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JULY 26 AFTERNOON SESSION
Presiding: MARTIN P. CATHERWOOD, Industrial Commissioner,
New York Department of Labor The Tuesday afternoon session convened at 2:05 p.m. in the Century Room of the Monteleone Hotel, with President Catherwood presiding.
President CATHERWOOD. First, we will have the two remaining committee reports; then we will hear a treatment of our WalshHealey committee activities. And last, I am going to follow up with a suggestion that I made somewhat facetiously at lunch today. A number of members expressed an interest in Ray Male's activities with the Secretary of Labor with respect to handling wage rates on a matter consistent with the stabilization policy. So, I am going to ask Ray Male to cover this situation with us.
I will now call on Colonel Cabe of Kentucky to give us the Report of the Legislative Committee.
Report of the Legislative Committee
Chairman: CARL CABE, Commissioner, Kentucky Department of Labor
The legislative committee gives a great deal of credit to the Bureau of Labor Standards for making the analysis on the labor legislation enacted during the past year. This is as of July 6, 1966.
Twenty-five legislatures met in regular session, and all but seven of them have adjourned. One thing I found rather interesting, particularly with the work we have done on title VII and its impact on some of the protective laws for women. It is most gratifying to know that of those legislatures that have met, many have remedied some of the possible problems that will arise as a result of the discriminatory clause in title VII. I am going to call out a few States. If I miss your State, forgive me.
For the first time, West Virginia has a minimum wage law. I can now say that both West Virginia and Indiana have a minimum wage law. No State surrounding Kentucky has one, unless you want to count Illinois. Out of consideration for John Cullerton, Illinois has had one on the books for some time, at least a possible wage board; but it is not being activated. New Jersey also came up with a statutory minimum wage rate for the first time. In fact, New Jersey has pretty much set a precedent, at least for many of us, as to the amount of labor legislation passed this past session. About 40 States now have some kind of a minimum wage law, either statutory or with the wage board. New Jersey set its wage rate at a $1.25 an hour, and it goes, I believe, to a $1.50 an hour in January 1969.
There were some changes in the wage payments and wage collection law. And in our meetings here, more and more attention is being given to wage payment and wage collection legislative provisions.
On prevailing wage rate, New York enacted a provision to prohibit accepting bids or awarding contracts to employers who have failed to pay the prevailing wage.
Equal pay laws were enacted for the first time in Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, and South Dakota. Such laws have now been enacted in 29 States. We have, I believe, about five others that have FEP laws that cover substantially the same thing.
A number of States passed laws that change the garnishment law: Rhode Island, Vermont, Kentucky, Alaska, and New York. New York enacted a law which prohibits an employer dismissing an individual because of garnishment on the wage rate.
A number of States made some changes on their child labor law and school attendance, in terms of ages, as to what they could do. Four States enacted legislation relating to training or retraining. New York, for instance, passed a manpower training act to provide for institutional or on-the-job training for unemployed. The commissioner has various provisions and power for bringing this into enactment. Delaware created an institute of technology. It established, through a seven-member board of trustees, educational institutions throughout the State for persons who graduated from high school or for those who were unable to attend high school. The board also has other authority. South Carolina created a technical education commission to make a study geared to the development, as well as the implementation, of an adequate vocational and technical program. Mississippi authorized the State board of vocational education to establish a system of workshops throughout the State workshops that will cover rehabilitation, training, and retraining of handicapped individuals.
There were some changes in discriminination in employment. Kentucky enacted a comprehensive fair employment practices act, prohibiting discrimination in employment because of race, color, national origin, and religion. Massachusetts amended its law to permit the keeping of records relating to race, color, or national origin.
Some activity has taken place in the past year on private employment agencies. Virginia has strengthened its law in regulating private employment agencies, by placing various requirements upon those agencies.
Virginia amended its public utility law. Rhode Island enacted its schoolteachers and training act. Virginia requires all labor organizations to register every 3 years with the Department of Labor and Industry. Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey prohibit the use of lie detector tests as a condition of employment. This makes a total of 10 States with this provision. The other seven are: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington. A number of legislatures did include or present this provision this past year. Wisconsin enacted a labor relations act for State employees; it becomes effective, I believe, January 1967. A few States also enacted laws affecting agricultural workers in either general or specific problems. Most of them deal, however, with the migratory agricultural workers.
There were some changes in women's hours laws. Arizona amended its law to permit employees to work up to 10 hours; however, still no more than 48 hours in a week. This, again, is in line with some of the things that we have been trying to do in terms of the impact of title VII, Civil Rights Act. New York amended its law to permit females between 18 and 21 years of age to be employed up to midnight in a factory.
There were also some changes in occupational safety and health laws the past year. Virginia made several changes in its safety laws. It revised a minimum safety law. It requires adequate and other safeguards of protection for workmen. Alaska updated some of its general safety codes.
New Jersey made a number of requirements dealing with railroad express companies and airlines. Michigan extended the authority of the State safety construction commission to provide for rules and regulations, which a number of States have and are usually considered desirable. Maryland authorized the Commissioner of Labor and Industry to deputize qualified county or municipal employees to act as its agents. This has permitted some additional expense. Kentucky, we designate our committee on nuclear energy as a science and technology commission and advisory council. This amendment has broadened the scope of the program and will include the stimulation of scientific and technological advance. In addition, 11 laws were enacted in 1965, again affecting some of the States mentioned.
Some changes have occurred in workmen's compensation. New York extended coverage to school aids and volunteer workers. Virginia covered clerks and other employees. South Dakota added game wardens to the coverage; and Kentucky provided coverage of National Guard members as well as all State employees.
Several States have raised their maximum weekly benefits; and an increasing number have put theirs on a percentage basis. New Jersey changed its system for computing certain types of benefits. New Jersey also provided that in the case of radiation poisoning, the claim must be filed within 1 year after the employee knew or ought to have known. This will give more flexibility than is recognized and will be necessary in radiation cases.
CARL CABE, Kentucky, Chairman
W. H. PARHAM, Tennessee [Accepted.]
DISCUSSION President CATHERWOOD. Thank you, Carl. I might add one note. I do not believe it was covered here. New York passed legislation this year for the first time to apply workmen's compensation to agricultural workers where there was an annual payroll in excess of $1,200.
Commissioner CABE. I did not cover everything. A number of States were not covered.
There is one thing, in making this report, we should watch in the future: The way some of our laws are changed. This is particularly true in safety. For instance, the Commonwealth of Kentucky has written about five safety standards in the last year and one-half. Somebody said they are trying to get construction covered. In our State and others, all we had to do was write a regulation, which we did. There is almost no part of safety in construction that we do not cover. It does not show up in this kind of report. I think we ought to keep this in mind in the future.
President CATHERWOOD. We will now hear the Report of the Committee on Public Relations, chaired by Ralph Vatalaro, New York State Department of Labor.
Report of the Public Relations Committee
Chairman: RALPH VATALARO, JR., Director, Public Relations,
New York Department of Labor The basic function of the effective public relations practitioner is in the area of communications.
Sometimes public relations specialists feel that their training and knowledge of the means and avenues of communication are enough to assure success. They may have good reason for this notion, but it is reminiscent of the man outside the hotel who gave the taxi driver the exact fare and nothing more.
“Is that correct?” the man asked. “Buddy, it's correct but it ain't right,” the taxi driver replied.
It isn't right either for those in public relations to assume that because they know the business, they are always fully equipped to do a successful job. More is needed—the complete confidence of the man the public relations man works for, and the authority to speak for him, act for him, and get things done for him, within certain limits.
The public relations man must have full and direct access to most everything in his department; he must be able to communicate with the chief administrator directly and freely; he must be allowed to develop and execute public relations programs consistent with the goals of the department's programs.
Members of this association are responsible for administering programs affecting thousands of workers in their particular jurisdictions. Collectively, IAGLO members are responsible for programs affecting virtually all workers in this country, Canada, and the Territories. The programs administered are worthy ones.
There is every reason for the proponents of these programs, and their administrators, to use the public relations practitioner in achieving their goals.
Up to this point, this report has dealt in a basic concept: public relations has its place in the top echelon of government.
Defining public relations is not easy. Its literature is a beehive of definitions, but the catch is that there is no one commonly accepted definition. This reflects the fact that public relations as a concept and practice is still in the fluid state of defining itself. There is still a great disparity between public relations as defined in textbooks and public relations in reality.
The problem of definition is further complicated, because the term public relations is used in different ways to mean different things. There is no commonly accepted usage of the term; there is no fully