects of unemployment on household employment standards-



I-—Letter and questionnaire used in making study, January to April
II.—Legal regulations applying to adult household employees_________
HI-—The medical examination of domestic employees in Newark, N.J__






IV.—Supplementary information on standards in three cities__________
V.—How employment bureaus may meet depression employment


I.—Employment standards for workers in household employment—
Women over 21 years of agefacing-_
II.—Employment standards for workers in household employment—
Girls 21 years of age or under living in employer’s home.-facing. _
III.—Employment standards for college girls doing domestic work in
private homes for board and lodging, and wage rates required for
part-time workers not receiving board and lodging_____facing-.



United States Department of Labor,
Women’s Bureau,
Washington, November 6, 1933.
Madam: I have the honor to submit a report on standards for
household employment used by various agencies that place persons in
this type of work.
Under its broad mandate “to formulate standards and policies
which shall promote the welfare of wage-earning women”, the
Women’s Bureau was asked by Mrs. Anna L. Burdick, agent for
industrial education for girls and women of the Federal Board for
Vocational Education, to assemble and analyze standards for the
placement of girls in household positions. Because of this request,
and with Mrs. Burdick’s cooperation, the present study has been
developed. It summarizes the household employment requirements
of secondary schools, colleges, Young Women’s Christian Association
and some other social agencies, and of public employment offices.
It is primarily a study of household-employment standards, not of the
work of employment agencies.
In the almost total absence of legal regulation of household employ­
ment, taken in conjunction with the 62 percent increase between
1920 and 1930 in number of women servants, including those in
hotels and restaurants (about one-eightli of the total), the impor­
tance. of this matter was recognized and the inquiry was made by
The text of the report has been confined to an analysis of the
standards reported in this study. Supplementary information on
standards and other problems of household employment is given in
the appendixes.
. Though the terms of any standard may vary from time to time, the
important fact is that standards are used by the several agencies from
which specific information was obtainable.
I acknowledge with grateful appreciation the cooperation of the
various persons and placement agencies contributing to the study.
Especial thanks are tendered to Dr. Hazel Kyrk, associate professor,
department of home economics, Chicago University; Dr. Amey E.
Watson, Philadelphia Council of Household Occupations; Dr. Hildegarde Kneeland, chief of economics division, Bureau of Home Econom­
ics, United States Department of Agriculture; National Association
of Deans of Women; National Vocational Guidance Association; and
to the following, who read the report and made constructive sugges­
tions: Doris A. Cline, placement counselor, department of guidance
and placement of the board of education, Detroit, Mich.; Annetta M.
Dieckmann, metropolitan industrial secretary, Y.W.C.A., Chicago,
111.; Dorothy P. Wells, secretary for employment, national board of



Y.W.C.A., New York City; Russell J. Eldridge, assistant Federal
director, United States Employment Service, Newark, N.J.; Grace
S. M. Zorbaugh, associate dean of women, Ohio State University,
Columbus, Ohio.
This report is the work of Marie Correll, of the research department
of the Women’s Bureau.
Respectfully submitted.
Mary Anderson, Director.
Hon. Frances Perkins,
Secretary of Labor.

Household employment1 remains unstandardized. In a given lo­
cality hours of work and rates of pay vary widely; the work itself
varies from one home to another; and in almost no cases do labor laws
apply to such work.2 In most communities there is a wage scale that
is the generally accepted practice for this type of employment, but
since board and lodging usually are included as part of the payment
for full-time household work, and the quality of such maintenance
varies, the return for employment is subject to greater variations
even in the same locality than are found in other types of work. In
household employment the hours are long and irregular, and there is
an almost total absence of relation between work and wage.
Single rather than group labor, a personal relationship between
employer and employee, an individual bargain for employment, and
freedom from legislative control and trade-union regulation are pre­
vailing conditions in this type of work. That both employee and em­
ployer find these conditions unsatisfactory is significant. For the
worker the most serious indictments are the social stigma and servant
status and the long irregular hours; for the employer, dissatisfaction
with the services received.3
The informal, nonlegal action of placement agencies is practically
the only control of terms and conditions of household employment
that exists. Agencies placing domestic workers have an opportunity
to influence employment contracts by the giving of information and
by refusing to recommend an unreliable worker or a position where
the terms and conditions of employment are considered unsatisfactory.
The effectiveness of attempted regulation of household employ­
ment by a placement agency in a community depends on such varying
factors as the supply of workers and the demand for such work, the
number of agencies placing a certain type of worker and whether or
not they cooperate with one another, the purpose of the agency, the
method of placement. and of follow-up used, and the personality,
judgment, and initiative of placement workers. Some authorities
consider that protective work by placement agencies has little value
and that such agencies should hold to their task of securing positions
for applicants.4 The element of truth in this attitude emphasizes
the need of legal regulation for household employment. It is probable
The term household employment, as used m this study, includes “the group of occupations concerned
with the physical care of the house and its members and carried on in private homes for a money wage.”
(U.b. Department of Labor. Womens Bureau. Household Employment in Chicago. Bui. 106, 1933,
p. z, footnote 4.)
2 The few labor laws that apply to household employment are discussed in appendix _II.
o ( lr>A fitronov rannptoH fVlO t n mntnnr, ■!«. 4- V. ~
. .
ii 1
1 _____ i
. .
^at f woman in the community had employed 19 maids in a 3-month period.
MoSSiS01M^tievyv^r> an(J, spates. Public Employment Offices, Their Purpose, Structure, t
Methods. New York, Russell Sage Foundation, 1924, p. 579.




that the standards maintained by such agencies influence the condi­
tions of larger numbers of employees than they place.
This study was made primarily to find what standards for domestic
employment were being used by placement agencies—not to determine
the prevalence or effectiveness of their use. The few existing legal
requirements for adults in this employment are summarized in ap­
pendixes II and III. Legal requirements for minors are not included.
A secondary purpose of the study was to secure from various place­
ment agencies an evaluation of the “Suggested Minimum Standards
for the General Ilouseworker ” proposed by the National Committee
on Employer-Employee Relationships in the Home. Requests for
information about the standards used in placing household employees
(see forms in appendix I) were mailed between January and April 1932
to a selected list of placement workers in colleges, universities, and
secondary schools; to employment secretaries of the Y.W.C.A., and
to placement workers of several other social agencies; to State and
other public employment agencies; and to a few fee-charging agencies.
The only fee-charging agencies included were those believed to be
taking special action on this problem, because the money-making
object of agencies of this kind almost precludes the use of standards
other than the prevailing practice. The numbers of questionnaires
mailed and replies received were as follows:
Type of placement agency

Number of
sent out

Number of
agencies re­

1 388
College and university. . .. _ ------------------- ------------- Secondary school
________ ___
Fee-charging employment office _
----------- Public employment office______ ____
-- — -Other social and philanthropic organizations.----- --------




i Not the number of agencies receiving questionnaires, because in some cases more than one was mailed
to the same agency; for example, to the dean of women and the Y.W.C.A. campus worker. Excludes 5
agencies placing Indians, 4 of which replied to the questionnaire. See footnote 1, p. IV.

It was assumed that agencies that had standards would reply, and
therefore follow-up letters were sent only in special cases.
In a few instances information supplementing the questionnaire
was secured through a personal interview. Publicity was given the
study and requests were made for information as to additional
standards through articles published in a number of magazines and
journals in the fields of social work, vocational guidance, and teaching.
Further, the project was announced and discussed at the sixteenth
annual meeting of the National Association of Deans of Women, and
at the convention of the National Vocational Guidance Association,
both held in Washington, D.C., in February 1932.
The word “standards” has been used loosely in this study to cover
all requirements as to terms and conditions of employment that agen­
cies reported must be met, or usually were met, before they would



place a worker. Many agencies recommend certain conditions that
they do not require. But the distinction between standards and
recommendations was in some cases impossible to make, and in many
cases means little, since none of the standards has the backing of law.
The facts secured about methods of following up placements have been
used primarily because they give some indication of how effectively
the standards are enforced.

This study shows that a considerable number of placement agencies,
usually those of educational institutions1—either colleges or secondary
schools—or of social welfare organizations such as the Young Women’s
Christian Association, have developed standards for terms and con­
ditions of work that have been used in placing household employees.
Other agencies reported that they were attempting to improve con­
ditions hi this employment by various methods, such as making
recommendations to the prospective employer and the prospective
employee, or through special types of placement procedure.
Fifteen agencies in 10 States reported that they had standards for
placing women over 21 years of age in household employment,
fourteen of these are Young Women’s Christian Association place­
ment agencies. These may cover employees not more than 21 years
of age, sometimes referred to in this report as “juniors”, but special
standards for these younger workers were reported by 19 agencies in
10 States. (Only 3 of the 14 standards for adults contain special
provisions for younger workers and are therefore included in both
Forty-three colleges and universities in 26 States gave usable
information about standards for college girls.
Differences in the way the standards are applied, the times at which
they have been used, and the extent of their provisions, make imprac­
ticable an exact tabulation of the wages and hours specified.
However, certain facts are especially significant and may be
summarized as follows:
Provisions for full-time employees

Wages.—Most standards for full-tune workers, adult or junior
contain some provision setting a minimum for wages.
Daily or weekly hours.—Hours of work are not specified in most of
the standards for full-time workers. Two Young Women’s Christian
Association agencies try to restrict the hours of adult workers—one
to 8 hours and one to not more than 10 hours a day. For girls of 21
and under, working full time or attending continuation school, two
school placement standards set a weekly maximum of 44 and 48 hours
Time off; Most of the standards contain a provision regarding
time off; five recommend 1 day a week plus some other time.
Living conditions—A private room is required in nine of the stand­
ards that apply to girls or women working full time.
Provisions for part-time employees

Most of the standards for part-time employees, other than wage
rates, have as their basis the setting of maximum daily or weekly
hours. This is because most of them are for persons working pri-



marily for board and room, usually secondary-school or college girls.
For the girls attending secondary schools and working part time the
hours of work are limited—7 of the 9 standards allowing between 21
and 28 hours a week. Several of the standards require a cash pay­
ment of about $10 a month. (Girls who attend school a half day
and those attending continuation school work longer hours and receive
more pay.) In most of the college standards 21 to 28 hours of work
a week is considered to be the equivalent for board and room, and
several require that overtime be paid for, some giving specific hourly
rates for this.6
_ _
Provisions for time off and for suitable living conditions are con­
tained in many of the standards for part-time as well as for full-time
workers. Some of these are very detailed. Important additional
types of provisions made in some standards for part-time workers are
a definition of working time, a statement of the kind of work the
girl is allowed to do—heavy work being prohibited—suggested work
schedules in several cases, and definite recommended work agreements
in a few instances.

Some kind of follow-up work after placement was reported by most
of the agencies using standards. This varied from phone calls to
contacts with the employee for several months after placement, and
was, with some exceptions, most complete in agencies connected with
educational institutions.
The replies received stressed the difficulty of enforcing any standards
during a period of unemployment, but they indicated that even at
such a time cooperative action on the part of several agencies had
been undertaken in a few communities and minimum standards
developed and used.
Evaluation of proposed national standard

That the “Suggested Minimum Standards for the Full-Time
General Houseworker”, as proposed in 1931 by the National Com­
mittee on Employer-Employee Relationships in the Home, was useful
as a guide though containing requirements that in many instances
cannot be enforced during a period of depression, was the opinion of
a majority of the placement agencies replying. Naturally, some agen­
cies considered the use of any standards impossible. Others empha­
sized the need of legal regulations for this as for other employment.

This study indicates that in spite of the lack of legal regulations
for household employment, some placement agencies are helping to
improve the terms and conditions of employment of household em­
ployees, sometimes through the use of nonlegal standards, and that
in some communities a number of employment agencies are coopera­
ting in this respect.
The large number of women in household employment emphasizes
the importance of regulation for these occupations. Of all gainfully
occupied women in 1930, the largest woman-employing group is that
* Probably one explanation of this difference in the requirements for secondary-school and college girls
is that mosUif the standards for secondary-school girls are from cities where the opportunities for
employment are numerous, while most of the colleges and universities reporting are located m smaller
cities or towns where opportunities for such employment are limited. The standards for college and for
seeondary°scho(ff gtrfs"were similar in the four cities where standards for both groups were reportedBerkeley and Los Angeles, Calif., Minneapolis, Minn., and Seattle, Wash.



designated domestic and personal service, and half of this group are
classified as servants. Under this term, however, are included
persons who are not employed in private households so it is not
possible to determine from the census data exactly how many of the
women are employed in private homes. The small proportion of the
more than 1,600,000 servants (about one eighth) who were employed
in hotels, restaurants, boarding houses, and so forth, places the great
majority of these women as workers in private homes, a fact indicating
the importance of this type of employment as regards women workers.9
Even without including the many day workers who clean and launder
in the home, and the housekeepers, nurses, and other persons who are
employed there, the classification “servants” in other than hotels,
restaurants, and so forth, ranks fourth in the numbers of women
employed. It is exceeded only by clerical occupations with 1,986,830
women, manufacturing and mechanical industries with 1,886,307,
and professional service with 1,526,234—three of the general divisions
of occupations used by the Bureau of the Census in reporting its data.
Most of the standards reported to the Women’s Bureau in this
study are not adequate for the protection of household employees.
One of the most difficult of their problems—the length of the working
day and week—is not even mentioned in several of the standards for
full-time workers. However, the existence of standards of any sort
is of itself encouraging and the fact that standards are used by various
types of placement agencies in many parts of the country suggests
that more such agencies could take action of this kind. The coopera­
tion of several agencies in a community in the use of standards is an
especially promising development. Finally, conditions in this employ­
ment show the need of legislative regulation for household employees.
'F-J- Department of LJabor■bulletin 104, pp. 7, 27, and 28.

W°m«n’s Bureau.

The Occupational Progress of Women, 1910 to 1930

Formulation of standards for household employment lias been
urged and undertaken from time to time by various local groups and
individuals interested in this problem. Because of their value as a
basis for discussion, the Suggested Minimum Standards for the Full­
time General Houseworker, as adopted by the second conference of the
National Committee on Employer-Employee Relationships in the
Home, are given here. These standards, presented to the conference
by Dr. Hazel Kyrk, of the University of Chicago, had been developed
by a special committee in Chicago. As adopted by the conference
to be disseminated for “discussion, education, and experimenta­
tion”,2 they are as follows:
The following tentative standards are drawn up for the general houseworker,
because such workers are most numerous and because standards and schedules
are likely to be set up more carefully when two or more workers are employed.


The establishment and maintenance of standards for the wages, hours, and
working conditions of household workers depends upon the existence of adequate
placement agencies and organizations of employers and employees.
The first step in the establishment of minimum-wage standards by such agencies
in any community is the development of methods of differentiating the skilled
from the unskilled worker. Only those should be considered “skilled” who
either meet a practical test of efficiency or furnish statements from employers
that attest the quality of their work. To meet this purpose satisfactorily, the
statements from employers concerning efficiency in various tasks, honesty, and
so forth, should be made on forms drawn up by the placement agency after a
reasonable period of employment but before the employment is terminated. The
worker who fails to receive a specified rating from the practical test or employer’s
statement shall be considered “unskilled” or “semiskilled”; those who rate
above may receive wage differentials above the minimum for their class.
In each community a minimum wage for the full-time worker in household
employment, whether skilled or unskilled, should be established at a rate that
meets the cost of living of independent women at a tolerable level. From the
total estimated cost of living should be deducted the cost of room and board for
the worker living in, and the cost of board for the worker living out. The
“skilled” worker should receive a differential above this that will make the
minimum wage equivalent to that in other employments requiring the same
ability and period of training. The wages of colored workers should be equal to
those of white workers of equal competence. When an unskilled worker is em­
ployed, the placement agency should secure periodic statements of her progress
and arrange for corresponding increases in wage.


“Working time” shall be defined as that time which is definitely assigned to
some particular duty which prevents the worker from following her own pursuits.
“Time on call ” is that time when she is not free to leave the house but may follow
1 The National Committee on Employer-Employee Relationships in the Home was organized in 1928.
It has facilitated cooperation among various persons and agencies interested in the problems of household
employment from many different points of view. Its activities have been restricted by lack of funds.
> Mimeographed report, National Committee on Employer-Employee Relationships in the Home,
Summary of Second Conference, New York City, April 13 and 14,1931, pp. 11-12 (There were persons on
the Chicago committee from the following organizations: A Chicago high school, the Chicago Y.W.O.A.,
the Chicago Urban League, and the University of Chicago.)




her own pursuits on the premises. The maximum length of the “working time”
of the worker living in should not exceed 54 hours a week and of the worker living
out, 48 hours. Two hours on call should be considered equivalent to 1 hour of
working time. Overtime in any week should be paid for at an hourly rate that is
figured on the basis of a 54-hour week for the worker living in and a 48-hour week
for the worker living out. One whole day, beginning not later than 10 a.m. and
extending through the evening, or 2 half days a week, beginning not later than
2 p.m. on week days and 3 p.m. on Sundays and extending through the evening
should be free.

After a year of continuous service, 1 week vacation with pay should be

Living conditions
The worker living in should have a room for her own use and convenient access
to modern bathroom facilities.

Accident protection
Insurance against accidents arising in the course of employment should be
carried by the employer, either by electing to come under the'workmen’s com­
pensation law of the State when that is possible, or through private companies.

Employment contract
A form covering types of duties required, wages, hours, provision for church
attendance, time off, accommodations to be provided, and the length of notice
to be given before termination of service should be drawn up for use by employer
and employee at the time of making the engagement. A copy of this should be
kept by each party concerned.

In connection with the adoption of these standards, Dr. Kyrk has
* * * It was fully recognized that no machinery for establishing and main­
taining standards either in the form of organization or placement bureaus existed
and that the hope of making desired standards real depended on such machinery.
It was also recognized that unemployment and the conviction that any woman
can do housework were making havoc of the more or less generally accepted stand­
ards of hours and wages. The value of the discussion, however, lay in bringing
to concrete expression differences in principle and attitude and in emphasizing dis­
crepancies between the actual and what might be accepted as the desirable or
fair. * * *3

One of the purposes of the present study was to secure the comments
of placement agencies on these suggested minimum standards set forth
in the foregoing, and to obtain opinions and suggestions about
methods of applying them. In spite of the modesty of these “stand­
ards”, most of the agencies stated that they were “excellent”, or
“ideal”, but this sometimes was qualified by adding that they were
“unworkable” or too far ahead of standards in the community to be
practicable. One agency that was struggling to maintain a wage
standard wrote," The goal is an excellent one but so very far away
that it is discouraging to even read.”
All the agencies already using one or more standards in their
placement work thought that it would be possible to secure some
standards, although they realized that these could not include all
the requirements suggested; several of those not already using some
standards (largely State employment offices) considered such a
course impossible in 1932. The following statement from one
Y.W.C.A. agency that has tried to establish standards is typical of
Standards, particularly for the semiskilled, have to come slowly, and probably
would defeat their purpose if they were too comprehensive. Supply and demand
have to be more nearly equalized before very much can be done.
3 The Household Worker, by Dr. Hazel Kyrk. American Federationist, January 1932, pp. 37-38.



Variations in conditions in different localities were evident from the
answers on the questionnaire; for example, in one community, vaca­
tions for household employees were unheard of, while in another it
was reported that vacations were granted by about 10 percent of the
employers before the depression.
Few comments were made on individual items. Significant addi­
tional provisions suggested were that health certificates should be
required, that heat and light be furnished in the employee’s room,
and that the regulation of hours should allow for 1 hour or 1% hours
of absolutely free time during the day.
The question, “As a placement agency do you see any way that
standards and recommended procedure similar to the ones attached
(the standards of the National Committee on Employer-Employee
Relationships in the Home) can be made effective?” brought many
interesting replies. Naturally, most persons replying felt that such
standards could not be inaugurated during a period of unemployment.
The development of businesslike standards and attitudes among
employers and employees was the suggestion most often made as
essential for the enforcement of such standards. Training courses for
employees and group meetings of employers for information and
discussion were the methods most frequently mentioned to accomplish
In connection with the first, not all replies emphasized that this
training was needed by both employers and employees. _ Of those
that did not do so, a larger number saw the need of educational work
for employers than felt it was needed for employees. One agency
held that the problem would be solved only through years of educa­
tional work by noncommercial agencies who can afford to lose place­
ments. Another mentioned a difficulty involved in improving condi­
tions through training employees by stating that if household workers
were classified as skilled, semiskilled, and unskilled, they would have
more calls for the second and third mentioned than for the skilled.
The importance of training all workers regardless of racial or other
differences was emphasized in one reply.
Other replies indicated that much could be done by trained place­
ment workers and the cooperation of all non-fee-charging placement
agencies in a community to enforce these standards. One Young
Women’s Christian Association placement agency considers that if
all free employment agencies in a given city would cooperate on
standards in households, at least in regard to wages and hours, it
would be an effective method in keeping up and gradually raising the
scale of living in household employment. Another expressed a
similar viewpoint, saying that enforcement of standards could be
effective “through adoption by the various placement bureaus repre­
sented on a city-wide employment committee and thus coordination
of effort to educate the community to accept them.”
Cooperative and concerted action by women’s organizations as
well as by placement agencies, employers, and employees also was
considered essential. This need and a plan for action were voiced
by one commercial agency.
To effect the standards suggested, this agency said, “will be possible
only through the cooperation and concerted effort of recognized
reliable organizations in every community * * *. Representa­
tives could be chosen from each [of the women’s and civic organiza-



tions] to form a council that would cooperate with representa­
tives from reliable established [employment] agencies, Federal, pri­
vate, or commercial, and through this council work out the results
desired * *
The need for improved employment agencies—Federal and State—
to secure adequate standards was likewise emphasized.
“While the State and Federal bureaus have no standards, it is very
difficult for a small group to uphold them.”
“An organized and uniform system of employment agencies con­
trolled by State or Federal government is essential to secure the
enforcement of such standards.”
Conditions that should be considered in this connection were
mentioned by three State employment agencies. Two did not believe
that a State agency should set standards, and the other stated that
the office had not sufficient personnel to enforce standards for em­
ployment. One reply mentioned organization, presumably of
employees, as the way to secure such standards.
Some replies from various types of agencies stated that the only
way such standards could be made effective was through laws. A
few urged that action be taken to secure legal regulations of household
employment—especially a limitation of the hours of work. Two
statements following express this point of view:
“Until we have some State laws regulating employment I do not
see how we can hope to get very far.”
“[Standards] must come with governmental legislation similar to
the factory code.”
Agencies that considered it impossible to enforce such standards
gave few reasons for their decision. Of these the more important
were the present economic conditions; the unsatisfactory character
of many domestic workers (shiftlessness, lack of training, migratory
habits, and absence of professional attitude were the undesirable
characteristics mentioned); and the lack of standardization of house­
holds—each case being an individual problem.




Employment standards for adult workers were reported by several
non-fee-charging employment agencies and by two that charged fees.
Several agencies without standards or definite requirements reported
special placement procedures that influenced conditions of employ­
ment, such as investigations for satisfactory and permanent place­
ments, adjustment of difficulties, coordination of training and place­
ment, informal discussion with employers and employees before
placement, and follow-up work. An effort has been made to present
the data in regard to adult workers in chart form. (See chart I.)
In some cases the standards discussed in the following, intended
primarily to apply to adult workers, may have affected girls under
21 years of age.


Fourteen standards for women household employees were reported
by 15 placement agencies in 10 States—California, Connecticut,
Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
Texas, and Washington. Twelve of the standards are those of place­
ment departments of local Young Women’s Christian Associations
and two are community standards formulated and enforced by a
number of cooperating agencies. Of the three agencies replying about
the standards last mentioned, two are Young Women’s Christian
Associations. The standards of these 15 non-fee-charging employ­
ment agencies are not nearly so comprehensive as the suggested
standards of the National Committee on Employer-Employee Rela­
tionships in the Home, or some of those for workers 21 years of age or
under, or those for college students.
The only phase of employment for which some standard has been
set by all these agencies is wages; in some cases the wage standard
applies to hour work only. For women paid by the week or month,
agencies in nine communities had requirements or recommendations
for hours of work, time off, or living conditions.

Frequently the wage standard is the prevailing community wage.
One agency reported, however, that with few exceptions it had refused
to place general houseworkers at less than $25 a month with board
and room, even though wages in the community had dropped much
lower than this. The money amounts commonly specified for most
localities for full-time general housework range from approximately
$13 to $40 a month. In most cases board and room are furnished the
employee. The hourly rates ordinarily specified for general house­
work are from 35 to 50 cents. In some cases car fare also is required.
1 Special provisions for workers 21 years of age or under and for college or university students are con­
sidered in parts IV and V, respectively.



I.—Employment standards for workers in household employment—women over 21 years of age 1

[The provisions and wording of the standards given, with few exceptions, are as reported to the Women’s Bureau early in 1932. The terms are unstandardized]

Kind of work and minimum payment
Time off

Living conditions

Every other Sunday and 1
full afternoon and evening
a week.

Hours of work

Locality, agency, and date of reply 1

A private room for
worker who lives
with family.
___ do-------------------

Follow-up after referring
applicant to position

W ork
California, Long Beach:
Women’s unemployment relief committee
sponsored meeting (Feb. 25, 1932) of fol­
lowing free and commercial employment
Catholic Welfare Bureau.
City Free Employment Agency.
Employment Counselors.
Long Beach Employment Agency.
Volunteers of America.
Young Women’s Christian Association,
Mar. 12, 1932.
These agencies “find prevalent and try
to adhere to” the standards given.4
California, San Francisco:
Relief Council. (Standards adopted Doc.
15, 1931.)
Cooperating agencies:
Guardian Club.
Junior Employment Service.
State Free Employment Service, Feb.
16, 1932.
Women’s Employment Aid (middleaged women).
Women’s Employment Relief (Mould­
ers School).
Young Women’s Christian Association,
Mar. 3, 1932.
(See also provisions on Chart II.)

Mother’s helper.

$20 a month 3.

General houseworker.

$40 a month 3.

Hour worker_______

50 cents an hour.

Part-time. Light housework. Busi­
ness girl or temporarily unemployed

Board and room. Cash for overtime
-caring for children at night.

Part-time. Housework. Older woman
—as a temporary relief measure only.
Part-time. Housework Older woman.

$7.50 to $10 a month and board and
$10 to $15 a month and board and room
or $1.50 a day.

Full-time. Domestic. Older woman
—over 60, or woman with very little
experience. No responsibility for
Short hour cleaning jobs-------------------

$20 a month and board and room

Evening work—care of children. No
other work should be required.
California, San Pedro:
Young Women’s Christian Association,
Feb. 23, 1932.

In the case of the Y.W.C.A.
a telephone call is made 2
days after placement and
again a month after. Girls
are asked to join a club of
the association; agency
keeps in touch with them
in this way.

3 hours a flay: 1 in morning,
2 in evening or at night.

8:30 a.m. to dinner hour. 1
evening or Sunday week­
ly. (Time off will enable
unemployed girl to look
for work.)

In the case of the State Free
Employment Service a
telephone call verifies that
employee has arrived and
started to work.

Every day from 2 or 3 p.m.
until after dinner. Ex­
cept day and afternoon or
evening off.
Irregular--------------- ----------

1 day and 1 afternoon or
evening weekly.

Y.W.C.A. checks after 2or 3
weeks; an inquiry when
agency finds that they have

1 day and afternoon or some
evenings weekly.

50 cents an hour and car fare. Not Indefinite,
less than $1 at each call.
25 cents an hour or $1 a night-------------------- do—
Telephone to see if girl is

Ask that each worker be
given 1 day a week and
every other Sunday off.

Full-time housewrorker.
Hour worker.

40 cents an hour, generally accepted

Connecticut, Bridgeport:
Young Women’s Christian Association,
Mar. 1, 1932.

Domestic worker------- -----------

Except in a very few instances have
refused to place at less than $25 (plus
living) a month.


Iowa, Des Moines:
Young Women’s Christian Association,
Feb. 24, 1932.

Full-time general houseworker.

Seldom send girl out for less than $5 a
week and maintenance.

Check up through placement
department after a few
days’ work. Requests em­
ployee to come to Y.W.C.A
for interview. 5

Kansas, Topeka:
Young Women’s Christian Association,
May 23, 1932.

Domestic worker—.................

Have tried to keep the wage scale from
$5 up. For the skilled wmrker, have
tried to secure from $7 to $10 a week.
Request car fare for employee not
living in.3

For footnotes see end of chart.

(Face p. 11.)

No. 1

At least 2 afternoons and 2
evenings each week.

A room to herself_

Girls are urged to report to
placement office and in­
vited to join a club at the
association. Employer is
consulted regarding prog­
ress of girl. 5


I.—Employment standards for workers in household employment—women over 21 years of age 1—Continued
Kind of work and minimum payment

Locality, agency, and date of reply 2

Hours of work

Michigan, Detroit:
Young Women’s Christian Association,*
Mar. 12,1932. (See also appendix IV.)

Full-time. Middle-aged woman:
Light housework (no washing),

Minimum, $5 a week 3..............................

Including laundry
Minimum, $6 a week>_____
Experienced maid (25-40 years). ............

New Jersey, Bayonne:
Young Women’s Christian Association
(Foreign community department), Mar.
21, 1932.
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia:
Young Women’s Christian Association,
Mar. 2, 1932.
Texas, Dallas:
Young Women’s Christian Association,
Feb. 25, 1932.
Texas, El Paso:
Young Women’s Christian Association,
Mar. 12, 1932.
Washington, Seattle:
Young Women’s Christian Association,
Apr. 30, 1932. Standards adopted Sept.
18, 1930.
Note.—Though a minimum wage is main­
tained, since latter part of 1931 agency has
not been able to apply entire standard.


Follow-up after referring
applicant to position


1 afternoon and evening a
week and every other Sun­
day afternoon and even­

Day worker:
Heavy cleaning
General housework.........................
By day............................................. .
Serving without uniform._ _____
Serving with uniform.................. .

40 cents an hour______ ____________
35 cents an hour_____ . ___ ______
$2 a day_____ ____________ _ _
35 cents an hour and car fare__________
50 cents an hour____________________

Full-time household work

$3-$4 a week and board and room...........

Day worker

$3, car fare, and lunch for 8-hour day___
50 cents an hour, if less than 4 hours are

Working housekeeper, i.e., the older
woman who may attend to all the
buying but rarely is expected to do
the laundry.

Minimum, $8 a week with board and

Domestic worker_____


One half day a week and al­
ternate Sundays.

1 afternoon and evening a
week and every other Sun­

Day worker. (Majority of applicants
are Mexican women.)

Try to insist on $1.50 a day and car

Household worker


Industrial secietdij' follows
up for prospective mem­
bers for Household Em­
ployees Club.



Room in house for
the girl. Private
room if possible.

In April 1932 this organization was
persistently refusing to place girls in
the home under $15 a month.3

Household worker _ ._ ............
Experienced; all work. (6 to 7
rooms; not over 3 children.)

Experienced; all work except laundry.
Inexperienced; all work _
Inexperienced; part of work

Washington, Spokane:
Young Women’s Christian Association,
Mar. 1, 1932.

Living conditions

1 afternoon and evening a
week, and either every
other Sunday all day, or
every Sunday afternoon
and evening.

Hour worker

Minnesota, St. Paul:
Young Women’s Christian Association.
Apr. 14, 1932.

Time cff


Former standard.

$35 a month plus

Try to insist on 8-hour day...

Interview girl after place­

of doubtful cases, by tele­
phone and personal calls.

(See note in stub).

................... ..........

hours. 1 to 2 hours on call
when employer is out.
No late hours—1 a.m. ex­

1 day each week; Sunday not
later than 3:30 p.m.;
Thursday, 2 p.m.; 2 even­
ings, regularly each week;
1 evening, irregularly.

A room alone. No
basement rooms

Recommends at least 24
hours a week off.

Recommends a room Where difficulties arise tin
to herself; daily
placement office acts aj
use of bath.

$25 a month plus 3....................... ..............
$20 a month plus 3 ________ _________
(Schedule states that “Plus indicates
variance as to size of home and farniiiy.”>
$20 a month is averape,3 “ranging from
$3 a week to $15 in some few in­

• In some cases these standards would be applied to workers 21 years of a fie or under as well.

Recommends that day be
not over 10 hours, part of
which time would be “on

For two standards used only by fee-charging employment agencies and not included here see p 12

I No attempt was made to secure information from all the agencies reported as using the same standard; the date of reply indicates the agencies supplying information.
3 No doubt both board and room are provided in addition to the wage quoted, though no definite statement tp that effect is made.
* These standards contain an additional provision which states that interviewing employers are requested to pay the car fare of applicants.

4 Whenever possible, department has employer and girl meet at Y.W.C.A. for interview before employment.
8 The Y.W.C.A. uses the standards and follow-up procedure given in chart II and p. 33, for girls up to 22 years of age.


(Face p. 11.)

No. 2



The rates for day work quoted are $1.50 (El Paso, Tex.), $2 (Detroit,
Mich.), and $3 (Bayonne, N.J.). (See chart for details about car fare
and lunch.)
It is interesting to note the wide differences in the wages set, but
for the purpose of this study these are less significant than is the fact
that attempts have been made to standardize the wage in any one
community. It should be noted especially that the wages recom­
mended by the Young Women’s Christian Association of Seattle,
Wash., are graded according to the experience of the worker and the
amount of work required.

Three of the five standards that contain any provisions about hours
of work give hours for day work or for other part-time employment.
An 8-hour day is quoted for day workers. The two standards that
set hours for full-time workers make 8 and 10 hours, respectively, the
day for general houseworkers. During part of the 10-hour day, the
one standard states, it is expected that the worker will be “on call”;
the second adds to the 8-hour day, 1 to 2 hours extra “on call” if the
employer is out.
Time off

In 9 of the 14 communities, placement agencies ask that household
workers be given a definite amount of time off. The amount of time
off varies; in five cities the standards recommend alternate Sundays
and some additional time—an afternoon or evening or another entire
day. In one case a provision sets the hour at which the worker is to be
free on her day or afternoon off.
Living conditions

Standards relating to living conditions reported by agencies in five
communities all suggest that the worker be given a private room. In
one it is specified that the room must be in the house in which the girl
is employed and in another that it must not be in the basement unless
such basement is of the type known as English. Only one agency
stipulates that the employee shall be permitted daily use of a bath­

Since it seemed impossible to secure adequate information about all
placement methods and the enforcement of standards by a mailed
questionnaire, it was decided to request information on follow-up
after placement, because some follow-up is essential for enforcement
and is at least an indication of how effective the enforcement is.
Three of the 14 agencies replying on this point did no follow-up work
after placement, though one of these indicated that in one way its
standard was enforced, as with few exceptions it refused to place a
girl when a certain minimum wage was not given.
Details of the methods of follow-up are given in chart I; they vary
from a telephone call merely to ascertain if the applicant was accepted,
to personal calls in the home, and attempts to adjust difficulties that
42613°—S4------ 2




Standards for adult workers fixed by non-fee-charging employment
agencies have been discussed. Another type of requirement was
reported by two fee-charging agencies—the Boston Bureau of
Household Occupations and the Philadelphia Council on Household
, The Boston Bureau of Household Occupations supplied workers for
both part-time and resident domestic service. (From its organization
in May 1919 until September 1930, this bureau was under the auspices
of the Home Economics Department of the National Civic Federa­
tion. It is now an independent commercial agency.) By charging
a fee to both employer and employee the bureau assumes the respon­
sibility of supplying reliable help to employers and secures work at
a certain wage for employees. The hourly wage scale required for
various jobs is:
Hourly rate

General houseworker 40
Expert cook (not to be employed less than 6 hours)_________
Expert waitress (not to be employed less than 4 hours)______
Cook and serve (1 worker) 50
House opening; heavy cleaning 50
Dressmaking 50


In addition to fixing wage rates, the agency makes clear the practice
to be followed by employers in providing hour workers with meals and
car fare as follows:
The worker provides her own food and is allowed a half hour for her meal
when employed for more than 4 hours; or by mutual arrangement she may
receive her meals, for which she pays 15 cents for breakfast and 25 cents for
other meals.
She pays car fare when engaged for more than 4 hours.

The Philadelphia Council of Household Occupations not only aids
household employers to solve household problems but sets the follow­
ing employment standards, that applying to the wage being quite
1. Wage—“Aliving wage for every employee” with additional compensation
for skilled workers.
2. Time off—At least 1 hour a day and 1 whole day or 2 half days or the
equivalent a week. (A 54-hour week is recommended.)
3. Living conditions—A private room and access to a modern bathroom.

All placements are followed up by talks with the employer and
employee, separately, about 2 weeks after placement and by a further
check about 3 months later.

A few placement agencies that did not report standards for domestic
employment comparable to those discussed in the previous section
furnished information on attempts being made to improve the con­
ditions of such employment.
2 The latter agency is in no sense a commercial agency, the charge made for services being a fee for member­
ship in the organization paid by household employers.



Investigation for satisfactory and permanent placements

One method of improving these occupations is to make suitable
placements and thus eliminate much dissatisfaction, misunder­
standing, and friction. Even though this may be done without
improving working conditions, it necessarily must accompany im­
proved conditions. Two State employment agencies replied that
they investigated the homes of prospective employers before placing
a worker. A commercial placement bureau in Boston, through care­
ful investigation of the applicant and of an employer s requirements,
attempts to make permanent and satisfactory placements and follows
up such placements. The following statements by the owner of this
agency, a woman with years of experience in placement work, illus­
trate how carefully placement work may be conducted, and show the
importance of references to an employee.
Personal interview of applicant.—A personal interview with each individual
applicant for registration is necessary, during which the history of the person,
experience, training, and fitness for the position applied for is thoroughly dis­
cussed. If the applicant has had previous experience, a telephone conversation
if possible or a letter from former and recent employers will check up the abovementioned data, from which applicant is classified accordingly. If these creden­
tials are found unsatisfactory in certain respects, another personal interview
with applicant will present these phases for discussion, and the bureau will act
as an adviser or adjuster in the matter before placement is possible. If the
applicant is inexperienced, personal references for character from reliable sources
are required, and the bureau then suggests the best opportunity for the applicant
t0Smethod of service is offered, also, to women untrained in any particular
field, who are forced into the business world again to take their places as
workers. When termination of service is desired by either employer or employee
our bureau requires each one respectively to give a week s notice.

As homes cannot be standardized, neither can the domestic worker be standard­
ized. One can readily understand the problem in recommending workers from
one home to the other. The so-called standard of the workers of the present
day is maintained in requiring references for long, continuous, satisfactory,
and efficient service from each individual. For those who cannot qualify in
this respect, we offer them the opportunity to start anew m the right direction
and keep them on a probationary list until they can measure up to the standard
maintained by the bureau. In case of failure to meet these requirements,_ appli­
cants are directed to other sources of employment best suited to their individual
needs. To maintain the standards of homes peculiar to each we require fair con­
ditions and hours for service, sanitary living conditions, humane consideration,
and standard wages for understood standard work. If we find conditions of
service in some homes difficult for the worker to meet, we suggest from our
experience of other homes such changes as are conducive to the best interests of
all concerned. If there are homes that do not feel interested to cooperate with
the bureau in this regard, we feel we cannot recommend workers to them and
sacrifice their morale; this also applies to unscrupulous employees and vice versa.
Definite information provided employee about positions offered. When an order
for permanent, temporary, or day work is given by an employer, specified work
to be done, hours of work and recreation, living conditions, and wages for the
position are entered into thoroughly before an appointment with the applicant
recommended is possible. These above-mentioned details of position are discussed
thoroughly with qualified applicants before appointment to eliminate all disin­
terested and needless appointments. Vacations have not become a required fac­
tor in domestic work and are therefore optional with employers, who form a
small percentage of this class, I should say not over 10 percent m normal times and
much less during these last three years of depression. The hours of the livi-ng-m
domestic are not regulated according to any standard that can be enforced, so
most of them are working 14 hours and over daily, with 1 afternoon off weekly
after lunch, and every other Sunday or 1 day off every 2 weeks in country



Follow-up.—During the trial period of 10 days and after 1 month’s service,
follow-up work is effected by a telephone conversation or personal visit with
employer to establish the permanency and satisfaction of placement. This
service is rendered the employee in a personal visit to the office, during her time
off during the trial period, and 95 percent avail themselves of this opportunity
with our bureau.

Adjustment of difficulties

The adjustment by the placement agency of difficulties that arise
between employers and employees was emphasized as one phase of
the work of another commercial agency, which stated:
We follow up after placements if there is dissatisfaction—either with em­
ployer or employee. We frequently have maids report to the office if they be­
come dissatisfied. We try to adjust matters satisfactorily to both employer
and employee.

Coordination of training and placement

Household employment includes forms of work other than the
general housework to which this study has been restricted almost
entirely. Some phases of this require more training and skill than
others. The care of the sick at home and the care of the home
during illness, often done by untrained persons, are services that can
be performed much more satisfactorily if some training has been
received. When training and placement agencies work more closely
together, work standards may be developed and enforced more
easily. While no attempt has been made here to describe and analyze
various training projects, three cases are cited as examples of the
efforts of community agencies to improve the status of household
employees both by training them for their jobs and by regulating
the conditions under which they work.
Household Nursing Association, Boston, Mass.—The work of the
Household Nursing Association of Boston in training and placing
attendant nurses is described here because it shows the possibility of
developing employment standards when the activities of training
and placement are united in one agency.
After 58 weeks of training—6 weeks as a preliminary course learning
how to keep a home running smoothly and how to buy and cook food
for the patient and the family, and 52 weeks in affiliated hospitals and
training in bedside nursing—the attendant nurse is placed for 24
weeks of supervised field duty. During this time each case is visited
weekly by one of the registered nurses on the staff of the association.
Upon the completion of the course the agency places attendant
nurses under the very detailed standards following:

The wage of the attendant nurse is $25 a week. When the case lasts 4 days
or less, the wage is $4 a day. When the case lasts more than 4 days, the wage
is $3.60 a day. For 6 hours’ service a day’s wage may be charged. For 3
hours’ service one half day’s wage may be charged. On normal post-natal
cases the wage is $28 a week until the baby is 4 weeks old. After this, the wage
is reduced to $25 a week. On cases where there are two bed patients the wage
is $28 a week. The registry charges a placement fee of $2 for every case filled.
One dollar is deducted if the attendant nurse remains less than 3 days.

On 24-hour duty the attendant nurse sleeps in or near the patient’s room,
subject to call. A separate bed must be provided. We ask that our attendant



nurses have 2 hours off duty daily at the convenience of the family. If the
attendant nurse is called more than twice at night, she should have extra
time off duty during the day to make up her sleep. Time given to attend
church must be included in time-off duty. On 12-hour duty the attendant nurse
works steadily for 12 hours with only time off for necessary meals. She is then
free for 12 hours and must get 8 hours’ sleep during this time.

Car fare
On 12-hour duty, if it is more convenient for the family to have the attendant
nurse sleep outside the house, the necessary car fares must be added to her

The family is always responsible for the attendant nurse’s breakfast, dinner,
and supper, whether she is on 12- or 24-hour duty. If the family prefers to have
any of these meals taken outside the house, the attendant nurse must include an
itemized bill for meals with the bill for her services. On night duty the family
is responsible for the attendant nurse’s breakfast and supper and should provide
food for a lunch during the night.

Duties in the house
The duties vary according to the household and the condition of the patient.
The attendant nurse should make herself useful in the house but can only
be expected to do light housework, such as dry mopping and dusting. She can­
not be expected to do heavy sweeping or wash floors except in the bathroom.

The attendant nurse will wash and iron small things for her patient or for an
infant. Washing or ironing any of the family laundry is outside her duties.

She will prepare all the patient’s meals and do simple cooking for a small
family but cannot be expected to do all the cooking in a large household.

Care of children
Tf, besides the patient, there are young children in the family, she cannot
take entire charge of them without assistance.

The attendant nurse should not use the patient’s telephone or give the number
to her friends.
The attendant nurses are told not to give their private telephone numbers or
addresses to patients or doctors. They can always be reached through the
registry office.
You are always free to call the office for help or advice.
from a supervisor, she will come without charge.

If you wish a visit

This agency, through the coordination of training and placements,
has developed performance standards for the employee and standard
work conditions to be supplied by the employer. Unfortunately
some training projects for domestic work have set performance stand­
ards for the employee without securing standard working conditions
from the employer.
Community Employment Service, Atlanta, Ga —The training of Negro
workers in a Southern State, though it involves many difficulties,
has been undertaken by the Community Employment Service of
Atlanta, Ga. Free teaching and free placement have been made
available through a grant from the Julius Rosenwald Foundation
and the support of the Community Employment Service (a commun­
ity chest agency), the Federal Employment Service, the State Voca­
tional Board, and the City Health Department.
Applicants for positions at the Community Employment Service
are told of the school and advised to attend, During 1931 at least



one third of them did so. Six-week courses are given for both men
and women, and the applicant has the privilege of a free medical
examination (not compulsory). After the training period, positions
are secured through the placement agency and a follow-up of the place­
ment is made. Thus far performance standards have been empha­
sized and the follow-up work has been largely to determine whether
or not the worker’s services were satisfactory. Both parties are re­
quested to report to the placement agency. The employer is asked
to fill out a form reporting on the applicant’s work and attitudes. To
a certain extent, in this training school and placement bureau for
household service, attendance at the school takes the place of the allimportant personal references, especially for workers who are new in
the city. It was understood from the first that no effort should be
made to set wages in connection with this training project. In
January 1932 there was reported to be no generally accepted wage
scale in the community, though cooks and day workers were said to
come nearer having one than any of the others. The following figures
were given to show about what the variation in wage payment was
at that time:
General houseworker, $6 per week in 1-servant household
Nurse, $8 to $10 a week
Cook, $8 to $10 a week

Young Women’s Christian Association, Duluth, Minn.—A third
training project reported involves the cooperation of the placement
agency in securing wage increases for increased skill. The Young
Women’s Christian Association of Duluth states that some house­
wives willingly cooperate, using their homes for training. Inex­
perienced girls are placed in these homes for 1 month at a low wage
with the understanding that they will be given 1 hour of training
daily in household duties. At the end of the month the girl is given
a reference as to ability and character and if her work is satisfactory
she is either retained at the training home at a higher wage or placed
in another position at a higher wage.
Informal discussion and follow-up

Giving information and advice to prospective employers and em­
ployees is an informal method of suggesting standards for employ
ment even though they are not enforced. According to the replies
received in connection with the present study, this is often done by
Young Women’s Christian Association placement secretaries. Al­
though little information was furnished about just what these informal
recommendations were, the following, from the association at Houston
(placing white workers), undoubtedly applies in other associations:
We have no set form or list of recommendations, but when taking an employer’s
order for a domestic we question her carefully concerning the kind of work to be
done; whether it includes cooking, cleaning, child nursing, laundry; whether the
room is in the house or in servant quarters, the amount of the wage to be paid;
whether the worker will have a separate room or share it with some member of
the family (many child nurses sleep in the room with the child or small children,
and sometimes a maid is required to wait on an aged member of the family and
share her room). Vacations and regulated hours of work are almost unheard of
locally, although a few individual employers have provided for this, usually in
homes where there is more than one worker. We do tell employers that it is
difficult to obtain workers where they are expected to do the laundry as well as
the housework, or where the wage offered is lower than the accepted standard for
the type of worker desired or the skill required, and we do recommend that work­



ers usually have one afternoon and evening a week off and a second afternoon or
evening, or sometimes a second afternoon and evening off each week.

The recommendations of the association in Yakima, Wash., are
more definite and constitute standards for employment, even though
they are not enforced by refusal to place a worker unless adherence
is promised. The association makes the following recommendations:
Maximum hours per week, 54.
One free day after lunch, afternoon and evening together if possible. Some
free time Sunday.
One week’s vacation with pay if they have worked in one place a year.
A room for herself.
A frank understanding about work, hours off, and so forth, when the girl is
employed, then both will have some definite plan to work on.

A few State employment agencies also reported that they made
recommendations. The two that were definite on this point replied
that these pertained to a minimum wage. They were Waterbury,
Conn., and Albuquerque, N.Mex., where $5 a week in addition to
board and room was recommended for general housework.3 In
Albuquerque 25 cents an hour for day work is suggested.
Follow-up, discussed in connection with standards and with other
special procedures, was often reported by agencies that were not tak­
ing other special action. Only 9 of the 47 Young Women’s Christian
Associations replying that they placed household employees did no
follow-up work. Telephoning the employer and employee to see if
each is satisfied is the method most often used, although in some
associations social-educational activities are arranged for domestic
workers and an attempt is made to keep a contact with the girls
placed. Study groups for employers, training classes for employees,
and the formulation of work schedules by employers are other educa­
tional measures sometimes undertaken.4
Of the 42 State employment agencies replying, 27 reported some
type of follow-up work after placement. This is largely an inquiry
or report as to whether or not the applicant has been accepted and
the employer satisfied, although in some cases personal interviews
are held, inquiries are made about wages and working conditions, or
the employee is asked to report to the office on her afternoon off.
3 Although board and room are not mentioned in the Waterbury reply, undoubtedly they are included.
4 One Y.W.C.A. reported that it had developed a code of ethics for employees.

Special action of some kind to regulate working conditions in
household employment for employees 21 years of age or under was
reported by 29 placement agencies in 22 cities and 14 States.1 Of
these, 19 agencies were using standards to which they required the
adherence of the enjployer before making a placement, and 10 were
recommending certain standards or attempting to regulate working
conditions in various other ways. In some instances, girls of 21 or
under are covered also by the standards discussed in parts III and V
of this report, but in the following pages standards that are primarily
for girls of 21 years or under are presented. Naturally, it is true
that occasionally girls over 21 are placed according to these standards.
The pages following contain a brief statement about the agencies
that reported their placement practices, in some instances including
the type of action they have taken on this matter; an analysis of
the standard used; a description of the recommendations and spe­
cial placement procedure used by agencies that have not estab­
lished such standards; and a discussion of the follow-up methods
in use.


Alameda County (the cities of Berkeley and Oakland being included).—
The agencies of Alameda County placing girls under 21, with the
cooperation of other community organizations formulated general
standards of household employment in the school year 1930-31 for
the girl under 21 who lives in her employer’s home, and also for the
girl under 21 who does not live in her employer’s home. Some
agencies began using these standards in the spring of 1931. They
are endorsed by the Adult Probation Office of Alameda County;
Alameda High School; Associated Charities of Oakland; Berkeley
Indian Center (United States); Big Sisters of Alameda County, Ltd.;
Catholic Ladies’ Aid Society, Inc. (children’s agency); Jewish Feder­
ation of Oakland; Junior Employment Office of Berkeley Public
Schools; Junior Employment Office of Oakland Public Schools;
Junior Probation Office of Alameda County; Parent-Teacher Asso­
ciation (sixteenth district); Social Service Board of Alameda;
Sonoma State Home; and Welfare Board of Southern Alameda
County. Two of these—the junior employment offices of the
Berkeley and the Oakland public schools—furnished the information
that is used in this study. Under business conditions prevailing in
1 Four agencies placing Indian girls reported standards with requirements similar to these. They are
not included here because they cover both adult and junior workers and because problems peculiar to these
workers have forced the placement agencies to assume a great deal of responsibility for the worker placed.
This would be impossible for most placement agencies.
2 For descriptions of placement work for juniors, see Vocational Guidance and Junior Placement, Chil­
dren’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor, Bui. No. 149, 1925; or Vocational Guidance, Report of Sub­
committee on Vocational Guidance of the White House Conference on Child Health and Protection.
Century Co., 1932.




1931 and 1932, the adopted standards, especially as applied to wages,
had to be lowered in some cases.
Long Beach.—The Women’s Unemployment Relief Committee on
February 25, 1932, called a meeting of free and commercial employ­
ment agencies placing women. Standards that the agencies found
prevalent and were trying to adhere to were discussed. A standard
for mothers’ helpers, usually girls under 21 years of age, was included.
(For list of agencies, see chart I.)
Los Angeles—Three standards that apply to junior workers were
1. The Foster-Home Placement Committee, the Child Welfare
Committee, and the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles Council
of Social Agencies adopted Standards for Work Homes in December
1930. (Appendix IV, pp. 64-67.) These standards apply to children
over 16 years of age who are living in their employer’s home and
attend school for at least half a day on each school day. Children
under 16 who are away from their own homes are protected by law
and by the standards of the State Department of Social Welfare,
published under the title “The Minimum Requirements for Family
Boarding Homes for Children.”
2. The Junior Employment Service of the Los Angeles City Schools
uses the standards for Work Homes of the Los Angeles Council of
Social Agencies as the basis for its standards. These cover girls over
16 and under 21 placed by the schools.
3. The Los Angeles Junior College, in the city school system, in
January 1930 adopted standards for its girl students working in
private homes for room and board. These standards were reported
to the Women’s Bureau by the dean of women in this institution.
Although more like the college standards, they are included here
because most girls attending junior colleges are under 21.
Pasadena.—The department of Junior Placement of the Continua­
tion High School (a part of the public-school system) has standards
for household employment for high school or junior college girls
attending school full time and living in the home where employed.
San Francisco.—The Non-Family Girl and Woman Standard Em­
ployment Committee of the Relief Council of the Community Chest
developed in December 1931 a standard scale of wages for different
types of household workers and household work. This scale con­
tains standards for school girls. The cooperating placement agencies
are the State Free Employment Bureau; Young Women’s Christian
Association; Junior Employment Service; Women’s Employment
Aid (middle-aged women); Guardian Club; Women’s Employment
Relief (Moulders School). Although the Women’s Bureau reviewed
material from the first three agencies listed, only the third—the
Junior Employment Service—is considered as limited to workers
under 21 years of age.

Chicago. The Vocational Guidance Bureau of the Board of
Education has no fixed set of standards that must be met before a
girl is placed in household employment, but the employer must supply
certain information as to living conditions, hours, and wages to the
placement officer before a girl will be recommended to her. The
employer is given some suggestions about working and living con­



ditions. Girls under 17 attending continuation school 1 day a week
and full-time school girls who work after school hours caring for
children are the only girls placed in household employment by this

Wichita.—The Young Women’s Christian Association reported a
standard that includes the maximum hours to be worked and a rate
for overtime. This is used in placing school girls (both college and
secondary) working for board and room. The placement officer
discusses other phases of the employment relationship with the
prospective employer.

Boston.—The Placement Bureau of the Vocational Guidance
Department of the Boston School Committee deals only with part­
time domestic workers who act as mothers’ helpers or take care of
children. No employment standards are set. Their placement pro­
cedure is to recommend that the girl’s mother accompany her to the
home of the prospective employer.

Detroit.—The Department of Guidance and Placement of the public
schools reports that it has used a set of wage standards for household
employment for a number of years. In the fall of 1930, under the
leadership of this organization, several community agencies formu­
lated a wage scale for girls 15 to 21 years of age. Organizations repre­
sented at the meeting were:
Social agencies.—Girls’ Protective League, Mothers’ Pension
Department, Wayne County Juvenile Court, Wayward Minor Court.
Free employment agencies.—Detroit Council of Churches, League of
Catholic Women, Michigan State Employment Department, Young
Women’s Hebrew Association, Young Women’s Christian Association.
Board of Education.—Placement Department, Attendance Depart­
In 1932 it was reported that monthly meetings of the agencies
cooperating in this plan were held and that the standards were changed
as conditions changed. The ones analyzed in this study are those
reported by the Guidance and Placement Department of the public
schools and the Y.W.C.A. as in force in February 1932. The following
placement agencies were using them: Guidance and Placement
Department of the public schools, Michigan State Employment
Office, Young Women’s Christian Association, and Young Women’s
Hebrew Association. They are endorsed also by the mayor’s unem­
ployment committee. Furthermore, early in 1932, through a city­
wide committee, activities were undertaken to develop more complete
standards for household employment. 3

Minneapolis.—1. The public schools have standards for school
girls who live in their employers’ homes.
2. The Big Sisters Association has definite recommendations used
in placing school girls for part-time work.
3. The Lutheran Welfare Society reported that it had standards
for placing girls in household employment, but did not give their*
* The standards developed by this committee are given in appendix IV, p. 60.



content. The employment procedure reported by this agency is
discussed on page 31.

Kansas City.—There is a training school for colored housemaids
in the public schools. A few work requirements are made in placing
the girls trained.
St. Louis.—1. The Division of Vocational Counseling of the Board
of Education refuses to place anyone in household employment, but
refers students who desire such work to a case-work agency because
the latter has the machinery for investigating homes and for doing
careful follow-up work.
2. The Big Sisters and Girls’ Protective Association has standards
for placing girls in household employment. It reports careful follow­
up work.
New York

The Division of Junior Placement of the State Department of
Labor and Industry does the placement work of the schools in several
cities. Although they have no standards that they consider require­
ments, they try to secure certain conditions for household employment.
New York City.—For more than 3 years the Girls’ Service League
has had standards that are used in placing girls in household employ­
ment. Most of the persons placed are young girls.

Cincinnati.-—Standards for full-time household employment for
girls from 16 to 21 years old who are no longer attending school were
adopted in January 1932 by a household employment committee
appointed by the commissioner of welfare and the supervisor of the
junior placement bureau. They are used as recommendations rather
than requirements. The establishment of these standards led to the
development of training courses. The community agencies cooper­
ating in this project are: Cincinnati Catholic Women’s Association,
Cincinnati College Club, Cincinnati Woman’s Club, Consumers’
League, Council of Jewish Women, Junior Placement Bureau, Paro­
chial Schools (vocational department), Public Schools (vocational
educational department and household arts department), United
Jewish Social Agencies, University of Cincinnati (school of household
administration), Vocational Counselor, Woman’s City Club, Ruth
Lodge, and Young Women’s Christian Association. The information
used in this study was supplied by the Junior Placement Bureau.
Cleveland.—The Jane Addams School, a girls’ vocational school of
the public-school system, since 1924-25 has followed definite standards
for the placement of girls in household employment.

Portland.—Since 1928-29 the deans of Portland high schools and
the Department of Vocational Education of the Portland public schools
have used standards for placing school girls in household service. It
is reported that some exceptions to the wage standards had to be made
in the fall of 1931.

Philadelphia.—The Bureau of Compulsory Education and the
Junior Employment Service (both of the Board of Education) super­



vise young girls engaged in household employment. The Bureau of
Compulsory Education before granting a work permit to a girl
between the ages of 14 and 16 years investigates'the girl’s own home
and the home in which she is seeking permission to be employed.
Employment standards are said to be enforced. The Junior Employ­
ment Service cooperates in handling these cases and in addition
inspects places of employment of girls from 16 to 21 years of age,
making certain recommendations for this work. (See p. 31.)
Reading.—The Labor Certification Office of the continuation school
reports that it has certain requirements regarding home conditions
that must be met before a girl 14 and under 16 years of age is granted a
permit for domestic home work.
Rhode Island
Providence.—The Department of Research and Guidance of the
Providence Public Schools has no definitely formulated standards for
domestic work, though certain suggestions are made in the interview
with an employer applying for a worker. The department advises
the girl to take her mother with her when she interviews a prospective
employer. Pupils between the ages of 14 and 21 are placed, most of
them for a few hours’ work after school. However, some full-time
workers are placed.
Seattle.—In 1930 the Placement and Guidance Bureau of the Seattle
Public Schools developed standards for household employment:
(1) For school girls who are attending school regularly from 5 to 6
hours a day and working in homes for room and board and some com­
pensation; and (2) For continuation school girls, and those between
18 and 21 years of age. The wage standards reported in March 1932
were lower than those first developed, but even these were impossible
to maintain in all cases during 1931-32.
In Wisconsin the minimum-wage law for minors covers domestic
workers and is enforced by school and State placement agencies.
This is a legal requirement. (See appendix II, p. 54.)
In addition, standards similar to those included in chart II were
received from one school in the State, but they are not included here
because it was requested that no publicity be given.
Twenty-seven types of action regulating conditions of household
employment are cited in the preceding section. Of these there are
17 cases where the action taken is the use of standards for wages,
hours, or working conditions (in most cases all 3). With one
exception, Cincinnati, these were reported as being requirements
that must be met before a girl was placed.4 The Cincinnati recom­
mendations are included because in form and content they are com­
parable to these requirements.
These standards for girls 21 years of age or under were reported
from 16 cities in 10 States—California, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota,
4 At the time these standards were reported, the spring of 1932, the replies stated that unsettled eco­
nomic conditions made their enforcement difficult, so it is practically certain that they have been modified
since that time.


II.—Employment standards for workers in household employment—girls SI years of age or under living in employer’s home 1

[The provisions and wording of the standards given, with few exceptions, are as reported to the Women’s Bureau early in 1932. The terms are unstandardized. For information on adoption and use see pp. 18-22, 32-33
Payment in addition to
board and room


Locality and agency 2

Work requirements

Time off

Living conditions

California, Alameda County:
Committee on household em­
ployment for girls.

California, Los Angeles:
Council of social agencies. (For
children over 16 years of age
who attend school for at least
one half of the day.)

California, Los Angeles:
junior employment service, city
schools. (For girls over 16
years of age.)
California, Los Angeles:
Junior College--------

California, Pasadena:
City schools........ .

21 to 28 hours of work a week.
6:30 a.m. earliest rising hour. Work
completed by 8 p.m. May be asked
to care for children 3 out of 7 eve­
nings a week. At no time should
this responsibility keep her up past
11 p.m.

Not less than $10 a month.. “Work is defined as that time which is definitely assigned
for the performance of some particular duty which pre­
vents the girl from following her own pursuits.”
“Since conditions in homes differ, it is impossible to list
the duties which should be assigned. However, no girl
should be required to do work beyond her strength, such
as heavy lifting, heavy washing, or heavy cleaning.”

The equivalent of not less than 2 evenings and 1 afternoon a week off

A room of her own, if possible.

Not more than one half hour of work
before school and 3 hours after school.
Four hours on Saturday is the maxi­
6:30 a.m. earliest rising hour. Retire
9:30 to 10 p.m., by which time les­
sons must have been prepared for
following day’s classes.

$10 to $15 a month, accord­
ing to age of child and
amount of service ren­

A definite written schedule of duties drawn up before em­
ployment. General scrubbing, family washing, family
ironing, and full responsibility for cooking are not to be
included as duties.

One afternoon or evening each week,
or its equivalent, away from the
work home.
Every other Sunday, all day, or the
afternoon and evening of every Sun­
day. The same applies to holidays.

Individual bed; wholesome,
nutritious diet, etc. (Other
requirements about hous­
ing and family conditions
found in appendix IV, see
pp. 64 to 67.)

Not more than 28 hours of work a
6 a.m. earliest rising hour. Work comleted by 8 p.m. Latest retiring
our 10 p.m.

Not less than $10 a month... Duties may include all kinds of light housework and the
care and entertainment of children but not heavy scrub­
bing or general family washing and ironing. A definite
work schedule is recommended.

California, San Francisco:
Relief council_______ ____ _____
Kansas, Wichita:
Young Women’s Christian As­

Before and after school.

Ohio, Cleveland:
Jane Addams School

Oregon, Portland:
Public schools.

(High school

(Face p. 23)

“Working time is that time which is definitely assigned to
some particular duty which prevents a girl from follow­
ing her own pursuits on the premises.”
“Since the conditions in each home vary, it is impossible
to list duties which would be assigned. But under no
condition should a girl be required to do such work as
heavy lifting, heavy washing, or heavy cleaning.”
Girl may expect that her work will be arranged on some
regular schedule, so that she will have time for her studies
every day.

A room to herself, suitably
equipped for study.

The equivalent of not less than 2 eve­
nings and 1 afternoon a week off
duty. Girl should be allowed an
occasional week-end with her family
and be granted church or equivalent

Girl may expect to have a
separate sleeping room, and
a quiet, wrell-lighted, wellheated place for study.

1 afternoon or evening; Sundays.
Weekly school hours.
Wage to be paid discussed
with employer before —............-.................................................................... —
placement. Overtime at
rate of 20 or 30 cents an

Discussed with employer before placement.

Minimum, $2 a week if no
car fare or lunch money is
required. If transporta­
tion is necessary, $3 a week
is minimum.

1 afternoon a week and either every
other Sunday all day, or every Sun­
day afternoon and evening.

4 hours on school days, preferably after
school; 5 hours on Sunday; 8 hours
on Saturday. Retire not later than
10 o’clock.

Not less than $2 a week____ None specified. Placement official stated, however, that:
“ We aim not to place a girl where she will have to do the

Recommends a free period from 2 to 5
o’clock on Saturday.

Girl should be undisturbed from 9
p.m. to 6:30 a.m. Ordinarily not to
work after 8 p.m.

Decided upon before place­

Decided upon before placement. No girl under 18 should
have the responsibility of a family washing though she
may be permitted to assist.

Decided upon before placement. Rec­
ommends the equivalent of 2H days
and 2 evenings and nights a week
in her own home.

Decided upon before place­
ment. A room of her own.
A day-bed or in-a-door not

From 21 to 28 hours of work a week.
6:30 a.m., earliest rising hour.
Work to be completed by 8 p.m.
Retire usually at 10 o’clock and
never later than 10:30 on school

From $5 upward a month
depending on experience
and ability. Customary
wage, $10 a month. Early
in 1932 more likely to be
only $5.

Same as for Pasadena city schools..........................................

Same as for Pasadena city schools.

Same as for Pasadena city

Not more than 26 hours of work a

For footnotes see end of chart.

From $10 upward a month
depending on experience
and ability and hours of

Full day

Michigan, Detroit:
Several cooperating free employ
ment agencies.

Minnesota, Minneapolis:
Public schools---------

From 8 to 10:30 every night, except
Friday and Saturday, for study.

Average of 3 hours’ wTork a day. If
“more time is required on Satur­
days less will be expected on other
days, or the wages will be increased.”
Arrangement of Sunday work to be
satisfactory to both parties.
From 21 to 28 hours of work a w eek
according to wage paid.
6 a.m. earliest rising hour. Work to be
completed by 8 p.m. Retire usually
at 10 o'clock, and never later than
10:30 on school nights.

I afternoon and evening each week and Wholesome, nutritious food
every other Sunday, all day, or the
and a pleasant place to eat
afternoon and evening of every Sun- |
it; an individual bed and
preferably a room to heri

No. 1

Discussed with employer
before placement.


Locality and agency 1

II.—Employment standards for workers in household employment—girls 21 years of age or under living in employer's home 1—Continued
Payment in addition to
board and room


Work requirements

Time off

Living conditions

Friday or Saturday evening; Saturday
afternoon from 2 to 5 o’clock, and
Sunday morning or afternoon, or the
Occasional evenings
for parties or plays. During holi­
days a girl should be expected to
perform only her usual duties unless
arrangement is made to pay extra
for her extra time.

Girl may expect to have a
separate sleeping room
comfortable for study.

Washington, Seattle:
Public schools. __

1 hour of work in morning; 1 or 2 hours
before dinner; 1 hour after dinner.
5 evenings a week to stay with chil­
dren but with time and opportunity
for study.

$1 to $3 a week or $5 to $12 a
month depending upon
the duties required and
the amount of time given.

“Working time" definition same as quoted in Pasadena
“ The work may include care of children, washing of dishes,
helping to prepare meals, serving meals, sweeping, dust­
ing, ironing, and light washing, but not to take full
charge of family washing.
“Under no circumstances should a school girl be re­
quested to do heavy lifting, heavy laundry work such
as sheets, blankets; nor should she be required to do
heavy cleaning, such as scrubbing on her hands and
Girl may expect that the work will be so planned and
scheduled that she may know what is expected of her

California, Alameda County:
Committee on household em­
ployment for girls.

California, Los Angeles:
Council of social agencies. (For
children over 16 years of age
who attend school for at least
one half of the day.)
California, Los Angeles:
Junior employment service.

California, San Francisco:
Relief council. (Part-time school
girls working one half time.)

Maximum, 35 hours of work a week.
(The hours suggested for rising, re­
tiring, and completion of day’s
work, and care of children in eve­
ning, same as under I.).

Not less than $15 to $20 a
month, depending upon
experience and ability.

Same as under I.

Same as under I..


Employed one half day on school days
and all day Saturday. (The hours
suggested for rising, retiring, and
completion of day’s work, same as
under I.)

Minimum, $15 a month____

Work schedule: Before school; from
2 p.m. every day (except day and
afternoon or evening off); full day

$10 to $15 a month_________


From 8 to 2 o’clock for school. 1 day
and an afternoon or evening weekly.

California, Alameda County:
Committee on household em­
ployment for girls. (School 4
hours a week.)
California, Los Angeles:
Junior employment service.
(School 4 hours a week.)
Michigan, Detroit:
Several cooperating free employ­
ment agencies. (Girls 15-16
years attending school 1 day a
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia:
Public schools, bureau of com­
pulsory education. (Girls 14­
16 years.)

Maximum, 48 hours of work a week.
(The hours suggested for rising, re­
tiring, and completion of day’s
work, and care of children in evening
same as under I.)

Not less than $20 to $35 a
month, depending on ex­
perience and ability.

Not more than 44 hours of work a
week. (The hours for rising, retir­
ing, and completion of day’s work,
same as under I.)

$25 to $35 or more a month,
depending upon her abil­
ity and the work required
of her.

No hours specified. Time to be
worked given as 5H days a week.

Minimum, $4 a week..

Same as under I..


Same as under I_______________ ____

Same as under I. Schedule to include
ample time for girl to study or for
necessary rest between 6 a.m. and
10 p.m.


1 day a week to attend school and 1
afternoon a week to herself.

No heavy laundry or heavy cleaning.

One half day a week in addition to her
continuation school day, and some
free time every afternoon.

Sleeping quarters inspected
by agent of board of public

For footnotes see end of chart.

(Face p. 23.)

No. 2


IT.—Employment standards for workers in household employment—girls 21 years of age or under living in employer's home —Continued
Payment in addition to
board and room


Locality and agency

Work requirements

Time off

Living conditions

Washington, Seattle:
Public schools. (For continua­
tion-school girls and those be­
tween 18 and 21 years of age.)

Work hours approximately 6:30 a.m.
to 7:30 p.m. with a period of rest in
the afternoon. 4 or 5 evenings a
week at employer’s home.

$15 to $35 a month, depend­
ing upon her age, ability,
and experience and the
size of the house and the
number of members in the
In general, a girl of 15 or 16
should receive from $15 to
$20 a month but should
not be expected to do the
work for this wage in a
house of 7 or 8 rooms un­
less she receives help from
members of the family. A
girl from 18 to 21 should
receive from $20 to $35,
depending upon ability
and experience.

“Working time” definition same as quoted in Pasadena
entry. (See I.)
“The work should include assisting with the care of chil­
dren, helping to prepare meals or cooking simple meals,
washing dishes, serving, ironing, sweeping, dusting,
washing which does not include sheets and blankets.
“Heavy cleaning, heavy lifting, or entire family washings
should not be expected * *
The girl may expect that the work be planned and regu­

morning or afternoon during the
week to attend continuation school,
if under 18 years of age; 1 morning or
afternoon in addition; 1 or 2evenings
a week; either the noon or evening
meal on Sunday with the morning
or afternoon that goes with it.
(Note also period of rest each after­
noon under “Hours.”)

Girl may expect a comforta­
ble sleeping room, separate
from the children.

California, Alameda County:
Committee on household em­
ployment for girls.
California, Long Beach:
A group of free and commercial
employment agencies.
California, Los Angeles:
Junior employment service.
(Girls between 18 and 21 years
of age.)
California, San Francisco:
Relief council_______ _______ _
Michigan, Detroit:
Several cooperating free employ­
ment agencies.
(Girls 17
years and over, or 16 years
released from school.)
Missouri, St. Louis:
Big sisters and girls’ protective
(Places under­
privileged, unadjusted, and
problem girls of from 16 to 20
years. Employer responsible
for conduct and training.)

No specific mention of job or duties given, but designated
on schedule as “Mother’s helpers.”

A private room.
noon and evening a week.
Same as under I

Same as under I.

No specific mention of job or duties given but designated
on schedule as “Mother’s helper.”
1 afternoon and evening a week and
either every other Sunday all day,
or every Sunday afternoon and
Rest periods during the day. 1 or 2
afternoons and evenings a week
free. Allowed to attend church on
Sunday if she desires.

Until October 1931, insisted
that girl have her own room
but conditions have com­
pelled agencies to accept
homes where girl occupies
a roll-a-way or day-bed in
living room if place to dress
in privacy and drawer and
closet space are provided.

“Not less than $35 a month
and maintenance for un­
skilled workers. ” (Rarely
have calls of or for skilled

One half day a week and every other
Simday. Ask that girl be free from
the time luncheon dishes are finished
on the half day off and after 10 a.m.
on Sundays.

A separate sleeping room.

Recommends that working schedules for the day and the
Minimum weekly wage:
week be drawn up and that employer-employee agree­
(a) Unskilled, $5
(b) Semiskilled. $7 to $8.. ments be adopted.
(c) Skilled, $10_______

1 day after 10 a.m., preferably Thursday. 1 day after 3 p.m. preferably
Sunday. 1 evening after 8. Vaca-

Single bed, private room,
tub or shower conveniently
located for bathing.

From $20 to $35 a month, de­
pending upon ability and

See III. Time for continuationschool attendance is omitted.

Definite number of working hours not
insisted on but work day must not
begin before 7 a.m. or end later than
8 p.m.

“Because some of the
girls * * * are of lim­
ited mentality and limited
ability, we place girls at a
minimum wage of $3 per
If cooking and
laundry work is done $25
a month is minimum.

Length of working day discussed be­
fore placement.

New York, New York City:
Girls’ service league____

Ohio, Cincinnati:
Household employment

Same as under I.


Ohio, Cleveland:
Jane Addams School---------------Washington, Seattle:
Public schools. (Girls between
18 and 21 years of age.)

Unless employer has electric washing machine, never
place a girl where all the laundry is expected of her.
Unless there is other help in the family, do not place girl
where there are more than 3 children.

of service; 2 weeks with pay after 2
or more years of service.
Same as under I.
Same as under III.

1 Although girls wTho do not live in may be placed under these standards, the inclusion of board and room as payment implies that most of them do so. Special provisions for the girl who does not live in her employer’s home are
given in a few cases. (See pp. 28 to 30 ) Girls over 21 sometimes are placed.
2 In Alameda County, Long Beach, and San Francisco, Calif., Detroit, Mich., and Cincinnati, Ohio, more than 1 placement agency uses the same standards. In some cases, more than 1 of the agencies supplied information. (See
pp. 18 to 21.)
3 The only standard included in this chart, all of which was reported as being a recommendation.
* $10 has been allowed as the minimum monthly rate of pay: Where the work is very light; at summer cottages on the beach where a girl is given ample opportunity for recreation; or in situations where the girl needs supervising.

(Face p. 23.)

No. 3



Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington.
Eight of the cities are in the States on the Pacific coast—6 in Cali­
fornia, 1 in Oregon, and 1 in Washington—and with a single exception
each of the remaining cities represents 1 State. One agency reported
placing 926 girls under its standards in 1 year. Information on this
point was secured from only 4 others; these placed, in 1931, from
118 to 263 girls.
Eight of the standards were developed and are enforced by city
public schools; 6 through the cooperation of various community place­
ment agencies; and 3 by social agencies. It is significant that of the
12 standards for which the date of adoption was reported, 9 were
developed after 1929. All the standards of groups of community
employment and placement agencies were developed after 1929,
usually as attempts to keep conditions in household employment
from being completely demoralized, due to an oversupply of persons
seeking this type of work. Eleven of these standards are in printed
or mimeographed form for convenient distribution.

Girls working part time and attending school on a full-time or a
half-time schedule, those in continuation schools, and those who are
working full time are. the four groups covered by these standards.
The provisions listed in chart II are for girls who live in their em­
ployers’ homes; in some standards special provisions are included
for girls who live elsewhere. (See pp. 28 to 30.) The standards
for the girl who lives in are reprinted here as an example:
Portland, Oreg., High School

High-school girl (attending school on a full-time schedule—approx­
imately 6 hours a day) living in the home where employed:
Definition of Working Time

Working time is that time which is definitely assigned to some particular
duty which prevents a girl from following her own pursuits on the premises.
1 line assigned to play with the children in the home when the girl is responsible
for their welfare is time assigned to work—the girl is not at liberty to follow
her own pursuits. Time assigned to undressing a child and putting it to bed is
work. If the family is out, and the child in bed, and if the girl is at liberty
to read or study or listen to the radio or go to bed, this should not be counted
as hours of work.

Since the conditions in each home vary, it is impossible to list duties which
would be assigned. But under no condition should a girl be required to do such
work as heavy lifting, heavy washing, or heavy cleaning.
Hours of Work

{a) Morning work.—A girl should not be expected to get up before 6:30 and
Sh?^ldrle allowed ample time for her breakfast and getting to school on time
W Evening work.—A. girl should be through with the housework by 8 in the
(c) Total hours.—A girl should give from 21 to 28 hours a week.


Time Off Duty

A girl should be given the equivalent of not less than 2 evenings and 1 after­
noon a week off duty. She should be allowed to spend an occasional week-end
with her family and be granted church privileges.

She should receive board, including 3 meals per day, and room, and from $5
upward a month, depending on the experience and ability of the girl. The
customary wage is $10 a month.
What a Housewife May Expect of the Girl

1. That the girl be conscientious, tidy, and dependable.
2. That she will go to bed usually at 10 o'clock, and never later than 10:30
on school nights so as to feel fit for her duties the next day.
3. That she will respect the privacy and honor of the family.
Note.—Girls should not ask for permission to be out on any night except
Friday and Saturday, and then not later than midnight.
What a Girl May Expect of the Housewife

1. That she will have a separate sleeping room, and a quiet, well-lighted,
well-heated place for study.
2. That her work will be arranged on some regular schedule, so that she will
have time for her studies every day.
3. That corrections be given kindly and not in the presence of other members
of the family.
Note.-—The housewife should permit the schoolgirl in her home to have her
boy friend or friends visit her occasionally, and to have him or them meet the
girl at the home, rather than meet her on the street corner. The schoolgirl,
however, should use discretion and not impose upon the good nature of the
Deans of the Portland High Schools.
Vocational Placement Representatives.

The more important requirements of the various standards are
given in chart II: they cover hours, payment in addition to board and
room, definition of work, and regulation of the type of work, of tune
off, and of living conditions.
Definition of work and the type of work to be done

Because it is considered unwise for junior workers to do certain
types of heavy work or to be given too much responsibility, some
statement as to the kinds of work to be performed by the girl is made
in 11 of the 17 standards analyzed here—those of Alameda County,
Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles Council of Social Agencies, Los
Angeles Junior Employment Service, Minneapolis, Pasadena, Port­
land, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Seattle. In some cases where the
standards do not make work restrictions, recommendations are made.
There are no significant differences in the provisions for the various
groups of girls, although a larger proportion of the standards for those
in school and working part-time than for those doing full-time work
contain some provision as to type of work.
In four standards—Alameda County, Pasadena, Portland, and
Seattle—work is defined. The definitions are practically alike. That
of the Alameda County standards reads as follows:
Work is defined as that time which is definitely assigned for the performance
of some particular duty which prevents the girl from following her own pursuits.
Examples: Time assigned to play with children in the home when the girl is
responsible for their welfare, or time assigned to undressing a child and putting



it to bed, is work. However, if the family is out and the child is in bed and if
the girl is at liberty to read, study, listen to the radio, or go to bed, this is not
to be listed as work.

Although there are differences in the wording of the various stand­
ards as they cover type of work to be done, their requirements are
almost identical in regard to prohibiting heavy washing, heavy lifting,
or heavy cleaning. Heavy washing or complete responsibility for
the washing is prohibited by 9 of these standards, though it is
allowed in 1 if an electric washing machine is used.
Some statement about the need for work schedules is made in six
standards. Five agencies—Los Angeles Junior Employment Service,
Pasadena, Cincinnati, Portland, and Seattle—recommend that a
work schedule be arranged, and the Los Angeles Council of Social
Agencies requires this, stating that—
A definite written schedule, setting forth every duty of the work-home child,
should be drawn up before employment; and a copy should be provided the workhome mother, work-home child, and the placement agency. Duties are to be
selected from among the following classes only:
Washing dishes; assisting with cooking, clearing and setting of table; care of
own room and personal effects; making beds; running errands; caring for, playing
with, and entertaining children; dusting and cleaning. (General scrubbing
family washing, and family ironing are not to be included in the duties of the
work-home child.)

In addition to work schedules, Cincinnati recommends that em­
ployer-employee agreements, written or oral, be adopted.

Twelve of the 17 standards—all except Detroit, Long Beach,
New York, Cincinnati, and Philadelphia—contain some specification
about the hours of work.6 These are regulated in several different
ways: In some cases total daily or weekly hours are specified; in some
a schedule of the number of hours to be required at certain periods
of the day is suggested; some specify the period during which the
girl is not to be disturbed; while the earliest rising or work hour, the
latest work hour, and the hour at which the girl is expected to retire
are sometimes given.
All but 1 of the 12 standards for full-time school girls working
part time contain some provision about the hours to be worked
Six of the 11 give no weekly limit, though in 4 of these the daily
hours are very specific. The range in weekly hours is from 21 to 28.
Of the 11 standards for girls going to continuation school or working
full time, only 5 contain this type of provision; 2 of these limit the
weekly hours for both groups of girls, 1 to 44 and the other to 48,
and those remaining state the range of hours within which work must
be completed. One provides for a period of rest in the afternoon.
Staying with children when the girl is free to study is not counted as
work in most cases and is expected in addition to the hours defined.
The Wichita i oung Women’s Christian Association standard for
both college and secondary school girls is the only one that for non­
college workers requires that overtime be paid for if more than the
maximum number of hours required for board and room (26 a week)
are worked.
‘ The 5 exceptionslcontain provisions about time off. See Chart II.



The distribution of daily work hours considered desirable for full­
time school girls is suggested in the standards of the Los Angeles
Council of Social Agencies, Minneapolis, and Seattle. These are:
For Los Angeles, one-half hour in the morning and 3 hours after
school; for Minneapolis, 4 hours on school days, preferably after
school, 5 hours on Sunday, and 8 hours on Saturday, the last named
to be arranged, if possible, so that the girl is free from 2 to 5; for
Seattle, 1 hour in the morning, 1 or 2 before dinner, and 1 after dinner.
The earliest rising hour is 6 o’clock in the standards of the Los
Angeles Junior Employment Service and Pasadena, and 6:30 in those
of Alameda County, Los Angeles Council of Social Agencies, Cleve­
land, and Portland. For the girl attending continuation school and
for the full-time worker Seattle suggests 6:30 a.m. as the earliest hour
to start work and 7:30 p.m. as the latest work hour. The St. Louis
standard sets 7 a.m. as the earliest work hour. Work is to be com­
pleted by 8 p.m. according to the 6 standards (other than that of
Seattle) that cover this point. Of the 6 mentioning the latest
retiring hour, 3 suggest 10 p.m.; 2, 10:30; and 1, 11. In addition,
the Los Angeles Junior College standard requires study hours from 8
to 10:30 every night except Friday and Saturday, and says that “it
is expected that they [the girls] will avoid unduly late hours.”
The Alameda County and Seattle standards limit the number of
evenings a week that the girl may be asked to care for children. In
the former, 3 evenings is the maximum and it is specified that this
duty should not keep the girl up after 11 o’clock. In Seattle, a
provision for full-time school girls makes the maximum 5 evenings,
with time and opportunity for study.
Payment in addition to board and lodging

For full-time school girls working part time, wages of from $5 to
$15 a month are required in all but 2 of the 12 standards. One of
the 2 exceptions requires an overtime rate of 20 or 30 cents an
hour for more than 26 hours of work a week and the other has each
individual wage determined by the school official and the employer
before a girl is placed.
Minimum wages for continuation-school girls given in these stand­
ards range from $15 to $35 a month. Those of full-time workers are
from $20 to $35 a month; $10 a week; and in one case, where the
employer is responsible for the girl’s conduct and training, $3 weekly.
Examination of chart II will show that age, experience, ability, skill,
and the work required are factors emphasized as affecting the wage.
That the employer supply uniforms is required in only one of these
standards—that of Cincinnati; others do not mention uniforms.
Personal laundry is mentioned in only one (Alameda County); in
this it is made the girl’s responsibility.
Promotions for full-time workers are suggested in two cases:
Cincinnati recommends that promotions be given for length of service
and for increased efficiency, and the Girls’ Service League (New
York) discusses advancement in salary at the office interview with
employer before placing the girl.
Living conditions

Since board and room are a part of the payment for this work,
any requirements about them are closely associated with wages.
Only four of the standards contain any statement about board, other



than that it is included as a part of the girl’s payment. Pasadena
and Portland specify that board include three meals a day; the Los
Angeles Council of Social Agencies requires that the dietary must
be wholesome, nutritious, and suitable for the child. The Junior
Employment Service of Los Angeles adds to the suggestion “whole­
some nutritious food” that a pleasant place in which to eat should be
Some provision regarding sleeping arrangements for the girl is
made in 13 standards, 8 of them—Long Beach, Los Angeles Junior
College, Pasadena, New York Girls’ Service League, Cincinnati,
Cleveland, Portland, and Seattle—requiring that the girl have a room
alone,0 the other Los Angeles standards require that the girl have an
individual bed. The Los Angeles Council of Social Agencies adds
that “a work-home child shall not sleep in the bed room of a person of
the opposite sex over the age of three.” The St. Louis Big Sisters and
Girl’s Protective Association, although not able in 1932 to insist that a
girl have a room alone, require that some arrangement be made for her
privacy. The Philadelphia agency covering girls from 14 to 16 years of
age who attend continuation school inspects the sleeping quarters.
Some of the standards state that the girl’s room should be “com­
fortable”, “suitably equipped for study”, and so forth.
Cincinnati, under the heading “Living conditions”, lists the
1. Sleeping room:
(а) Private room
(б) Single bed
2. Bathing facilities:
(a) Tub or shower
(b) Conveniently located
3. Place for entertainment of guests:
(а) Kitchen; or
(б) Other room if possible

In addition to Cincinnati, four of the Pacific coast standards—
Alameda County, Pasadena, Portland, and Seattle—suggest that the
girl be permitted to entertain guests in the employer’s home.
The standards developed by the Los Angeles' Council of Social
Agencies have several housing requirements. Regarding the home
where the child is employed they state that:
(a) Home must conform in building and maintenance to the sanitary and
fire-safety ordinances of the city and county.
(b) The home must be in a residential district (not commercial and
factory) with sufficient room to accommodate the family group and workhome child in a comfortable and sanitary way.
(c) There shall be provision for the meals at a table.
(d) The home must be in the district where the child can attend school
Y1, ln, convenient distance. The child shall be given an opportunity to
attend Sabbath school or church.
(e) Sleeping rooms must afford at least 500 cubic feet of space for each
occupant, and each bedroom must have sufficient outside windows. No
child may sleep in a room opening onto an inner court.
(f) Every work-home child shall have an individual bed.
(ff) A work-home child shall not sleep in the bedroom of a person of the
opposite sex over the age of 3.
'(h) Each bed shall have good springs, a clean, comfortable mattress, and
adequate bedding.
6 Alameda Comity states that the girl should have "a room other own (if possible). n





Time off

A definite statement as to the minimum amount of time off that
must be allowed each week is made in all but one of the 17 standards.
The exception is that of the Wichita Y.W.C.A., and in this case time
off is discussed at the time of placement. The least time off is sug­
gested in Minneapolis, an arrangement of Saturday hours so that the
girl can be free from 2 to 5 p.m. The only free time mentioned by the
Los Angeles Junior College is study hours from 8 to 10:30 p.m. The
most common provision is one afternoon and evening a week and some
additional time—another afternoon or evening, parts of other days,
or special arrangements for Sunday. (For details see chart II.) Two
standards are specific in statements about the hour at which the girl is
to be free for her time off. A rest period is required in two standards—
that of Seattle for continuation school and full-time workers and
that of St. Louis for full-time workers.
Holiday arrangements are provided in two standards for full-time
schoolgirls, the Los Angeles Council of Social Agencies requiring that
the girl be free the entire day on alternate holidays or the afternoon
and evening of every holiday, and Seattle that the girl be expected to
perform only her usual duties on holidays or be given additional pay
for extra time. The Pasadena and Portland standards suggest that
the girl be allowed an occasional week-end with her family. Vacations
for full-time workers are suggested in one standard—that of Cincin­
nati. For schoolgirls some other work arrangement usually is made
during the summer vacation period.

Special provisions regarding the work of a girl who does not live in
her employer’s home are made in the standards of Alameda County,
Detroit, Los Angeles Junior Employment Service, Philadelphia, and,
for hourly work only, of San Francisco. These provisions differ from
those for girls who live in their employers’ homes on only three points:
The remuneration the girl is to receive, the hour of starting work, and
the time of stopping, in this case the time at which the girl should leave
her employer’s home in the evening.

The payment of car fare or a higher wage to cover car fare and a
wage scale for hourly work, are the important wage differences for
girls who do not five in their employers’ homes compared to those who
do. Los Angeles, for the same types of work listed in chart II, and
Detroit, for girls working 5% days a week and attending school 1 day,
state that car fare must be added to the remuneration if the girl goes
home at night, while the Alameda County standard, the only one
applying to the girl who does not live in her employer’s home that is
separate from that for the girl who does, adds $5 to the wages required
and states that car fare is included.
Wage scales for hourly work

The Detroit, Alameda County, and San Francisco standards include
wage scales for casual employment. These follow:



Care of children evenings:
If a girl is called regularly and is in neighbor­
hood, or is taken home._____ ________________ per evening.. $0.75
Usual rate 25 cents per hour or $1 an evening.
Day work:
General houseworkper hour..
. 35
per day (minimum)2. 00
Serving, without uniform----------------------- per hour .35 (and car fare)
Alameda County (Oakland Standards)
The girl who takes casual employment:
She should receive car fare and not less than 25 to 35 cents an hour,
depending on her experience and ability.
The girl who goes to the home merely to stay with children, not
later than 11 p.m., should receive not less than 50 cents for the evening
[“evening” is defined as the time between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.J. Time
after 11 p.m. should be paid for at the rate of 10 cents an hour. If
the girl remains the entire night, she should receive at least $1.
San Francisco

Cleaning jobs----.— ------------------------------------------------- per hour.. $0. 50
_ (Not less than $1 at each call. Car fare in addition.)
Evening care of childrenper hour. _
(Or $1 per night. No other work should be required. Young
girls must be taken home.)

Earliest hour to start work

Seven thirty is the earliest morning hour at which the girl should
report for duty, according to the Alameda County standard for the
girl under 21 who does not live in her employer’s home. This pro­
vision, given in only this one standard, may be considered comparable
to setting the earliest rising hour at 6:30 for the girl who does live in
her employer’s home. For both groups, this standard suggests 8
o clock as the latest hour at which the girl should be employed in the
Time of leaving employer’s home in evening

In Philadelphia continuation-school girls between the ages of 14 and
16 years who are employed in household employment and who live in
their parents’ homes are supposed to leave the home of their emplover
not later than 7:30 p.m.
Miscellaneous provisions

Many of the standards contain provisions in addition to those
already discussed, dhe New York Girls’ Service League requires a
personal interview with the employer, though exceptions are made
M!™.es- ,Most of the other provisions pertain to the personal respon­
sibilities of the employer and of the employee.
Recommendations that the employer assume some responsibility
tor the girl s welfare and supervision and give her courteous treatment,
and that the girl be courteous, tidy, cooperative, and personally
agreeable are made m 8 of the 17 standards—those of Minneapolis,
.Portland, Seattle, Alameda County, Pasadena, and the three in Los



The Los Angeles standards prepared by the Council of Social
Agencies, however, contain additional definite requirements about
family conditions, reports, and the girl’s health. These follow:
1. Family conditions:
(а) Work-home mother must be of suitable age and temperament
to understand the problems of children. Mental and physical
health of each member of the family must be good.
(б) There shall be no mentally defective person in the family.
(c) No adult male roomer or boarder shall be permitted, nor shall
there be members of the family over 12 years of age of the
opposite sex other than the work-home parents.
(d) Satisfactory references must be furnished from persons who
know the applicants in their own home, and who can vouch
for their moral characters.
2. Reports:
(а) On the contemplation of a move by the work-home family, the
placing agency must be notified.
(б) The placing agency must be notified within 48 hours of any
changes in the personnel of the home.
3. Health:
(a) Before admission to the home, each child shall have a physical
examination, and a copy of the findings kept in the files of the
placement agency.
(b) Any illness of a child must be reported at once to the placing
agency or to the parent or guardian of the child.



Ten agencies not having requirements similar to those that have
been discussed did report special action of some type to regulate
employment conditions for girls placed in housework. This includes
recommendations and special placement procedures such as the
following: Referring household-employment cases to a case-work
agency, investigation and approval of the employing home, recording
a verbal agreement in a case record, placing responsibility for employ­
ment on the parent, and securing information from the prospective

While it should be understood that many other placement agencies
make recommendations and that agencies using requirements or
special placement procedure also make recommendations, specific
reports about their recommendations were made by the four agencies
discussed in the following. In Kansas City, Mo., the training school
for housemaids conducted by the public schools requires its girls to
give 1 week’s notice before leaving a position and requests the employer
to give the same notice before discharging an employee. Most of
these workers live away from the place of employment. It is custo­
mary for them to work from 8 a.m. through the dinner hour, and to
have Thursday and Sunday afternoons off.
The Big Sister Association of Minneapolis recommends that in
normal times a schoolgirl working for board and room should be paid
$2 a week and have a private room, in return for 4 hours of work on
school days and longer hours on Saturdays and Sundays. Free time
off one afternoon and evening a week and Sunday after dinner is
requested. These recommendations are similar to the standards
already discussed.



The Division of Junior Placement of the New York State Depart­
ment of Labor attempts to secure “a minimum wage in each com­
munity”, a private room, and some restriction on the type of work
required of younger girls.
For high-school girls placed in after-school and Saturday jobs, the
Junior Employment Service of the Philadelphia public schools tries
to maintain a wage of 25 cents an hour plus car fare. The girl and the
employer also are advised about a work-time schedule and the type
of work to be done. It is recommended that the girl’s mother accom­
pany her to the place of employment for inspection and consultation
with the employer. This agency also cooperates with the supervisor
of social service in the Bureau of Compulsory Education and with the
State Free Employment Office in placing other junior workers.
Special placement procedure

Six agencies supplied information about placement procedures,
other than standards or recommendations, designed to aid in secur­
ing satisfactory working conditions for girls in household employment.
Undoubtedly many other agencies take similar action.
Reference to case-work agency.—The Division of Vocational Counsel­
ing of the St. Louis Board of Education refuses to place girls in house­
hold employment because it cannot investigate homes. All such
employment is referred to a case-work agency in the community that
does careful follow-up work.
Other agencies dealing with the younger workers expressed this
same attitude. The coordinator of the Minneapolis Vocational High
School says: “School placement of girls in boarding homes is not
satisfactory. The homes should be investigated by trained social
Investigation and approval of employing home.—In Reading, Pa., the
labor certification office of the continuation school will not give a girl
under 16 years of age a labor permit for a job as child’s nurse or houseworker until the home in which such employment is offered has been
investigated by the issuing officer and found to be satisfactory. The
office reports that it discourages the employment of girls in these
types of work because they have found that girls so placed “were
always being overworked.” The office has no authority and no
workers to follow up household employees 16 years of age or over.
Oral agreement made part of case record.—An oral agreement is made
among the case worker, the girl, and the employer, and it is included
as a part of the permanent case record of the Lutheran Welfare
Society of Minneapolis.
Responsibility for employment placed on parent.—Four agencies
reported that they recommend that the girl’s mother or guardian
accompany her to the prospective place of employment and aid in
making the decision about employment—the Los Angeles Junior
Employment Service, the Philadelphia Junior Employment Service,
the Placement Bureau of the City Schools in Boston, and the Depart­
ment of Research and Guidance of the Public Schools in Providence.
In the last two this procedure is the girl’s chief protection. The
action of the guidance departments of the public schools in these two
cities in placing girls for part-time work after school is stated clearly




by the director of vocational guidance of the Boston Placement
Bureau of the School Committee of the City of Boston, as follows:
Our original plan was to have every home carefully investigated by a member
of this staff before a placement was undertaken, but as there were no standards
or regulations by which we could measure, we found this an unsatisfactory basis.
We further found that employers did not live up to their agreements as to the
matter of hours and the amount and kind of work required, so that in the long
run it was not worth the time we put into it.
We are now working on this basis: When a call comes for a part-time worker
in the domestic service line, we call it to the attention of students interested
and give them the description as we get it. We then recommend to the students
that they take their mothers to the home in question and discuss thoroughly
with the "employer the work to be done. In other words, we throw the responsi­
bility upon the parent of the student interested in the job. If the parent wants
any suggestion or advice from us as to rates or hours, we are glad to tell her what
we think, but the parent assumes all responsibility. This seems a wiser and
safer plan until such time as there are regulations set up by the State.

Securing information from the prospective employer.—The Vocational
Guidance Bureau of the Chicago Board of Education eliminates the
most undesirable positions by requiring that all persons requesting
continuation or full-time schoolgirls for housework must fill out a
questionnaire. Information must be given about the composition
of the family, character of the house, work expected, hours of work,
sleeping accommodations, free time, and salary. It is reported that
50 percent of the applicants never take the trouble to fill out this ques­
tionnaire, and no attempt is made to secure a worker for them. An
employer whose application is accepted is given certain recommenda­
tions about employment, through a letter from the bureau stating
that the girl who is being sent to her either is worth $5 a week or is
not worth employing; asking that “a separate sleeping room be pro­
vided either for the girl alone or with not more than two children”;
requesting a written report of the girl’s work; and suggesting that the
girl should not be expected to take too much responsibility but should
be able to work under supervision.

All but 1 of the 19 agencies reporting the use of the standards
analyzed in chart II stated that they do some follow-up work. Most
of the agencies reporting the use of recommendations and special
placement procedure also do follow-up work similar to that discussed
in the following for the 18 standard-using agencies. In 3 cases con­
tacts after placement are irregular—Oakland Junior Employment
Service, Wichita Young Women’s Christian Association, and Port­
land public schools—but in others a regular follow-up is made of
every placement. That of the Detroit Guidance and Placement
Department is limited to one type of work, serving, and the employer
is requested to fill out and return a card stating whether or not the
girl’s work is satisfactory.
The methods most often used are: (1) Requiring the girl to report
to the placement agency, (2) talking with the employer, usually
through a telephone call, (3) questioning both. Such follow-up was
reported by the Berkeley Junior Employment Office; Long Beach
Young Women’s Christian Association; Los Angeles Junior Employ­
ment Service and Junior College; Wichita Young Women’s Christian
Association; Minneapolis Vocational High School; Cleveland, Jane



Addams School; and Cincinnati Junior Placement Bureau. In the
agency last mentioned, telephone conversations with the employer
ar® held l week, 3 months, and 6 months after placement.
follow-up letters are sent out (presumably to the employer) every
3 months by the Seattle Placement and Guidance Bureau of the public
schools. Two weeks after placement, the New York Girls’ Service
League, sends follow-up letters to the girls placed, asking them to
communicate with the agency either by letter or through an office
call, it there is no reply to this first letter, a second one is sent A
form letter inquiring about the girl’s work is sent to the employer
at the end of 3 months.
Personal visits and interviews at the home in which the child is
placed were reported by the public agencies of Pasadena and Philaaelphia and by the San Francisco Junior Employment Service.
I he Detroit Young Women’s Christian Association also makes
home visits. They follow up, by a personal call within 1 month after
placement m domestic service, all girls up to 22 years of age The
volunteer workers on the Young Women’s Christian Association
employment committee make this call and fill out a report form
regarding the girl and her work. Where any unusual condition is
tound, a report is made immediately to the placement office and
further follow-up is made by a member of the staff; otherwise a
monthly report is given at the meeting of the committee
Very careful follow-up work is done by the St. Louis Big Sisters
and Girls Protective Association. Since this is a case-work agency
frequent reports are required from the employer and conferences
are held with the employee. The agency and employer also super­
vise the girl’s recreation.
This brief description of the follow-up methods used for the younger
household employees covers that phase of enforcement that is com­
parable to action that can be taken by agencies placing college girls
or adults, but it should be noted that for the protection of many of
these secondary-school girls there are legal regulations in addition
Y\ ork permits are required for some child laborers (the ages varying
from btate to State), and in a number of cases household work is
included in such a list of regulated employments. Permits can be
refused or revoked under unsatisfactory conditions. In certain
States _ boarding homes” for minors are covered by law and special
action is taken regarding them. In some cases such laws have been
interpreted as applying to minors working for board and room

Many colleges and universities that have students who do domestic
work in private homes—in most cases for board and room—aid in
the placement of the students and supervise their employment rela­
tions in some way, usually through the office of the dean of women.1
Requests for information about the standards used in placing girls
in homes for household employment were mailed to 106 colleges and
universities. Practically all State universities and colleges were
covered. Replies received from 64 agencies included standards from
43 in 26 States that were comparable and could be used in this study.
Chart III analyzes the important contents of the standards received
and gives the names and locations of the institutions applying them.
In the majority of the institutions, the standards are from the
office of the dean of women, carry her signature, and are used and
distributed by her. At one university the standards, with slight
modifications, have been in effect for 15 years.
All the standards analyzed in chart III but those of Wellesley apply
to girls doing domestic work in private homes for board and room.
In the payment column the hourly rates quoted are those prevailing
for students in the community and apply to overtime for students
working for board and room, to casual domestic work, and in a few
instances were reported as the money valuation placed on the student’s
work in the home. Little information, other than these hourly rates,
was secured regarding casual domestic employment for college stu­
dents. The Wellesley standard is included in the chart because,
though Wellesley students live at the college, it gives rates for casual
employments that can be compared with rates in other communities.
While no attempt was made to ascertain how many girls were
placed, some of the institutions emphasized the fact that very few
of their students worked in private homes for board and room.
However, three mentioned that they had placed from 40 to 80 girls a
year, and one, 150 girls, in such positions. _
The main purpose of these regulations is, in every case, to establish
a work situation satisfactory to the housewife and to the student by
standardizing and placing on a definite basis of agreement the hours
of work, the type of work to be done, the remuneration to be received
by the girl, living conditions, and other points sometimes causing
dissatisfaction. The methods used to attain this object vary: Some­
times the dean of women assumes a good deal of responsibility and
supervision of the girl and of the place of employment; sometimes
the dean only advises and suggests desirable conditions; sometimes
the placement office requires that certain conditions be met and leaves
1 Standards of two junior colleges (Los Angeles and Pasadena) and of one Young Women’s Christian
Association (Wichita) for both college and secondary school girls are analyzed in part IV—Requirements
for Workers 21 Years of Age or Under.
, .....
, . ,
2 Persons interested in other phases of this problem will find additional information m the following
studies: Self-Help for Women College Students. Compiled by Clara M. Auer, Caroline S. Emanuel, and
Helen T. Graham, under auspices of College Club of Saint Louis. Published by American Association
of University Women, Washington, D.C., 1926. Self-Help for College Students, by Walter J. Greenleaf,
U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau [now Office] of Education, Bui. No. 2, 1929.



III .—Employment standards for college girls doing domestic work in private homes for board and lodgingand wage rates required for part-time workers not receiving board and lodging
[Based on standards of 43 institutions in 26 States sent to Women’s Bureau in the spring of 1932]

Wage rates for work by the hour and overtime rates (indicated
by *) for girls living in

Hours of work





To be paid for..

California, Los Angeles:
University of California at Los
Dean of women.

4 on week days; 2 on

Not mentioned...............


2 5 to 3 5—de­
pends on type
of work.

Kansas, Manhattan:
Kansas State College---------------- 28 A.
Dean of women.
Kansas, Lawrence:
University of Kansas---------------- 28Dean of women.


Not mentioned..


Massachusetts, Amherst:
Massachusetts State College----Vocational counselor for


24^ 4


35 cents.

35 cents.

50 cents an hour between
7:45 and 11 p.m. Af­
ter 11 p.m. 25 cents an


Light housework such as ironing, cook­ “Students should make arrangements
in advance concerning evening en­
ing, serving, dishwashing, care of
gagements. If children are left in
children, and other miscellaneous
their care in the evening while they
duties about the home.
are at home studying, no extra charge
should be made.
“ If it is necessary to put children to bed
or devote any time to them or break
an appointment to stay, then the
time should be counted as part of
the regular employment period or as

25 cents


‘ 1 night a week may be devoted
to a dinner engagement out.”

Students usually return to their
homes for such holiday periods
as Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Private room, well light­
ed and heated and
equipped with desk
and lamp, required.

A student is often willing to stay with
children in the evening even though
she has served her 3-hour assign­
ment. This is a courtesy ana not a
duty that householder has a right to

Suggest Saturday noon to Sunday
evening weekly. At least 2
week-ends a month required.

Students serve only when the uni­
versity is in session. Should be
free during the Thanksgiving,
Christmas, and midsemester re­

Private room required.

Evening care of children


In computing time, count hours stu­
dent is required, to be on duty, re­
gardless of whether or not she is at


25 cents.

Discussed with dean—------------------

35 cents.

All household duties except family
laundry; may assist in the laundry
work but is not responsible for it.
35 cents .

25 cents an hour or $1 a
night if children are in

Car fare-------------------------



Massachusetts, Wellesley:
Wellesley College---------Personnel bureau.

cents for various
household jobs; 35
cents for dishwashing.5

1 or 2 afternoons or evenings a veek.

20 cents.

35 cents .

30 cents A

25 cents an hour; $1 an
evening if student
stays overnight.5

To be paid for..


40 cents e........ ................ -

Housework, including cooking and
care of children.

24 (average).

6 on Saturday; not ____do-----------more than 3 on
other days.

___ do____________

30* and 35* cents.

Recommend that all washing, heavy
cleaning such as scrubbing, and
large ironings be eliminated.
“Suggest such work as dishes, dust­
ing, sweeping, assistant in cooking
rather than planning or ordering,
making beds, and care of children.”

27 A.

3 Sunday to Thurs­
day; 6 Friday and


Minnesota, Mankato:
State Teachers College.
Dean of women.
For footnotes see end of chart.

(Face p. 35.)


Not mentioned-.


Suggest allowing time for morning
church service at least every
other week with Sunday after­
noon and evening of alternate
weeks. One free evening a
week from 4 o’clock on.

Yes... Light housework. Ironing if student
is not forced to stand for a long


Michigan, Ann Arbor:
University of Michigan..
Dean of women.
Michigan, East Lansing:
Michigan State College..
Dean of women.

If girl must share room,
she must be provided
with a satisfactory
place for study.

Some free evenings, on week-ends
if possible.

28 hours of lighter cleaning, cooking,
and helping with care of children;
fewer hours if heavier work, wash­
ing, ironing, heavy cleaning; more
if staying with children when they
are asleep and girl is free to study, is

None........................ ..............


At least 3.

ule to
be ar­

$1 an evening..

Car fare if university is ___ do...
not within walking dis­

Maine, Lewiston:
Bates College---------Dean of women.
Massachusetts, Boston:
Boston University. ..
Dean of women.

Evening 3



Kentucky, Lexington:
University of Kentucky.
Dean of women.


35 cents *.

Car fare-------------------------In most homes $10 a month
is paid for car fare and
lunch money.

The university feels that $10 a month ai d transpor­
tation charges to and
no woman should work
from the university.
more than 3 hours a
day regardless of the
compensation offered
26 A.

Indiana, Evansville:
Evansville College-..
Dean of women.

Care of children

Daytime 2

California, Berkeley:
University of California-----------Dean of women and alumni
bureau of occupations.

Colorado, Boulder:
University of Colorado.
Dean of women.

Living conditions

Minimum payment in ad­
dition to board and
lodging 2

Location, institution, and agency
reporting standards

Time off

Work requirements

General housework,
cleaning included.



Not to be required on more than 3
evenings a week and not to be
counted as overtime.
Caring for children who are asleep not
considered part of the 24-hour sched­
ule. But remaining in tht home
upon request when she neecs to be
out studying, or when she has to
give up a free evening, is pert-time

Recommend either Saturday or
Sunday afternoons off, also 1
week-end night (either Friday
or Saturday).

At least l evening a week and a
part of Sunday afternoon and
all Sunday evening.

All girls have 4 days vacation at
Thanksgiving, 2 weeks at Christ­
mas, and 1 week between winter
and spring terms. Girls are per­
mitted to go home at least 1
week-end per term.

Must have a definite
room to call her own;
preferably not shared
with member of family.
Student must have
light, heat, quiet, and
study facilities.



Employment standards for college girls doing domestic work in private homes for hoard and lodgingand wage rates required for part-time workers not receiving board and lodging__ Continued
Wage rates for work by the hour and overtime rates (indicated
by*) for girls living in

Hours of work
Location, institution, and agency
reporting standards


Minimum payment in ad­
dition to board and
lodging 2


Care of children
Daytime 3

Minnesota, Minneapolis:
University of Minnesota
ployment department.
Missouri, Columbia:
University of Missouri________

Montana, Bozeman:
Montana State College
Dean of women.

28 4____________ 4______________

To be paid for________

28 *___________

Provision for transportation required if distance
is too great for walking.

24 H........ .............. 3H-------------- ---------

Living conditions
Evening care of children




28 4____________ 4_________________

25 cents

25 cents_____________


37H cents..

Not mentioned-------- _


New York, New York City:
Columbia University.
Teachers College______________ 28 4
Director of part-time place­
ment in bureau of educa­
tional service.
New' York, Rochester:
University of Rochester


Ohio, Columbus:
Ohio State University.. . ____ 28_____________

30 cents* _ ___

Light housework; may help with wash­
ing and ironing.


Yes. _

50 cents*_________

Not mentioned

Car fare and 25 cents a day
luncheon money if col­
lege is not within walk­
ing distance.

35 cents____

To be paid for..................

___ 50 cents*


35 cents and
car fare.

Different kinds of light housework
and caring for children, but not
family laundry nor heavy cleaning.

“In addition to the 4 hours, the stu­
dent should, if required, give 2 eve­
nings a week taking charge of the
home, without work, * *
more than 2 evenings, she should be
paid extra.


25 cents__


25 cents and car fare___

Home must be approved.
A well-heated, welllighted, well-furnished
room for undisturbed
study and sleep.

If children are asleep, counted as half


15 cents_______________



Reasonably comfortable
Are frequently expected to stay with

To be paid for____

... Transportation if college
is beyond walking dis­

Not mentioned_

Recommend that students should
be free to go home for their vari­
ous vacations.

Staying with children when they are
asleep is not counted as part of the
3-hour work period, if the girl can

About 3, possibly
some extra time Sat­
urday mornings.

24 to 28

At least 1 church service every

Private room required.

20 cents if child is in bed. Yes___ “Housework only” may cover sweeping with light sweeper, dusting,
preparation of meals, dishwashing,
serving of meals and at parties,
making beds, and light cleaning.
Care of children counts as full time
except when children are asleep.
As overtime work, ironing, and
cleaning floors and stoves are per­
mitted. In all cases washing is

eluding lighter types
of cleaning; 35 cents
for cleaning, scrub­
bing, ironing, and
Overtime: 35 cents.*

30 cents____ _____

May be expected to be in the home
evenings, but must be free for study
at 8 o’clock.

Most of positions available are for
cooking or care of children.

Casual work: 30 cents

Not mentioned______ _

Requests that student be free to
attend church at least once on

Not heavy physical labor, but “assist­
ance in family routine.’'


Housework only:
If housework in cl .ides care of children:

Ohio, Oxford:
Miami University____________
33^----------------Y.W.C.A. secretary.
Ohio, Granville:
Denison University_________ __
Dean of women.


In some cases $2 or $2.50 a
week is paid.


comfortable room,
good board, sufficient
time for study.

Heavy washing, cleaning, or lifting
not allowed.

30 cents*______________

Car fare if needed


Plain cooking, dishwashing, ironing,
cleaning, and assisting with washmg.

35 cents..

Not mentioned________
To be paid for _

Heavy work such as washing, scrub­
bing, or emptying ashes is not to be
Service that interferes -with school
program not allowed.

Until 12 p.m., 15 cents
an hour; after 12 p.m.,
35 cents: minimum per
evening, 50 cents.

New York, Buffalo:
State Teachers College at Buffalo. 28 4____________ 4__________________
Dean of women.

Oklahoma, Stillwater:
Oklahoma Agricultural and Me­
chanical College.
Dean of women.


35 cents. Mini­
mum per af­
ternoon, 50

to be made for all over-

To be paid for-------------- None_________________ __ 30 cents*

Ohio, Delaware:
Ohio Wesleyan University_____

be ar­

study is possible.

New York, Potsdam:
Potsdam State Normal School... 28_____________
Dean of women.

North Dakota, Fargo:
North Dakota Agricultural College.
Dean of women and employ­
ment secretary.


None_______ _______

Nevada, Reno:
University of Nevada---------------

New York, Syracuse:
Syracuse University
Appointment office.

Time off

Home must be approved
by dean of women.

Montana, Missoula:
State University of Montana .. - 28 4.................... .
Nebraska, Lincoln:
University of Nebraska........... ..


Evening 3

Work requirements


35 cents*_____ _______

25 cents........

25 cents_____________

Yes... Dusting, sweeping, light cleaning,
bedmaking, ironing, preparation of
meals, serving at meals and parties,
dishwashing, and child-care.

First hour 25 cents; average of 15 cents for
each hour thereafter.

Y es__

Are expected to stay with children 3
evenings a week. (Not counted as
part of 28 hours.)

Private room required.


To be paid for. _______

25 cents.............. ..............



General housework and assisting with
care of children.

For footnotes see end of chart.

(Face p. 35.)

No. 2


III.—Employment standards for college girls doing domestic work in private homes for hoard and lodging,l and wage rates required for part-time workers not receiving hoard and lodging—Continued
Wage rates for work by the hour and overtime rates (indicated
by *) for girls living in

Hours of work
Location, institution, and agency
reporting standards

Oregon, Corvallis:
Oregon State College-.
Dean of women.


21 to 28..

Oregon, Eugene:
University of Oregon.............. —
University Y.W.C.A. em­
ployment secretary for
Pennsylvania, State College:
Pennsylvania State College------- 24_
Dean of women.

3 H-





2 5* cents. 20* cents. Minimum
per job, 50 cents.
per job. 50

30* cents.

25* cents .

.do _

15 cents; 10* cents if girl
already is working in
the home for board.

Washington, Seattle:
University of Washington--------Dean of women.

West Virginia, Fairmont:
Fairmont State Teachers College.
Dean of women.


25* and 35* cents, de­
pending on type of


30 to 35 cents.



Not mentioned-

To be paid for..


Transportation if located
far from campus.

Evening care of children

“Working time is that time which is
definitely assigned to some particu­
lar duty which prevents a girl from
following her own pursuits.” Play­
ing with children, undressing them,
or putting them to bed, is work.

Staying with children when they are
in bed, if student is free to read,
study, or retire, should not be
counted as hours of work.

(Face p. 35.)

Not mentioned..

No. 3


Private room required.


Yes_- No scrubbing or heavy lifting or wash­

25 to 30 cents; occasion­
ally 35 cents.
50* cents an evening.



“Family washing should not be
expected from a student unless
done in a washing machine and
additional assistance given.”
“Any time that a student gives to
the employer in such a way that she
cannot study or play is work time.”
Heavy housecleaning, family wash­
ing, or regular furnace tending not
permitted. Students expected to
stay in 5 evenings a w'eek and to
have on those evenings 2 hours of
uninterrupted study time begin­
ning at about 8 o’clock.

75 cents for evening from
7 or 8 until 11 p.m.
After 11, 25 cents an

30 cents and car fare.

35 cents *

Some evenings and a reasonable
length of time on Saturdays and
Allowed to attend church service
at least once on Sunday.
House must be on ap­
proved list. A single
room, if possible.

Car fare, if distance to uni­
versity is too far for
Standard shows a scale of
pay rates for work
periods of 25 hours or
more a week. In 1931—
32 could not place for
more than $2 a week.


35 cents*

The girl should be free to attend
some religious service each
Should not be expected in addition to
28 hours. If it involves a girl’s time
or change of plans, should be paid
for as overtime.

Released from duties during vaca­
tions scheduled by the univer­
Private room, well light­
ed, and heated.

Either Friday or Saturday even­
ing off and Sunday after dinner.

1 or 2 evenings a week with children
in addition to the 30 hours.

50 cents an evening*___

Girl should not have full responsi­
bility for heavy work such as wash­
ing, scrubbing, and care of the

25 cents* .

If work is too heavy, such as washing
and hard cleaning, the job is not

'When a student stays in evenings
with children, even though the time
is their own to study, etc., they are
responsible for being there and this
time counts as 1 hour toward their
total. ”


Specific provisions for students working for board or for lodging only are not given.
^ ^
Board is not always clearly defined, but usually includes 3 meals. Several standards require provision for lunches that cannot be eaten at home. One (University of California) requires that food shall be supplied at home when the family is out for dinner.
Some standards make this distinction on the basis of the child’s being awake or asleep, instead of specifying time of day.
Maximum weekly hours calculated from daily hours as reported in standard.
Car fare required for work outside of Wellesley.
tj, ,
. oc
. .
Both casual rate and overtime rate, for experienced girls. Overtime rates for inexperienced girls being taught by housewife are 25 cents in first semester and 35 cents in second.


30 to 35 cents-


Provision for transporta­
tion if university is not
within walking distance.


Wyoming, Laramie:
University of Wyoming 28
Dean of women and divi­
sion of personnel.


Living conditions


To be paid for..

2 every day; 4 extra
on Saturday; and 3
extra 1 afternoon.

ule to
be ar­

Time off

25* cents for first hour,
20 cents following

Not mentioned..

Not more than 4_. _

Evening 3

30*, 35*, and 40* cents,
according to type of
work. Minimum per
job, 75 cents.

To be paid for..

Washington, Pullman:
State College of Washington------ 28 (average) College Y.W.C.A. secretary.


To be paid for..

Not mentioned .

Texas, Austin:
University of Texas-----------------University Y.W.C.A. stu­
dent life secretary for
Vermont, Burlington:
University of Vermont------------Dean of women.

Wisconsin, Madison:
University of Wisconsin----------Student employment office
and dean of women.

Care of children
Daytime 3

South Dakota, Brookings:
State College--------------------------- 30_
Dean of women.

West Virginia, Morgantown:
West Virginia University-Dean of women.



Minimum payment in ad­
dition to board and
lodging 2

Work requirements

Room well heated and

The place





the decision on other (Questions entirely to the student; and in a few
cases the entire handling of the student’s placement and supervision
of her work is done in a way to put responsibility on the girl and help
her to make her job contribute effectively to her development.
The standards analyzed in chart III and discussed here are not in
all cases hard and fast rules that are rigidly enforced. An attempt
was made to separate recommendations from definite requirements
but the replies received showed that the nature of the work regulated
made this inadvisable. The effectiveness of the standards can be
judged to a certain extent by the methods of application used (See
pp. 40-44.)

Most of these college standards specify the number of hours to be
worked for board and room. This is supplemented in some cases by
the requirement of payment for overtime and the establishment of
the hourly rate for such payment. Other provisions in the standards
may be grouped as time off, living conditions, and work requirements.

Some regulation of the hours to be worked appears in ail but 2 of
the 42 college standards analyzed in chart III that cover the work of
girls in private homes for room and board. The standards used by
one college apply to casual employments only, since it is the policy
ol tins institution to have its students live in the college dormitories.
The most common requirement is a maximum of 28 hours of work a
week, or 4 hours a day, reported by 21 colleges. In others the hours
are from 21 to 33K a week; 12 specify 25 hours or less, 2 specify over
25 but less than 28, and 4 allow over 28.3
In most cases the maximum hours do not cover time spent in
staying with children in the evenings, although it is expected that
the girl will do this occasionally. Some standards are definite on
tins point. (See chart III and p. 37.) In two cases the maximum
hours depend on the typo of work done:
Evansville College states that 28 hours of fight housework, a fair
equivalent for room and board, may be extended to 35 hours if the
requirements of the job include the girl’s having to stay with children
during the afternoon or evening when they are asleep and she is free
to study without disturbance. Less than 28 hours of work would be
expected if heavier housework is required.
. At North Dakota Agricultural College, 3 hours a day or 21 a week
is the maximum if all the work is general fight housework, but if
caring for children is included the daily hours mav be extended to 4
no mention being made of the weekly hours.
The specific exemption from work time of a girl’s doing her own
laundry, cleaning her own room, or eating her meals (unless she is
serving, in which case it is sometimes suggested that one fourth of
the meal period be counted as work) is made in several instances.
Other statements definitely connected with the work hours, such
as the amount of time ofi suggested and the definition of working
time, are included in some standards.
^ This does not include 1 standard that sets minimum instead of maximum hours.



Only a few standards mention the latest work hour, other than for
staying with cliildren, and these set it at 8 p.m.
Provisions for overtime are especially important in these standards,
39 of which quote the maximum hours that may be worked for board
and room. Nineteen state that time worked in excess of the maximum
hours specified must be paid for as overtime. Another requires that
a “satisfactory settlement” be made for overtime. In 16 of the 19,
hourly rates for overtime are set; of the remaining cases, overtime
work is opposed in 1 and in 18 is not mentioned, although 10 of the
latter had hourly rates for casual employment.
For students who are working for either board or lodging, the work
requirements suggested most frequently are an hour a day for room
and an hour for each meal. However, the requirements for a room
vary from half an hour to 2 hours a day, and in a few cases less than
an hour’s work is required for breakfast or for lunch.
Time off

Most of the college requirements assume that the regulation of
hours will allow free time for recreation as well as for study, but only
eight of them specify the definite time off to be allowed. Privilege
of church attendance at least once on Sunday or on alternate Simday
mornings is the only time off requested in three other cases.
University regulations for the girl’s evenings usually apply, and
their enforcement is sometimes made a definite responsibility of the
Although only five standards mention that students are to be
expected to work only when the university is in session, or that they
have vacation periods at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and between
“semesters” or “terms”, others suggest that holiday work is over­
time work or that an understanding should be reached on this
question before the position is accepted. That the student be
allowed to go home one week-end each term is a provision of one
Payment in money

Of the 40 standards that make some provision regarding hours of
work, only 1 requires that a money wage be paid in addition to board
and room, unless overtime is worked. The University of California
at Los Angeles requires that a minimum cash payment of $10 a
month be given.
The State Teachers College at Buffalo reports that it is able to place
some girls at $2 and $2.50 a week. The University of Washington
(Seattle), which has fixed 21 hours of work a week as a fair equivalent
for room and board, has a scale of wages for employment of 25 hours
or more. These cash amounts increase with each additional 3-hour
work period and are only slightly different from the requirements
that overtime be paid for and that transportation or car fare be
provided. The University of California (Berkeley) requires that car
fare be paid and it states that $10 a month usually is given for lunch
and car-fare money. Ten other standards specifically mention that
provision must be made for car fare or transportation if needed. In
addition to these, several standards include special provisions for
car fare for casual work, or for escorting the girl to her residence after
she has stayed with children in the evening.



Hourly rates for overtime or casual employment in housework
range from 25 cents to 50 cents, with 35 cents predominating. Only
one college reports a rate above 40 cents, and its highest figure (50
cents) is required because the cost of living in its locality is higher
than elsewhere. One placement office states that if extra time is
worked regularly, a weekly rate usually is arranged. For the care of
children in the daytime (in some standards the statement reads “when
children are awake”) the rate for overtime or for part-time jobs is
from 25 to 50 cents an hour, 25 cents being the mode. For staying
with children in the evening the rate varies from 50 cents to $1 for
the evening; when paid by the hour, 25 cents is the predominating
rate. In one case 35 cents an hour becomes the rate after midnight,
15 cents being the rate until that time. With the one exception of
Wellesley—where it is not customary for the girls to five in private
homes—the hourly rates tabulated in chart III were reported in
standards for girls working for board and room, but in many cases it
is clear that these rates apply to casual work. The fact that no rate
is mentioned in several cases does not indicate that rates have not
been set but that they were not reported in connection with the
regulations requested.
Work requirements

Some statement defining working time, or specifying the type of
work that may be required or that is prohibited, is made in 24 of the
42 standards analyzed here. In most cases the purpose is to keep
the girl from having the responsibility for heavy work, though in one
standard the suggestion is made that the hours should be varied in
accordance with the type of work required. Ironing usually is in­
cluded as light housework, though in one case it is necessary to divide
the periods for ironing so that the girl will not be required to stand
for a long time.
The care of children in the evening—often a source of misunder­
standing and friction—is a work regulation included in 15 standards.
Frequently this is considered part of the girl’s responsibility in addi­
tion to the total weekly hours worked and is unregulated. Five
standards limit the number of afternoons or evenings a week that this
service can be expected—three of them to 2 afternoons or evenings,
and two of them to 3 evenings. If the girl’s time is taken up in
putting the children to bed, or the girl is required to give up a free
evening or change her own plans, the time is counted as part of the
regular work period or as overtime in some cases. One standard
states that “when students stay in evenings with children, even
though the time is their own to study, and so forth, they are respon­
sible for being there, and this time counts as 1 hour toward their
total.” Another standard provides that caring for children when
they are asleep shall be counted as half time. This is in accordance
with the suggestion of the standards of the National Committee on
Employer-Employee Relationships in the Home for time “on call.”
A regulation of another phase of the work is that a schedule be
prepared and followed. Such a schedule—seemingly almost essen­
tial for such part-time work—is definitely suggested or required in
12 institutions. A few others require the girl to keep a record of her
work time—one even requiring that the girl make a time analysis of
her work and discuss it with the placement officer.



A final and very important suggestion, not listed in chart III, is
made in a few cases—that a definite work agreement be made between
employer and employee. This is more than a suggestion in two
colleges—Massachusetts State College and the State normal school
at Potsdam, N.Y.—where written agreements covering work and
living conditions must be signed by both employer and employee.
That the period of the agreement be limited to one quarter is sug­
gested in one standard.
Living conditions

The requirement that the girl have a room alone is made in only
seven standards, although of course it is always considered desirable.
In four cases the information supplied shows clearly that houses and
living conditions are personally inspected by school authorities before
a girl is placed. This undoubtedly is done in some other cases, but
often facts about living conditions are discussed in telephone con­
versations or interviews with the employer or employee in the office
of the dean of women. In most instances the living conditions must
be approved by the dean, but this fact appears in chart III only when
it was specifically mentioned in connection with standards for do­
mestic work. In addition to the provision that the girl be allowed
the privilege of receiving callers at the home, living condition require­
ments often mentioned4 are a quiet place and facilities for study, a
sufficient supply of light, heat, and ventilation, and access to bathing
Board and lodging only is given in exchange for the domestic
services of the majority of college girls. Because living conditions
have such an important influence on the student’s health and scholar­
ship, they are especially emphasized in many of these standards. In
the present study information secured on this point undoubtedly is
incomplete, because general university requirements and procedure
about rooming conditions have not been given.
Miscellaneous provisions

In addition to the requirements analyzed in chart III, many of the
college standards contain provisions pertaining to the following:
(1) The girl’s status as a student of the university or college; (2) the
protection of the girl’s health and morals; (3) the girl’s status in the
home, with special emphasis on the responsibilities and privileges of
both girl and employer; and (4) the enforcement of the standards
suggested. (The provisions for enforcement are discussed in con­
nection with the methods of applying standards. See pp. 40-44.)
Some of the requirements pertaining to the girl’s status as a student
of the university or college are as follows: That she is subject to the
rules of the institution concerning hours of social activities for girls
and that in many cases her employer is expected to enforce these
rules; that she must have both a suitable place and time sufficient
for study and leisure for some participation in school activities; and
that her work schedule be adjusted to her university schedule. The
dean of women often advises the girl not to carry a full assignment of
university work. One institution reports that the university fees
paid and courses taken are reduced for each year and spread over a
4 A requirement made in one institution, from which standards comparable to those analyzed in chart
III were not secured, is that they “never place a girl in a home where any member of the family is ill with
tuberculosis or any other contagious or infectious disease."



5-year period for girls working more than 3K hours a day. In another
case it is suggested that the girl be given special consideration and
less work at examination periods.
Although all the regulations are in a general sense for the protection
of the girl’s health and morals, a few requirements particularly em­
phasize this protection. The dean of women in one college reported
that she checks reports of the girl’s health as well as her college record.
That late hours and the assumption of too much responsibility in
college or community activities are a detriment to the girl’s health,
scholastic standing, and work efficiency, is emphasized in some
standards. A few prohibit the employment of girls in homes where
there are men roomers.
Provisions concerning the privileges and responsibilities of the girl
and the employer as these affect the girl’s status in the home are con­
tained in many of the standards. Usually the decision as to whether
the girl is to eat with the family is an individual arrangement of the
girl and the housewife. The permission to receive and occasionally
entertain guests in her employer’s home is required in a few cases
and suggested in others. It is suggested in some cases that the em­
ployer allow the use of laundry facilities, if no other satisfactory
arrangement is made about laundry; and that she correct the girl
privately, rather than in the presence of other members of the family,
where correction is necessary. For the employee, moderation in her
use of telephone, light, or other facilities, proper care of the furniture,
and a conscientious regard for the privacy of the family and its affairs
are advised.
Sample standards

Standards issued by two institutions are reprinted here as examples
of the way these requirements are presented.
Regulations Governing Board and Room in Private Homes for University

[Drawn up under the direction of the offices of the Dean of Women and the
Bureau of Occupations]1
1. It is customary for University women to give 3 hours a day or 21 hours a
week in exchange for their room, board, and car fare. In most homes
$10 a month is paid to cover the student’s car fare and lunch money.
2. When more than 21 hours a week is required, students are paid at the rate
of 40 cents an hour for housework, 35 cents for care of children in the
daytime and 25 cents in the evening.
3. Women students living in homes do various types of light housework, such
as ironing, cooking, serving, dishwashing, care of children, and other
miscellaneous duties about ‘the home. Men are sent out from the bureau
at 50 cents an hour for heavy cleaning, floor polishing, washing of wood­
work, gardening, etc.
4. Homes are chosen that provide comfortable, well lighted and heated private
rooms equipped wdth desk and lamp. This permits of uninterrupted
study in the student’s own room.
5. The student eats on her own time and with the family or not depending
upon arrangements previously made.
6. Laundry facilities should be available to students.
7. It hot suggested that the students economize in thefor doingthe telephone,
use of
water, gas, electricity, and any materials used
their laundry.
8. One night a week may be devoted to a dinner engagement out.
9. Food should be supplied in the home when the family is out for dinner.



10. Students should make arrangements in advance concerning evening engage­

ments. If children are left in their care in the evening while they are
at home studying, no extra charge should be made. If it is necessary to
put children to bed or devote any time to them or break an appointment
to stay, then the time should be counted as part of the regular employ­
ment period or as overtime.
11. Students usually return to their homes for such holiday periods as Thanks­
giving and Christmas. Other holiday and week-end privileges depend
upon special arrangements.
The following are the rules governing “nights out” for university women as
drawn up by the A.8.U.C. Women’s Executive Committee:
(а) Freshmen may have two nights out each week.
(б) Sophomores may have three nights out each week.
(c) Upper classmen may use their own discretion in regard to nights out.
(d) Any failure to be in the house by 7:30 or entertaining company after
7:30 will be considered a night out.
(e) All girls must be in by 2 a.m. except after the big game.
Student Employment Office,
Telephones: Badger 7612
Corner of Park and Langdon Streets.
University 202
TovThis will introduce
Regulations for students who work for room, and board in private homes:
For room and 3 meals a day25 hours of work a week.
For room and 2 meals a day21 hours of work a week.
For room and 1 meal a day______ 10 to 14 hours a week (depends on meal).
For room only7 to 10 hours a week.
When student stays in evenings with children, even though the time is their
own to study, etc., they are responsible for being there, and this time counts as
1 hour toward their total.
Employers who live beyond walking distance are expected to help the student
with transportation.
When occasional overtime is asked, the student is paid on an hourly basis.
For a definite regular amount of extra time, a weekly rate is usually made:
25 cents an hour and up for care of children.
35 cents an hour and up for light housework and serving.
35 cents an hour and up for cooking, janitor work, etc.
Rates vary according to ability of student and the nature of the work.
Undergraduate women living in private homes are subject to university


While the effectiveness of the application of these standards
cannot be determined through a questionnaire, the replies received
from the colleges give some information on enforcement methods
other than follow-up. Details about forms to be filled out and
records to be kept were not reported generally. The placement
agencies listed in chart III are in most cases the enforcement agencies
also, though the dean of women cooperates in certain phases of this
in some of the 15 institutions in which the placement agency is
either the college Y.W.C.A. secretary (5 institutions) or a university
employment office or personnel or vocational guidance bureau (10
institutions). For example, at Syracuse University the standards
are used as a guide for placement by the university appointment
office, but follow-up work is done by the office of the dean of women.
The enforcement methods used may be classified as those applied
before a placement is made and those applied after such placement.



Investigation of applicants

In all cases where the student secures her employment through
the school placement agency, the application of the standards begins
when the housewife seeks an employee and the student a position.
(The deans of women in some institutions also try, during the course
of the year, to locate students who have obtained their own positions,
to aid them in securing the standard conditions of employment.)
Employer.—Before the placement agency accepts a householder’s
request for help, some information about the work to be done is
secured and the householder is informed of the university employment
standards and often housing rules also. Twenty-four of the 43
standards considered in this study are in printed or mimeographed
form for distribution. Supplementary statements to employers
sometimes are made. A personal conference with the dean rather
than a telephone conversation is a requirement of some standards.
Seven replies state that the home is investigated before a placement
is made. In some cases this means that an inspection of the home
and the girl’s room is made by the placement agency or by the dean of
women. In some communities the homes requesting help are known
personally to the placement officer. Usually, on the basis of informa­
tion secured in this way or facts known from previous contacts with a
home, the placement officer decides whether or not to recommend the
position to a student.
The effectiveness of this decision in enforcing standards is almost
certain to depend on the relation between the number of college girls
seeking work and the number of requests for their services.
Employee.—In many cases the girl applying to the dean’s office is
given careful consideration before being referred to an employer.
Information about her scholastic record, health, interests, attitudes,
skills, and so forth is secured. In one institution each girl, wThen
applying for this type of work, is given a test to ascertain her ability,
speed, and thoroughness in general housework before she is recom­
mended for a position.
Work requirements and standards are discussed with the student.
She is given suggestions in regard to the interview with the housewife
and the importance of a definite understanding or agreement is
impressed upon her. In most cases the girl is expected then to inter­
view the employer and complete her own arrangements. One insti­
tution requires a conference between the employer and employee with
the dean of women or her representative.
Follow-up after placement

The methods of following up a placement vary from no systematic
action to the requiring of weekly reports from the students. One
dean says that she is almost constantly in touch with the girls placed,
and in practically all institutions opportunity for discussion of work
problems with the dean or placement officer at any time is possible.
Contacting both the student and the employer after a placement
has been made is the policy reported by 18 of the 33 schools reporting
that they do some follow-up work and explaining their methods. Six
others require an interview or report from the student only, and 7
from the employer only; 2 have “occasional personal conferences” or
interviews by telephone. Occasional reports from both employers
and students are received even though not required. In a few cases



the employer is requested to report to the dean only if the student’s
work' is unsatisfactory.
Usually these contacts after placement are a personal interview
with the student and a telephone conversation with the householder.
When only the householder reports, the primary object of the follow-up
is to see whether or not the girl’s work is satisfactory. Sometimes
the employee takes a slip or card to the householder that she is
expected to fill out and return to the placement office, reporting
whether or not the student was accepted and has done satisfactory
work. In some cases the placement officer has a personal interview
with the employer or visits the home.
At State College, Brookings (S.Dak.), both the employer and the
student are required to fill out individual report forms giving pertinent
information about the work relationship, and to return these to the
dean of women at the end of the first 6 weeks and periodically through­
out the year.
At State Teachers College, Buffalo, the student is required to evalu­
ate her own situation after a period of residence with the employer.
She reports to the dean of women on (a) personality of housemother,
(6) heating, (c) lighting, (d) ventilation, (e) entertainment facilities,
(/) laundry facilities, (g) single sleeping accommodations, (h) quality
of food, (i) preparation of food, (j) service of food, (7c) car fare required,
(l) recreational possibilities. Each item is graded on a 5-point scale,
A, B, C, D, E. Keeping a week’s time study of required service in
half-hour intervals also is required of the girl.
Most of the contacts discussed thus far are reports about the place­
ment secured in various ways, some more complete than others.
N umerous replies indicate that, in addition to these first reports, fre­
quent conferences are held with both employers and employees
throughout the year. Continued contacts are additional evidence of
real enforcement of these standards in some places. At Ohio State
University, Columbus, weekly reports of the hours worked are made
to the placement office. Monthly interviews with the employer and
employee are held at Pennsylvania State College.
When complaints are made by either party, or unsatisfactory con­
ditions come to the attention of the placement officer, attempts
usually are made to secure adjustments, and in some cases a change
is made.
A few institutions have social events and meetings arranged for the
employers during the year. A social organization for the students
employed in this work was reported as being active on one campus,
and the members of this club plan to entertain their employers yearly.
These informal meetings are one means of exchanging ideas, dissemi­
nating information, and maintaining relations of mutual confidence
and understanding. The local branch of the American Association
of University Women and wives of faculty members sometimes offer
special cooperation with the dean of women in placing students.
The following descriptions of the enforcement of these standards
are interesting examples of the way this work is handled:
Housing assistant calls at home of householder and interviews girl, listens to
complaints, and makes adjustments when girl and householder are not suited to
each other. Housing assistant inspects rooms, finds out type of work girl does,
and number of hours she spends; checks on girl’s scholastic standing and health.
When girl is overworking, a chart of all work per day is kept and studied, then



recommendations are made. A card index is kept of each girl and her house­
holder. Girls are required to keep dormitory slips showing the evenings spent
at home or away. A year-to-year file of householders is kept so that a record of
all peculiarities is maintained.

According to the person in charge of this work in one dean’s office:
The check on the success of our placement comes mainly through our housing
round-up, made once a quarter by * * *, assistant dean of women. She
calls in all students not living at home or in our approved list of boarding places,
in the course of this she usually finds most of the students who have found their
own positions. Last fall I asked her to call in several new placements I had made.
I am not doing as I used to do and visiting the homes before I place. We wanted
to check and see if this had meant a very evident increase in bad placements.
So far as she could see it has made no difference. The worst placements have
always come from students placing themselves. It is only fair to say, however,
that many students do place themselves quite satisfactorily. I have had em­
ployers call me and ask for my standards and use them voluntarily. I have had
others refuse to come because I asked so many questions! I sometimes help
students escape a bad bargain.

In another college the bureau of occupations applying the standards
We call at every home applying for women students to work for room and boardA copy of Regulations Governing Board and Room Work in Private Homes
is given to employers when the call is made and to the student when she is referred
to the home for an interview. We encourage the employer to outline in as much
detail as possible the work she expects from the girl.
We keep a permanent record of employers, giving a description of the home,
the work expected of a student, and the comments of students who have been
employed there.
- ?? calling at the homes before placing the students we are particularly interested
m the attitude of the employer, the home environment, the kind of room offered
the student, including heating, lighting, and bathing facilities. We avoid, as
far as possible, homes where there are sons or daughters attending the University
believing the social adjustment is more difficult for a self-supporting student if
there are other University students in the home.
tV e urge the students placed in homes to see us after they have been working
a week or more. Questions sometimes arise after they are working on jobs that
could not have been previously anticipated.
We do not check with the employer after the placement is made unless a
complaint has been registered by the student. If all is going well as far as the
student is concerned, we do not solicit complaints from the employer.
A list of all women students placed in private homes is sent to the office of the
dean of women so that health and academic records may be checked.

In spite of the care used in placing students and of unusual oppor­
tunities for following up the placement, it is difficult to standardize
tins type of employment. The statements of some enforcement
officers are especially interesting in this connection. In one institu­
tion the chief difficulty encountered is the eagerness of girls for some
kind of work, and the fear each has that she may have to be placed
on the waiting list for a position often makes her submit to overwork
without registering a complaint. From another institution a similar
statement was received:
()ur (lillienlty arises from the fact that there are so many students desiring to
work their way through school that they will accept almost anything they can
get. As always when the supply so far exceeds the demand it is difficult to
regulate standards.

I he secretary to the dean of women of one college makes this
Experience has taught us that it is very hard to regulate standards for domestic
work, during tunes of unemployment especially. In many specific cases, however
the personal contact with the employer in the calls at her home have proved




While recognizing that it is desirable for some girls to earn their
board and lodging, one dean of women says, “My experience with this
type of arrangement has been that it is never entirely satisfactory
to the homemaker or to the student.”
Another says:
Most employers are very willing to comply with the regulations suggested.
Until the last 2 years we have always had more homes listed than we could supply
with students, a condition that has given us a favorable choice and has made it
possible to replace a girl in case the first placement is not suitable. The most
effective way to get good cooperation with the employers is to send satisfactory
help, we have found. Girls with little experience or inclination for domestic
work, and yet for whom this type of job is about the only kind available, may
have to work for longer hours than those specified until they learn how to manage
their work and to budget their time. Inspection of the home to be sure of suitable
conditions is desirable. We require the student to report any violations of the
suggested standards.


Methods of applying standards before placement are the following:
1. Investigation of the applicants—both employer and em­
(a) Information is secured about the home and the
work expected through telephone conversations,
personal conferences, and actual inspection of the
(b) Information regarding the student is secured by
personal interviews; in one instance the girl’s
ability is tested by a practical demonstration.
2. Both prospective employer and employee are informed of
the standards covering this work. In many cases copies
of the standards are given them. Directions about the
interview and reporting after the interview also are given.
Methods of follow-up after placement include:
1. Reports of the success of the placement.
2. Conferences with employer, employee, or both, and reports
required throughout the year. (Often irregularly but
sometimes monthly or weekly.)
3. Attempts to adjust complaints or differences. If this
fails, replacement of girl is possible in some cases, and
refusal to attempt replacements in unsatisfactory posi­
4. Group educational and social activities for employers and
in some cases for employees.

The decreased wages and the increased difficulty in maintaining
standards for household employment, resulting from the unemploy­
ment of large numbers of women during 1930 and 1931, were men­
tioned by the agencies cooperating in this study more often than was
any other one point. A more hopeful result of the depression lay in
the development in several instances of special training or placement
The following statement describes the situation:
In time of unemployment in other lines of work the household worker is at
the mercy of the fiction that every woman can do housework. Women out of
work in factories and stores, married women whose husbands are out of a job,
pour into the employment offices and answer the newspaper ads. Some of themj
no doubt, are competent workers; others could meet the employer’s standards
only in those tasks that are relatively unskilled. The net effect, however, is a
demoralization of customary wage standards. Many employers offer only board
and room; others a few dollars a week, perhaps a third of the usual amount,
borne of these families are coming into the market for “service” for the first timeothers are dismissing part-time help, hoping to get full-time help for the same
money, others are seeking to offset the effects of their own lowered incomes.1

A number of communities reported that workers could be secured
for board and room only, or for “living” and a dollar a week. Others
mentioned wage reductions sometimes of as much as 75 percent. The
following reply is typical:
Many young women and girls out of employment are willing to take housework,
purely as a temporary measure, and they will work for anything that is offered,
m many cases the wage being as low as $1 a week and board and room.
Recently there have been so many men who do not seem to be able to find any
work that their wives are going out while the children are in school and will do
any work they can find for about any price that is offered.

\ acations and time off have been reduced in some communities, and
unsatisfactory living conditions have been accepted.
One agency doing case work with careful placement and supervision
of girls was able until October 1931 to insist that each girl have her
own room, but after that they had to accept homes where the girl
occupies a roll-away or day-bed in the living room.
Under these circumstances, standards have been disregarded or
lowered in many cases. One agency placing Negro workers had used
standards of wages, time off, and living conditions from 1928 to 1930,
but reported that it had dropped the standards completely because
at present all classes of help are taking jobs at whatever wage they
can get.” College and junior agencies also reported lower standards,
one college agency writing:
It has been much harder to place students this year. Full-time workers are
going as low as S15 and some just room and board. One student lost her part­
time position at $2 a week to a full-time worker at $2.50 a week. I have an un­
happy feeling that the girls will not feel the full result of this until next year
1 The Household Worker, by Hazel Kyrk.

In American Federationist, January 1932, pp. 34-35.




[fall 1932]. Although several girls have had to wait to be placed until the quarter
was well under way we have been able to place all but one or two girls. We no
longer have a list of employers for whom we had no students as in other years.

Such unsettled conditions and changes in the wage scale also were
referred to as causes of “general unrest and lack of faith among
employers and employees”, and of such abuses as overwork and
refusal to pay any wage.
Various tendencies are reported. In a large industrial city a junior
employment agency found that experienced maids were being replaced
by junior workers who were exploited through long hours and low
pay. In another large industrial community an official of a junior
agency had fewer calls for junior workers because older workers were
available at low wages.
In spite of these tendencies, several replies indicated that the large
numbers of women who were unskilled, untrained, and inexperienced
in household employment and who were seeking such work had not
greatly affected the wages paid for skilled workers.2 One citizens’
committee on relief and employment which on March 4, 1932, had
4,257 women registered for housework (two thirds being Negroes),
reported that trained white workers, few in number, were able to
retain work and salary standards.
An agency in another community replied that even though the
general wage scale was reduced, people who would take only compe­
tent help still were willing to pay the old scale to get it. Only 2 of
37 girls from the Jane Addams School, Cleveland, employed in house­
work, had received wage cuts, according to a study made by the
school in February 1932.3
Some of the instances of lowered standards cited in the foregoing
attest the general seriousness of the situation. This is further em­
phasized by the fact that communities, schools, and social agencies
undertook special projects to handle it. Agencies that had never
placed domestic workers undertook to do so in some cases, and new
free placement agencies were organized in other communities. Train­
ing courses for household employees were organized in a number of
cities, often through the local Young Women’s Christian Association.4
Finally, cooperative efforts were made in several places to develop
and enforce standards for household employment so as to prevent the
complete demoralization of conditions. In some cases these stand­
ards were correlated with training. The Detroit and Cincinnati
activities for the employment of junior workers and those of Long
Beach and San Francisco for all workers are especially interesting in
this respect. The accompanying statement of the San Francisco
division of State employment agencies of the California department
of industrial relations is worth quoting in this connection:
There has been considerable interest shown in this community from time to
time regarding the improvement of standards for domestic service. This interest* *
a This is partly explained by a condition suggested by Dr. Kyrk, “that there are two groups in household
employment, the permanent, stable, experienced group and those who drift in and out, who, combined
with the younger, untrained workers, make up a competing group of cheap labor working often under
highly unsatisfactory conditions.” (The Household Worker, by Hazel Kyrk. In American Federationist, January 1932, p. 37.)
. „
. _. ,
. ,
a Report made by Jane Addams School on Domestic Service Work. Mimeographed copy.
* The training courses mentioned in replies in this study were as follows: San Francisco, Calif., a private­
ly endowed vocational school in cooperation with State free employment bureau and emergency relief
commission (women’s division). St. Paul, Minn., Young Women’s Christian Association. Cincin­
nati, Ohio., junior placement bureau and public schools. Spokane, Wash., Young Women s Christian
Association. Houston, Tex., Young Women’s Christian Association. Phoenix, Ariz., Friendly House.
Grand Forks, N.Dak., Young Women’s Christian Association in cooperation with State department of
vocational guidance.



somewhat waned when thousands of women formerly engaged in other occupa­
tions demanded domestic employment as a means of a livelihood.
As soon as this situation became well known, wages and standards were auto­
matically reduced. It was felt by representative agencies dealing in placements
that not all of the reductions in standards were due entirely to the depression, but
that certain employers were taking advantage of conditions.
It was found that some people who had never before employed domestics were
clamoring for women to work long hours for room and board only. To offset this
tendency, a meeting of agencies (charitable, State, Federal, and municipal) was
held under the auspices of the community chest, December last [1931], and certain
minimum standards were drawn up.
A great deal of interest was shown at this meeting in the problem, and also in
the matter of providing training of domestic employment. It was planned to
revise these standards from time to time, as conditions warranted.
A small beginning has been made in this community toward training unem­
ployed women for domestic service. One of our privately endowed vocational
schools has offered a course in domestic science to clients of the emergency relief
commission, women’s division, and the State free employment bureau. The
course consists of 10 weeks’ intensive training in cooking, serving, and domestic
Also a training course in practical nursing has been offered to clients of the same
organizations at the Laguna Honda Home (the county home for the aged poor).
This course consists of lectures and actual work under the supervision of the
superintendent of nurses over a period of 10 weeks,










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United States Department of Labor,
Women’s Bureau,
Washington, [date].

The Women’s Bureau (charged by law to formulate standards and
policies which shall promote the welfare of wage-earning women), in
cooperation with Mrs. Anna L. Burdick, of the Federal Board for
Vocational Education, is studying the practices in the placement of
domestic workers pertaining to terms and conditions of employment.
We recognize the difficulty of setting standards for the employment
of domestic workers and tliat conditions during the last few years
are not typical, but we believe that a collection and summary of the
practices of many agencies engaged in placing household employees,
and an expression of opinion by persons in such agencies as to the
possibility of using standards in placing these workers, will be helpful.
Many high-school, vocational-school, and college girls are doing
part-time domestic work. Standards for their employment, similar
to the ones enclosed, are being used in several schools.
We hope that you will be willing to aid in this study by sending us a
statement of your experience and your opinions on these matters.
For your convenience we have prepared the enclosed form. We shall
appreciate the courtesy if you will use it as a guide for your reply,
fill it out, and return it to us in the franked envelop enclosed, which
requires no postage. The duplicate copy is for your file. If place­
ment work in your institution is handled by someone else, will you
please refer this inquiry to the person or persons who can inform us
about it?
When the report is completed we will send you a copy; we hope that
it will be useful to you.
Sincerely yours,
Mary Anderson,
Director, Women’s Bureau.
Anna L. Burdick,
Federal Board for Vocational Education.




Please answer these questions, attach supplementary information,
and mail in enclosed envelop that d»es not require postage. Please
note that you are not asked about training standards.
1. Do you have any requirements about the work to be done, hours of
work, vacations, wages, or living conditions, that must be met
before you will place a domestic worker? --------. The at­
tached standards * will suggest the kind of action this question
2 i
covers. If you have such requirements now, or have ever had
them, please send copies, giving dates of periods standards were
2. Do you make recommendations about the work to be done, hours
of work, vacations, wages, or living conditions of domestic
workers? ______ If you have such recommendations, please
send copies.
3. Do you do any kind of follow-up work after placements of domestic
workers? _____ Please describe.
4. As a placement agency do you see any way that standards and
recommended procedure, similar to the ones attached, can be
made effective?

5. Please make any criticisms that occur to you about the content of
the suggested standards attached.

6. May the name of the agency you represent be used if any informa­
tion that you have supplied is quoted? --------- May your
name be used? --------7. If there are other agencies in your community that you think might
be willing to send information on this problem, will you please
place their names and addresses here?

Although it is not requested by more questions, all additional infor­
mation about your agency and your experience with this problem
1 The use of a more complete questionnaire was tested by sending it to a few secondary schools that were
known to have standards. The replies showed that the use of this questionnaire was inadvisable.
i Suggested Minimum Standards for the Full-Time General Houseworker Proposed by the National
Committee on Employer-Employee Relationships in the Home were enclosed. (See pp. 6-7.)



that you care to send will be welcomed. Do not hesitate to write
in detail in addition to answering the questions on this form.
Please sign here:


In the United States the only statutes applying directly to house­
hold employment for adults are what is termed the "oppressive wage
law” of Wisconsin and the workmen’s compensation laws of Connecti­
cut and New Jersey.4 * Several other States have a proviso in their
compensation laws whereby household employees may be insured
under the act. There is no law to regulate the hours 6 of adult house­
hold employees or to prohibit night work in household employment.
Wisconsin’s oppressive-wage law

The law of Wisconsin provides that “No wage paid or agreed to be
paid by any employer to any adult female employee shall be oppres­
sive. Any wage lower than a reasonable and adequate compensation
for the services rendered shall be deemed oppressive and is hereby
prohibited.” 6 The Wisconsin Industrial Commission under authority
given in the law considers an oppressive wage to be one that does not
equal the minimum wage set for minors. In regard to the minimum
for domestic servants the commission has ruled that:
The wage of domestic servants working 50 hours or more per week shall be
computed on a weekly instead of an hourly basis as follows: $6 in addition to
board, or $4.25 in addition to board and lodging, irrespective of size of city. The
wage of domestic servants working less than 50 hours per week shall be computed
on an hourly basis, allowance being made for board and lodging * * *.7

Where board or lodging is furnished as part payment of wages
there should be an allowance “of not more than $4.50 per week for
board and $2.25 per week for lodging in cities with a population of
5,000 or more, and of not more than $4 per week for board and $1.75
per week for lodging in other parts of the State.” 8
For several years the industrial commission has been doing what it
could to enforce a minimum wage both for minors and for adult
women in household employment.
Compensation laws 9

In only two States—New Jersey and Connecticut—is household
employment covered as other employments are in the compensation
act. In New Jersey, if the employer or employee does not accept the
act he must give written notice to that effect to the other party; but
when it is rejected, the customary common-law defenses are abrogated.
Connecticut employers are presumed to come under the act if they
employ regularly five or more persons, unless a written stipulation to
the contrary is made. Naturally, this restriction excludes most
household employers.
3 Domestic servants, or domestic service, the term used in most State laws, includes domestic workers
other than those in private households. Inquiries sent to every State in 1932 verified the conclusions
given here about the State laws as applied to household employees.
4 A city health ordinance requiring that domestic servants have health examinations is discussed in
appendix III.
J A few States have general laws that set maximum legal hours for all labor contracts unless there is
agreement to the contrary. Although these may be said to apply to household employees they are not
effective. A Montana law stating that “The entire time of a domestic servant belongs to the master"
(Revised Codes of Montana, 1921, sec. 7798) is not included as an hour regulation. Household employment
is not included in any of the laws regulating women’s hours of work in any State. A few labor laws for
women that cover ‘‘any occupation” have never been interpreted to cover household employees.
6 Wisconsin Statutes, 1931, sec. 104.125.
7 Wisconsin Minimum Wage Order of June 8, 1932, subdivision 7.
8 Ibid., subdivision 5.
9 The basic legal research on the application of State compensation laws to household employment was
done by Margaret T. Mettert of the research division.




Four States—Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, and South Carolina—
have no laws on workmen's compensation for any occupation.
Twelve States and the District of Columbia have workmen’s com­
pensation laws that specifically exclude domestic servants from the
coverage of the law. The list of these States follows:



West Virginia

Two States—New Hampshire and Oklahoma—list the employ­
ments that come under the act, but the work of household domestics
is not included in the list and no mention of this occupation is made
in the act.
The largest group of States—28 in all—provide that excepted
occupations, including domestic service, may come under the com­
pensation law by the voluntary acceptance of the act by the employer
or by employer and employee jointly. In this class the household
employer loses no rights or defenses if he does not volunteer to accept
the act. These States are—


New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota

Rhode Island
South Dakota

In practice, according to correspondence with State compensation
agencies, some householders do insure their employees.10 Of the 28
States whose laws contain a proviso permitting voluntary acceptance
of the act for household employees, only 7—Indiana, Kansas, Ken­
tucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Utah, and Washington—replied that no
household employer had sought such insurance, and 2—New Mexico
and Rhode Island—stated that they had no available record of the
acceptance of this act for a worker in this occupational group. Only
7 of the remaining 19 States where some persons in household employ­
ment have been brought under the compensation acts found it possible
to give, even approximately, the numbers covered. The following
figures, sent to the Bureau in the latter half of 1932, cover the latest
period for which such data could be secured:
Voluntarily under the compen­
sation act
State a

Maine____ _____
North Dakota
Ohio _ _____
Wisconsin . _


Number of

Over 100

Number of

2, 500
2, 272

« The New Hampshire Bureau of Labor stated that approximately 250 household employers of “domestic
summer camps and clubs” had elected to accept the compensation features of the law. The compensation
act lists the employments covered but makes no mention of household employment.
b Not reported.
10 In any State householders can, of course, carry insurance for injuries to their employees entirely inde­
pendent of the State law.

Department of Health

1. No person shall work as a domestic servant nor shall any person, firm, or
corporation employ any person as a domestic servant unless such person shall
have previously filed with the Department of Health of the City of Newark a
certificate of a physician, duly licensed to practice medicine in the State of New
Jersey, setting forth that such person is free from tuberculosis and any other
contagious or communicable disease. The term “Contagious disease” as herein
employed shall be held to include any disease of an infectious, contagious, or
pestilential nature.
2. The certificate referred to herein shall be made upon blanks to be supplied
by the Department of Health of the City of Newark and when filed shall be good
and effective for a period of 6 months thereafter. A separate certificate shall be
filed for each person. Upon the filing of the certificate herein referred to, the
Health Officer of the City of Newark, or such person as he shall designate, shall
issue to such domestic servant a card showing that he or she has been duly exam­
ined by a licensed physician, in accordance with the provisions of this ordinance,
and that he or she is free from tuberculosis and any other contagious or com­
municable disease. Any domestic servant desiring to conform with the provi­
sions of this ordinance may be examined by physicians connected with the De­
partment of Health of the City of Newark without charge.
3. Any person, firm, or corporation violating any provision of this ordinance
shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine not exceeding $25 for the first
offense, and for each subsequent offense shall be subject to a fine not exceeding
4. This ordinance shall take effect September 1, 1930.
Charles V. Craster, M.D., D.P.H.
Health Officer.
John F. Murray, Jr.,
Director of Public Works.

[Paper read at sixty-first annual meeting of American Public Health Association,
Washington, D.C., October 25, 1932]
In modern government the State has assumed the responsibility for the care
of the indigent sick and has broadened many curative activities into real pre­
ventive measures. Thus we do not wait for epidemics to develop as a result of
sewage contamination of our water supplies, or for cases of food poisoning to
result from sophisticated or adulterated foods. The requiring of clean water,
milk, and food supplies is as much a preventive activity as are the definitely pre­
ventive measures against diseases by inoculation or vaccination. It is such efforts
to promote health that have called for the extension of safety devices into wider
and wider channels of governmental control.
It required the wide public interest of the “Typhoid Mary” story to show
the danger to the individual households of an undetected typhoid carrier em­
ployed as a domestic cook. The result of this publicity was the adoption by the
New York Health Department of a requirement for the medical examination of
food handlers. Dr. Louis I. Harris, the health commissioner, after the first 2



years’ experience, made the following significant statement: “It is only a begin­
ning, but one whose significance and ultimate possibilities may well''be called
impressive. The manifold benefits that may ultimately accrue from this system
must be left to the imagination of those who have glimpsed the possibilities of
preventive medicine and especially of adult hygiene and periodical medical

This work, so well begun in New York, was adopted by Newark, N.J., in the
middle of 1920, and since that time 150,000 examinations of food handlers have
been made. The diseases encountered were tuberculosis, venereal disease skin
diseases, and various pus conditions of the mouth, ear, and nose. During the 11
yearn the examinations have been carried on by the Newark Department of
Health, there has been little or no opposition to the examination by the own­
ers of restaurants and eating places, and we have received the full cooperation of
the various labor unions. Even among the employees themselves it is not con­
sidered a hardship. The law acts as a bar to the employment of the sick and dis­
eased, who would compete by accepting lower wages and longer hours.
Although the findings of the examinations for a period of 11 years in the city
of Newark indicate that contagion is not more prevalent among the food handlers
than among any other body of industrial workers, the evidence gathered in the
first few years showed that many were being employed when in the infective
stages of tuberculosis. That this condition has been entirely eliminated is due
undoubtedly to the semiannual examination of food handlers. Skin diseases are
rarely found among applicants; venereal diseases in the contagious state are fre­
quently found.
There was observed even in the first few months of the procedure a remark­
able improvement in the general appearance of the food handlers. There was a
more wide-awake and intelligent appearance among all of them, due evidently
to the elimination from among this group of the cheap labor of diseased persons
previously engaged in other occupations who had sought the lighter and more
elastic hours of restaurants and lunch counters. This is particularly important
among the food-handling class for the reason that many are part-time workers
frequently recruited from the married women and mothers of families who have
some part of the day at their disposal.

The situation with regard to food handlers being adequately taken care of, the
attention of the department had been directed to the number of domestic em­
ployees attending the various clinics of the city dispensary. Many of these were
listed as tuberculous; others as suffering from venereal diseases in various stages of
mfectivity. The domestic servant, by the nature of his or her employment was
considered to be even more directly in contact with the family circle of the’indi­
vidual householder than the restaurant food handler. Some of them, such as nurse
maids, take care of very young children, and their freedom from contagious disease
is a matter of supreme importance. Others, such as cooks, waitresses, maids,
laundresses, and chauffeurs, have not so direct a contact with the individual but
none the less it is important to the family that no contagious diseases should
exist among them.

The ordinance requiring the medical examination of domestic employees was
passed m September 1930. It requires all domestic employees to file with the
department of health a certificate from a duly licensed physician setting forth
ohat such person is free from tuberculosis and any other contagious or communi­
cable disease. The certificate has to be made upon blanks supplied by the health
department, and the examination is good for a period of 6 months. Provision is
made for a free examination at the health department clinics. After the examina­
tion a domestic servant’s card is issued, bearing a photograph of the applicant,
lne penalty for failure to comply is a fine of $25 for the first offense and $50 for the
second. Both the domestic and the employer are liable under the law for any
violation of the ordinance.
(■’K ’ number of domestics employed in the city of Newark, according to the
United States Census for 1930, was: Males, 3,864; females, 9,674; total, 13,538.
lne group included under hotel and restaurant help are food handlers generally
and are not purely domestic in nature. It was considered that these census figures
overstated considerably at this time the number of individuals employed in the



domestic group. This assumption was verified by a house-to-house canvass of
the residential districts, where it was found that owing to the business depression
families were either doing without domestic help or had considerably reduced the
number of the staff employed in private homes.
The enforcement of the domestic servants ordinance was placed in the division
of sanitation. The actual examinations are conducted in the dispensary clinics
under the supervision of the bureau of tuberculosis. The form of. examination
carried out is similar to that for the food handlers, and includes examination of the
skin to detect the presence of skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, abscesses,
cuts, and wounds. The attention of the examiner is directed to the possible
association of skin diseases with syphilis. When such is suspected, a Wassermann
blood test is required.
The physical examination of the chest must include all known procedure for
the determination of chronic pulmonary diseases. Any abnormal chest condition
found is sufficient cause for rejecting the applicant pending X-ray or fluoroscopic
The examination of the nose, mouth, teeth, throat, ears, and eyes is directed
toward the discovery of acute or chronic conditions of an infective nature.
Especially where there is a discharge, swabs are taken for examination.
_ _
Blood tests are required where there is a history of typhoid fever or syphilis.
When there is no scar, vaccination is required.
Examination for venereal disease in the case of males requires a routine inspec­
tion of the sexual organs. Where suspicious sores or discharges are present, swabs
are taken for darkfield examination and blood for a Wassermann. For women,
the examination requires a statement from each applicant of freedom from venereal

After examination the applicant, if approved, takes the history card to the
sanitary division, where a domestic servant card is issued bearing a photograph of
the individual. Where there is doubt as to positive diagnosis for any reason what­
soever, the applicant is given a reexamination slip and a temporary card. This is
usually for a week or a month. When an applicant is rejected, the physician noti­
fies the sanitary division, which in turn notifies the employer and employee in
writing. The cause for the rejection is never given the employer.
As is the case with all new laws, a considerable amount of education and pub­
licity was required. All employment agencies, public and private, were brought
into the department for a conference. The new ordinance was explained, and it
was pointed out that no domestic employee should be placed in any position with­
out possessing the domestic employee’s card. Local newspapers carried copies
of the new ordinance displayed above help wanted advertisements. Domestics
advertising for places were mailed copies of the law with instructions for examina­
tion. All hotels, clubs, lodging houses, and institutions were canvassed and their
domestics sent down for examination. A house-to-house canvass was carried out
in the residential districts of the city and all householders were duly informed of
the new ordinance.
During the year 1931 the law was not generally known to the public, and the
follow-up system had not been sufficiently organized. More definite efforts in
the early part of 1932 produced better results. The number of examinations
to date is as follows: (It will be observed that there were over 10,000 examina­
tions during first 8 months this year compared to 2,863 during 1931.)
Examinations 1931 and first 8 months of 1932





1, 282

of health

2, 572
8, 879


2, 863
10, 161


As a result of clinical examinations and a check-up of domestics_ attending the
venereal disease clinics the following figures were obtained: Syphilis in all forms,
115; positive Wassermanns, 52; negative Wassermanns, 63. Among the group



found infected with syphilis 66 were day workers, the remainder domestics in
various lines of employment.
• Thjrj -were -39 oase? of skin diseases reported among domestics. These
included impetigo, scabies seborrhea, acne vulgaris, psoriasis, and purpura.
Among the 34 cases of tuberculosis found, 14 discontinued work, 8 moved
and could not be traced, 5 were sent to sanatoriums, 4 in arrested stage were
allowed to work, 1 died, 1 worked outside the city, 1 left for his homo in the
oouth. Of the total, 25 were colored and 9 white.
The Newark ordinance did not specify that the domestic suffering from a
contagious disease had to be in the communicable stage to be excluded from
employment. It is assumed, however, that this was the intent of the ordinance
and therefore domestics with arrested tuberculosis or with venereal disease in
a noncommunicable form are allowed to continue in their occupation. With
regard to those with diseases in the communicable state, the applicant is refused
permission to continue in that employment and the employer is so informed.
1 he department follows up all applicants who have been found infected, to see
that proper treatment is being carried out. By the city ordinance we cannot
divulge the nature of the disease to the employer. This is better for the self­
respect of the domestic and insures a greater effort in bringing about proper and
continuous treatment.

I am asked repeatedly, “Is the examination of food handlers and domestics
possible for small communities in the light of the cost for specialized service?”
ine answer will depend upon whether a complete medical examination is con­
templated, as in the case of life-insurance companies, or an examination for
contagion only. If the Latter, the necessary examination is not so extensive and
can readily be carried out by a well-equipped physician employed by a board of
health in a few minutes for each applicant. Blood tests and X-ray work will
require, of course, a longer procedure.
Routine Wassermanns and X-ray examinations are not made as yet, unless
suspicious symptoms indicate their necessity. I will not deny that among certain
domestics, such as the day workers, the taking of'a routine blood test
might be of advantage In fact, we are to start taking Kline tests in certain
. domestics within a few weeks, as our law department is of the opinion
that it is satisfactory, providing applicant signs a routine permission form The
same may be said of the need for a mental or intelligence test for domestics
1 his might be a good procedure for those in charge of babies and children when
quick thinking is sometimes a necessity to avoid accidents or the doing of things
that might be hazardous to the lives of little ones. From the venereal disease
nursemaids’ Vagma* smears are to he taken from this particular group of baby
From the viewpoint of preventive medicine, there can be little doubt that the
examination of food handlers has served as a useful and continuous aid in our
campaign for cleaner foods. Its extension to domestic employees seems a well
worth-while activity, having as its object the exclusion from the homes of our
people of those infected with contagious diseases.

OCTOBER 1932 11

Employers and employees in organized groups in the Detroit Young
Women’s Christian Association and a number of non-fee-charging
placement agencies—Guidance and Placement Department of the
Board of Education, League of Catholic Women, Mayor’s Unemploy­
ment Committee, Young Women’s Christian Association (mam
branch and International Institute), Young Women’s Hebrew Asso­
ciation, and the Michigan State Employment Office—cooperated in
the formation of the following standards during 1931 and 1932.
The method used in developing these standards was to have separate
meetings of the employers, the employees, and the placement agencies.
A chairman was in charge of the work of each group called a
In order to direct the study along certain lines so that time would not be spent
in aimless discussion, topics were suggested in the order in which they were to be
discussed. These included an understanding of common terms used m household
employment, such as working time and time on call. In addition, each chan man
was supplied with material for her committee which included a summary ol
standards which had been adopted in various parts of the country.
Each committee has worked independently of the others. A representative
of the Guidance and Placement Department of the Board of Education attended
the meetings of the three committees and took notes on the discussions m each
group. After each committee had decided upon minimum standards acceptable
to its members, these were compiled and again submitted to each member for
approval or final criticism.
, .,
, ,
The final reports of each committee were then laid before a fourth central
committee which acted as arbitrator in making adjustments due to the slight
differences in the standards as developed by each of the three original committees.
This central committee had as its chairman an employer whose committee con­
sisted of 2 representatives from the Young Women’s Christian Association, 2
from the Guidance and Placement Department of the Board of Education, the
principal of the Girls’ Vocational School and the 3 chairmen of the original com­
mittees, a member-at-large who is professor of vocational education at the Uni­
versity of Michigan, and an additional representative from the employers and
employees’ groups.

The final standards adopted in June 1932 follow:


Working time is that time which a girl spends on a job either in actual work
or on call
By actual working hours is meant the time spent in manual labor,
such as cooking, cleaning, ironing, or other similar tasks. Hours on call include
the time during which a girl is required to mind children, to answer the doorbell
or telephone, or times when she is not free to leave the home.*
A A Study of the Development of Minimum Standards for the Household Employee
in11 Cline, Doris A. submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements 01 the University uu xYAAc-ui&ou iwx
Detroit (Thesis
requirements of wie
of Michigan for
in neiro
, IQ5,_ „„ _____
21-22. 40-40 cne
These standards were uuivoioxty at a date later
thedegroe of m^ter'of”
1932. "pp. 21-22, 46-49. These standards were developed at a date later
than that of the other material included in the present report.





Working hours
The total length of the time per day should be not more than 12 hours, 8 of
which may be spent m heavier work and not more than 4 additional hours to be
spent on call.
w,?rki"g day as a. basis for computing the working week, this means'
an 84-hour week, of which 48 hours would be hours of actual work, 24 hours on
call, and 12 hours free time. This free time should include 1 afternoon and
evening during the week to begin not later than 1:30, and Sunday afternoon and
evening beginning not later than 2:30.

1. It is recommended that whenever possible the employee be given a rest
period each alternoon.
2. It is suggested that in addition to these 2 free afternoons and evenings the
employee should have at least 1 additional evening free.
w?rkln.f, conditions in families vary so greatly, an employee should be
<^ho will best be able to fulfill the most important requirements of each
nome. bhe should not be expected to do heavy work beyond her strength.
Living conditions
A clean, comfortable room, well ventilated, which can be properly heated in
the winter, should be provided for the employee. If it is necessary for her to
share a room, provision should be made for her to have some privacy, such as a
screen and a private reading light. The employee should have access to the
for the°employeen’ Plam men’ mcludmS beddillg and towels, should be supplied

If there is to bo any distinction as to quality and quantity of food, the girl
understand this at the time of her employment. In case she does not
use the same silver and linen m the kitchen as that used by the family, she should
be provided with suitable table equipment.

The employee should be allowed to receive her guests on certain nights in
some room designated by her employer, such as breakfast room, sun room or
recreation room.

Following are suggestions which it is felt will bring about a better cooperation
and a greater harmony within the home.
To the employee
An employee should be alert and have a working knowledge of her job.

An empioyee should be respectful of existing family customs and should try to
adjust herself to them.

An employee should be dependable at all times and show a sense of responsibility
to her job even in the absence of her employer.
An employee should feel that it is in the interest of her own welfare, rather than
a matter of supervision, if her employer wishes to know the probable hour of her
return after time oft duty.
employer1^*61' °f Courtesy’ an emPloyee should introduce her friends to her

l;Jf employee should be considerate in her use of telephone, radio, electric
lights, and all other electrical equipment.
\ousewi ,rk
^ °lean ^ her personal aPPearance and suitably
An employee should come to the home with a good physical record.
To the employer
The employer should discuss frankly the requirements of the job and stress
the most important duties.
The employer, by showing an appreciation of the value of domestic work, will
encourage the employee in the development of her skills.
, ^routine duti,es accumulated during specified weekly time off duty should
De left tor the employee to perform upon her return to work.
employergirl ^ required to wear unif°rms, they should be provided by the

The employer should show consideration in giving the employee specified time
oir duty for which the employee can make definite plans.



The employer should be understanding and helpful in case of sickness or emer­
gency in the employee’s private life.


Through a joint experiment of the division of junior placement of
the New York State Department of Labor and the industrial depart­
ment of the Y.W.C.A. in Buffalo, a training course was held tor a
selected group of household employees, and suggested standards and
a working agreement were developed by a household employers
study group in 1932-33. At the close of the study period this group
formed a permanent committee on household employment, ihe
suggested standards and working agreement follow:

Working agreement

A definite working agreement should be arranged between employer and
employee and the following points should be covered in the agreement.



In considering hours of work it is necessary to distinguish between four dif-

feient <q“°®P|jj‘j10UIS—-phe total hours between the time when the worker goes
on duty in the morning and the time when she goes off duty at night,
These over-all hours may include any of the following or combination of
themA. Actual hours on duty—The total number of hours when the worker
is actively on duty. This should not include time taken for meals.
B. Hours on call—The time when a worker is in her room, free to rest,
but not free to leave the house. This classification might include
hours for meals if the worker were expected to wait on the table,
answer door, telephone, or respond to other demands during mealC Hours6entirely free for worker’s own personal or business life—The
time when the worker is entirely free from any responsibility to
the employer or to the job.
In this classification would be included the time for meals if the worker
is uninterrupted.


1. 'Definite arrangement for daily hours:
A. Over-all hours not to exceed 12%.
(а) Actual hours of work not to exceed 10y2.
(б) Hours on call to approximate 2.
2. Two half-days off each week which should be the same regular days off.
3. Definite hours provision for the week.
A. Over-all hours not to exceed 73.
(а) Actual work hours not to exceed b3.
(б) Hours on call to approximate 10.

W ages

The wage paid should be fairly determined by the skill, experience, type of job,
and amount of responsibility involved.
Some form of compensation for overtime work should also be considered.
Length of service and increase in skill should be recognized in the compensation
as the employment continues.
(The committee will work further on a recommended standard wage.)
n These standards were developed at a date later than that of the other material included in the present

Buflalo, N.Y., June 1933.



One week’s vacation with pay after 1 year’s service; 2 weeks’ vacation with
pay after 3 years’ continuous service.

If uniforms are required, these should be provided by the employer and laun­
dered by the employee.

Accident insurance
Employer to give consideration to accident and health insurance with a view to
ultimately carrying premiums for such insurance.

The employee to be charged with a certain percent of the breakage, not to
exceed 10 percent.

Living conditions
A private bedroom, well heated, with access to bath.

Use of telephone—with discretion.
Girl friends to be entertained any time when off duty in employee’s own rooms.
Suitable provision for opportunity of entertaining boy friends at least once a
week, arrangements having been made in advance.

That health examinations be required by the employer at the time of employ­
ment for mutual protection, and that the expense be borne by the employer.

The giving of a week’s notice or a week’s pay.

I hereby agree to employ-------------------------------- asbeginning
---------------------------------according to the following arrangement:

-------------------------- payable weekly.
-------------------------- payable semimonthly.


Working hours----------a.m.------------------p.m.------------------Evening--------------------

as follows:
Hours on call______

Time off duty .


Job to include .
(Mention definitely what is expected, such as: Cooking, general cleaning, ironing
or nursing, etc.)

Kind provided___________________________________________
Furnished by employer______ ~I_ZIZZZ___________________________ II_ Z
Furnished by employee________________________________________
Laundering of uniform:
By employee______________________________________________
Or arranged for by employer "
Breakage (see Suggested Standard):
Entirely employer’s responsibility_____
Or employee responsible up to 10 percent”______________________________
Health examination:

Required by employer? Yes No
Fee paid by employer? Yes No
Living arrangements (if living in):
A. Private bedroom:
With bath_________________
Without bath_____________


If without, state what provision is made for use of bathroom

B. Shared bedroom (with another employee):

(see Suggested Standard)


(see Suggested Standard)


Provision for entertainment of friends:
A. Men
B. Girls
C. Use of employer’s equipment—radio, telephone, etc.--------------------In return the saidagrees to serve her employer as
performing to the best of her ability and faithfully, the duties
outlined in this agreement for the wage of---------------------, plus car fare if living
out, room and meals if living in.
Discharge *

It is mutually agreed that a week’s notice will be given by either party desiring
to terminate this agreement.


The folder prepared for distribution of these standards contains
also, in a slightly modified form, the code of ethics for household
employees, drawn up by the household employees committee of the
Twin Cities—St. Paul and Minneapolis. This follows:
Recognizing my obligation to the American home, my employer, and my
fellow workers, I shall do my best to live up to the following code of ethics as
adopted by my club:
, „ ,
„ .
To remember, first of all, that as household employee I shall do all m
my power to maintain the highest standards of home life; to consider my
relationships with my employer and her family confidential * * *; to
be careful of my personal appearance at all times; to respect my employer’s
home furnishings as I would my own; to guard my manners and lan­
guage * * *; to attempt to avoid waste of time, energy, food, and
household supplies; * * *; to notify my employer when leaving my
position, long enough in advance to avoid serious loss to both of us; to
bargain collectively for the advancement of household employment; * * *.

STANDARDS for work homes

Adopted by the Foster Home Placement Committee, Child
Welfare Committee, and the Executive Committee of Los
Angeles Council of Social Agencies. December 1930 13
At the request of the Department of Attendance and Employment of Minors
of the Los Angeles Public Schools, the Foster Homes Placement Committee of
the Children’s Division for the Los Angeles Council of Social Agencies agreed to
draw up standards for children in work homes. It was agreed that the underlying
philosophy of child-welfare work should be the basis of aiw placement; that the
right of the child to life in its own home should be preserved inviolate, and that
it was with expressions of deep regret that it is necessary for a child to carry the
burden of unemployment and economic depression. In order to safeguard the
children who are forced into work homes from exploitation and abuse, it was
i3 For additional information on placement in foster homes, see Foster-Home Care for Dependent Chil­
dren, Children’s Bureau Pub. 136, 1929.



agreed to work out standards which would be used as a basis for this work by the
schools and social agencies.
Mrs. Margaret Pratt, chairman of the committee, appointed a committee on
work-home standards, consisting of Mrs. Gertrude Logan, chairman, Misses
Dora Berres, Estella Churchill, and Mary Stanton. Miss Jessie Ray Hanna and
Miss Inez Bloom assisted the committee in their work.
To determine if the child in the work home was protected by Federal, State,
or local laws, the executives of the State Department of Social Welfare, of Indus­
trial Relations and of Labor, were interviewed. It was found that domestic
labor cannot be governed by any law, but that if the child is in moral danger,
abused or exploited, action is available through the juvenile court.
The United States Department of Labor, Children's Bureau, Publication No.
136, Foster-Home Care for Dependent Children, defines child placing as applying
to children placed in boarding homes—the board being paid by relatives or by
some association; and also children placed in homes at wages; and to children
placed in free family homes without payment of board.
With this definition as a basis, the “Laws of the State of California Relating to
the Department of Social Welfare” were studied. Chapter 510, section 2337 of
the Political Code provides:
“No person, association, or corporation shall without first having obtained a
license or permit therefor, in writing, from the State department of public (social)
welfare or from an inspection service approved or accredited by such State
department of public (social) welfare:
1. Maintain or conduct any institution, boarding home, day nursery, or other
place for the reception or care of children under 16 years of age, nor engage in the
business of receiving or caring for such children, nor receive or care for any such
child in the absence of its parents or guardian, either with or without compensation;
2. Engage in the finding of homes for children under 16 years of age or place
any such child in any home or other place, either for temporary or permanent
care or for adoption.”
Representatives of the Work Home Standards Committee attended a meeting
of the board of the State Department of Social Welfare. The board stated that
every child under 16 years, who is away from its own home in a free home, pay
home, or work home, is protected by the above section of the code. Any person
who places a child under 16 in an unlicensed home commits a misdemeanor. Any
person who takes a child under 16 years of age into an unlicensed home commits
a misdemeanor.
The “Minimum Requirements for Family Boarding Homes for Children” is
issued by the State Department of Social Welfare, and governs the standards for
children under 16 years in work homes.
The local agencies licensed by the State Department of Social Welfare to place
children out of their own homes are: County Welfare Department, County Pro­
bation Department, Children’s Protective Association, Church Federation,
Council of Jewish Women, Jewish Orphans’ Home, Children’s Home Society, and
Catholic Welfare Bureau.
The local agencies to whom the State Department of Social Welfare delegates
power to license homes to be used for placement of children are: The Nursing
Division of the City Health Department, and the Public Welfare Commission
of Los Angeles County.
All homes outside the city limits who desire children under 16 years of age must
apply for a license to the Public Welfare Commission, 914 Hall of Records
All homes in the city limits who desire children under 15 years of age must apply
for a license to the Nursing Division of the City Health Department, 116 Temple
Street (city ordinance fixes age at 15). If children 15 to 16 years are desired, the
home must apply for a license to the State Department of Social Welfare, 1107
Associated Realty Building.

The following definitions were accepted as a basis for these standards:
1. A work-home child is considered to be a child over 16 years of age, who
attends at least one half day of school on each school day, and who is placed in a
home away from its family to assist with the duties of the home and whose com­
pensation includes board and room and a small monthly cash wage.
2. A work home for a child is considered to be a private family home which
accepts a child who attends at least one half day of school on each school day,
with the understanding that the child shall assist with the duties of the home in



return for room and board and a small monthly cash wage. The work home must
never be that of a motherless family or one in which the mother, if living with her
husband, is employed away from the home.

(a) Work-home mother must be of suitable age and temperament to under­
stand the problems of children. Mental and physical health of each member of
the family must be good.
(b) There shall be no mentally defective person in the family.
(c) No adult male roomer or boarder shall be permitted, nor shall there be
members of the family over 12 years of age of the opposite sex—other than the
work-home parents.
(d) Satisfactory references must be furnished from persons who know the appli­
cants in their own homes, and who can vouch for their moral characters.

(а) Home must conform in building and maintenance to the sanitary and firesafety ordinances of the city and county.
(б) The home must be in a residential district (not commercial and factory),
with sufficient room to accommodate the family group and work-home child in
a comfortable and sanitary way.
(c) There shall be provision for the meals at a table.
(d) The home must be in the district where the child can attend school within
convenient distance. The child shall be given an opportunity to attend Sabbath
school or church.
(e) Sleeping rooms must afford at least 500 cubic feet of space for each occupant
and each bedroom must have sufficient outside windows. No child may sleep
in a room opening onto an inner court.
(J) Every work-home child shall have an individual bed.
(<?) A work-home child shall not sleep in the bedroom of a person of the opposite
sex over the age of 3.
(h) Each bed shall have a good spring, a clean, comfortable mattress, and
adequate bedding.

(а) Before admission to the home, each child shall have a physical examination,
and a copy of the findings kept in the files of the placement agency.
(б) Any illness of a child must be reported at once to the placing agency or to
the parent or guardian of the child.

The dietary must be wholesome, nutritious, and suitable for the child.
Hours of service:


The work-home child shall not arise before 6:30 a.m.
Not more than one half hour service before school should be given by the
work-home child.
Three hours’ work after school is the maximum to be given.
Four hours’ housework on Saturday is the maximum.
Retire from 9:30 to 10 p.m., by which time the work-home child must have
prepared her class lessons for the following day.
Time off from service:

One afternoon or evening each week, or its equivalent, away from the work
Every other Sunday, all day, or the afternoon and evening of every Sunday.
The same to apply to holidays.
The placement agency and the work-home mother to be responsible for the
planning of the recreation of the work-home child.

A definite written schedule, setting forth every duty of the work-home child,
should be drawn up before employment; and a copy should be provided the
work-home mother, work-home child, and the placement agency. Duties are
to be selected from the following classes only:



Washing dishes; assisting with cooking, clearing and setting the table; care
of own room and personal effects; making beds; running errands; caring for,
playing with, and entertaining children; dusting and cleaning. (General
scrubbing, family washing and family ironing, are not included in the duties of
the work-home child.)

$10 to $15 per month is to be paid, according to the age of the work-home child
and the amount of service rendered.

(а) On the contemplation of a move by the work-home family, the placing
agency must be notified.
(б) The placing agency must be notified within 48 hours of any changes in the
personnel of the home.

Statement of the Young Women’s Christian Associations’ National Board,

The problems



Standards of work and standards of placement are being lowered. Many
girls formerly working in other fields are now taking positions in households,
and often they are untrained and have no permanent interest in the work.
Employers are offering lower wages, often below a standard on which a girl can
live. _ Reports from all sections of the country show that employers are even
offering full-time work in exchange for room and board.

Methods of handling these problems
Placement standards.—Believing as the association does that every effort
should be made to improve working relationships between household employers
and employees, to maintain fair wage scales, and to develop more efficient workers,
and in view of the deplorable conditions brought about by this period of depres­
sion, the committees of those bureaus placing household employees, in cooperation
with the industrial committees and other groups interested in household employ­
ment, could very well study and draw up standards of placement for different
types of workers. Successful household employees should also be consulted.
The committee could determine a fair amount of work for a girl to give in exchange
for her room and board. They could determine the amount and the quality of
work which she should give for the different wage scales and for hourly work of
various kinds, such as cooking, cleaning, waiting on table, mending, the care of
children, and so on. Along with this should go a study of acceptable working
and living conditions. Everything should be done to discourage the very low
wage rates. They tend to lower standards and have a harmful effect on the
purchasing power of the girls, to say nothing of the effect on the morale of those
who have to accept such positions. Employers are being urged to employ
workers by the hour at the prevailing wage rates and so maintain a fair wage for
the time and quality of wrork given. It must be remembered that if girls do not
receive a fair -wage and if this is not a living wage the community will pay the
difference in relief. “Perhaps the same employer (who offers the very low wage)
may be obliged to assist the girl’s family when he contributes to the relief fund
which will be raised this winter. Shall it be a charity or a living wage?”
When the positions offered are below the standards that are acceptable to the
association, the position, if possible, should be referred to a relief organization,
and applicants who may accept such positions should also be referred to the same
organizations. Occasionally, because of the inadequate qualifications of the
applicants, and the scarcity of openings, a secretary may feel she is justified in
telling an applicant about a position, because although the wage offered may be
below the standard of such work as determined by the committee, the other
conditions may be good. If such a position is accepted (there being no relief
employment organization to whom it can be referred), the employer should be
told that it is below the standard set by the bureau. She can be told that she



cannot expect a very competent worker, that when better openings come to the
bureau the girl will be notified of such opportunities, and that the position is
considered in the nature of relief. The girl accepting such a position should
know that the association does not consider it desirable.
The secretary should keep in touch with applicants placed in such positions
and notify them of more desirable openings. They should be encouraged to take
further training so as to make themselves more efficient and able to hold the
better positions.
In a few cities the members of the employment committee have given regular
and valuable time to the follow-up of the young workers, notably Detroit, Mich.
They have talked with the girls and with their employers. They have found
out from both how the work has been progressing, the hours on duty, the hours
off dutv but on call, the amount and regularity of free time, and other working
conditions. This follow-up work can be done after members of the committee
have given thought and study over a period of time to the problems presented
both by the girls and by the employers and after careful study of all written
Letters have been sent to household employers stating the situation among
household employees, and they have been asked to maintain good working con­
ditions and to recognize other standards which will make it possible to maintain
and improve the status of household employment.
Training courses.—Short training courses have been established. It must not
be forgotten that many girls who now ask for and accept household positions have
no real interest in that type of work and no very real desire to improve the quality
of their work, as they consider the work only a “stop-gap until their former
positions or others more congenial to them are open. There will be a few who
will be interested because they like the work and for them and for those already
in household employment, short training courses will meet a decided need. I hey
have already been established with varying degrees of success. In starting these
courses care must be taken that the desire for such training comes from the girls
themselves and not alone from the committees and the employers, who are mosu
conscious of the great need for competent workers. Most of the courses that
have been successful have been given over a period of weeks for the girls who have
already secured positions and who have the cooperation of their employers. 1 he
most successful courses are given by women trained in home economics and m
methods of teaching. The advice and often the help of the home economics
department of the public-school system or of a near-by college or university can
be secured. They are generally glad to help in developing and carrying out
plans for raising the status of household employment. Better working condi­
tions and better qualified workers will raise the whole field of household employ­
ment, and draw to it a high grade of worker.