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the types of accidents that are being reported in the Wisconsin industrial expansion program.
President CATHERWOOD. Thank you for that comment.
We will now have the Report of the Committee on Women and Child Labor, chaired by Douglas Ajer of Wisconsin.
Report of the Women and Child Labor Committee
Chairman: DOUGLAS AJER, Director, Division of Labor Standards,
Wisconsin Industrial Commission
In the field of child labor, this committee reviewed the major standards recommended by the IAGLO for State child labor legislation. These standards were adopted by the IAGLO in 1938 and are as follows:
16 years in any employment in a
factory. 16 in any employment during school
hours. 14 in nonfactory employment outside
school hours. Hazardous occupations.-
Minimum age 18 for employment in a
considerable number of hazardous
occupations. State administrative agency authorized
to determine occupations hazardous
for minors under 18. Maximum daily hours.-
8-hour day for minors under 18 in any
gainful occupation. Maximum weekly hours--
40-hour week for minors under 18 in
any gainful occupation. Work during specified night hours 13 hours of nightwork prohibited for prohibited.
minors of both sexes under 16 in any
gainful occupation. 8 hours of nightwork prohibited for
minors of both sexes between 16
and 18 in any gainful occupation. Employment certificates.... Required for minors under 18 in any
gainful occupation. After carefully reviewing these standards, this committee recommends that these standards be reaffirmed in their present form.
An area of particular concern to State labor commissioners and the U.S. Department of Labor developed because of the direct conflict between Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the State protective labor laws relating to the employment of women, including those relating to limitation on hours, limits on weightlifting, rest periods, and minimum wage.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became effective on July 2, 1964, prohibiting discrimination in employment on the basis of sex in addition to race, color, religion, and national origin.
In general, it covers employers and unions of industries engaged in interstate commerce and employment agencies and is administered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. During the first effective year of title VII, an employer with at least 100 employees, or a union with at least 100 members, was considered covered. The required number decreases by 25 each year until the fourth effective year; thereafter the required number is 25.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in its guidelines, announced that it would interpret narrowly the provisions permitting exceptions "in those certain instances where sex is a bona fide occupation qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise.” Exceptions will not be allowed that are based on stereotypes of characteristics of the sexes, the preferences of the employer, coworkers, clients or customers, or assumptions of the comparative characteristics of women (or men) in general.
The guidelines of the Commission will not permit classification of jobs as male or female, or maintenance of separate lines of progression, or separate seniority lists. Employers may not forbid or restrict the employment of married women unless such rules also apply to married men.
Some proponents of the Civil Rights Act take the position that all "protective legislation” is discriminatory and, therefore, is illegal and should be removed from the statute books.
Before we dare take an extreme point of view, we have to consider many factors. When the "special treatment” laws were enacted, they were designed to protect working women from working under conditions thought at that time to be harmful to women and to society at large. The working conditions in the early 1900's through the 1920's, for the unskilled or semiskilled laborer, man, woman, or child were in some instances incredibly bad, but women and children perhaps suffered most.
The corrective legislation enacted in most of the States at that time was aimed at two social evils: (1) Unhealthful and unsafe working conditions and long hours; and (2) the social harm which was done when a man, who might be head of a household, was replaced by the cheaper labor of a woman or child.
The Supreme Court of the United States upheld the validity of an Oregon statute in 1908 which prohibited the employment of any female in any mechanical establishment, factory, or laundry in Oregon for more than 10 hours during the day. Some quotations from the case outline the prevailing philosophy upon which all "special treatment" laws are based in regard to the employment of women:
That woman's physical structure and the performance of maternal functions place her at a disadvantage in the struggle for subsistence is obvious. This is especially true when the burdens of motherhood are upon her. Even when they are not, by abundant testimony of medical fraternity continuance for a long time on her feet at work, repeating this from day to day, tends injurious effects upon the body, and, as healthy mothers are essential to vigorous offspring, the physical well-being of woman becomes an object of public interest and care in order to preserve the strength and vigor of the race.
Even though all restrictions on political, personal, and contractual rights were taken away, and she stood, so far as statutes are concerned, upon an absolutely equal plane with him, it would still be true that she is so constituted that she will rest upon and look to him for protection; that her physical structure and a proper discharge of her maternal functions—having in view not merely her own health, but the well-being of the race—justify legislation to protect her from the greed as well as the passion of man. The limitation which this statute places upon her contractual powers, upon her right to agree with her employer as to the time she shall labor, are not imposed solely for her benefit, but also largely for the benefit of all. Many words cannot make this plainer. The two sexes differ in structure of body, in the functions to be performed by each, in the amount of physical strength, in the capacity for long continued labor, particularly when done standing, the influence of vigorous health upon the future well-being of the race, the self reliance which enables one to assert full rights, and the capacity to maintain the struggle for subsistence. This difference justifies a difference in legislation, and upholds that which is designed to compensate for some of the burdens which rest upon her. (Muller v. Oregon, 1908.)
The IAGLO last year resolved “that this association reaffirm its active support for the maintenance and effective enforcement of State laws establishing standards for the hours of work and working conditions for women; and respectfully urges the adoption of policies and procedures by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to eliminate bona fide discrimination based on sex while at the same time preserving State legislation which establishes standards for the employment of women;..."
This committee recommends reaffirming that stand again this year. Meanwhile, the conflict continues and methods to resolve the differences are sought.
After several months of experience subsequent to the July 1965, effective date of title VII, Pennsylvania amended its law to include: 1. Exemptions to hours limitations for women employed in bona
fide executive, professional, and administrative positions, con
fidential secretaries, and outside saleswomen. 2. Elimination of the required 30-minute rest period for women
after 5 hours of work when it imposes a hardship on them or
limits their job opportunities. 3. Elimination of the 48-hour weekly limit for women who have
more than one job (moonlighting). The Wisconsin Industrial Commission last fall appointed an advisory committee consisting of representatives of labor, industry, and the general public to study the specific problem in Wisconsin and to make recommendations for changes in the law and applicable administrative rules. The committee has already held several meetings. A target date of November 1, 1966, has been set for completion of its work.
Both Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are fortunate inasmuch as their laws provide for administrative discretion. This permits a degree of flexibility that can be utilized to solve problems that arise because of the conflict. Many women in each State have been given a degree of freedom from restrictions on hours and meal periods, increasing their opportunities for promotion to higher paying jobs and increased earnings from overtime pay.
A meeting was called in Washington D.C., on March 10, 1966, by the Women's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor on suggestion received from some of the State labor commissioners. The meeting was attended by a group of State labor law administrators, and their purpose was to discuss the specific problems that have arisen because of the conflict between title VII and the laws relating to the employment of women and possible suggestions for solutions.
A summary of that meeting was prepared by Mrs. Mary Keyserling and Dr. Carl Cabe for presentation at the meeting of labor commissioners, held in Washington on March 17. That summary bears repeating at this time.
In summary, the conferees agreed that the passage of Title VII is a milestone of potential progress for women. They concurred in specific recommendations as follows:
"There is need for concerted action to extend sound labor standards to men as well as women where such standards do not now exist.
"There is need for an intensive review of existing labor laws relating to the employment of women.
“They concurred in the view of the President's Commission that as we strive for improved labor standards applicable to men and women alike, it would be highly undesirable to eliminate present statutes relating only to the employment of women. A primary objective should be the amendment of existing minimum wage statutes where they now exist, or the enactment of such statutes where they are not now on the books to provide men as well as women premium pay of at least time and a half the regular rate of pay for overtime in excess of 8 hours a day and 40 a week. They also expressed the hope that a similar amendment of the Fair Labor Standards Act might be considered.
"They concurred in the view of the President's Commission that, as we strive for overtime deterrents to excessive workweeks as a substitute for maximum hours legislation relating solely to women, existing hours laws should be amended to exempt executive, professional, and supervisory workers if they are presently included; and that consideration also be given to the exemption of others in technical capacities. It was agreed that there is a need to provide for flexibility in the administration of hours law if it does not now exist. It was also suggested that the State labor departments could do more to consult in cases of alleged conflict of laws to utilize administrative leeway.
“The participants recommended that the Women's Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Standards arrange meetings as rapidly as possible with appropriate State labor law administrators with a view to drafting suggested language for legislation to regulate weight lifting along the lines agreed upon as desirable, and to revise the present suggested language for State minimum wage legislation to include provisions for premium pay after 8 hours a day and after 40 hours a week. Because it was recognized that it would take some time to achieve the objective of overtime legislation in the States, suggested language should be drafted with respect to the provision of administrative flexibility in maximum hours statutes. It was urged that in this connection the task force prepare memoranda developing principles, concepts, and general guidelines to assist both State labor department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It was also agreed that the task force's drafts should be discussed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and State administrators before being finalized.”
At the labor commissioners' meeting, Mrs. Keyserling pointed out that the summary of the meeting was what the State labor representatives felt should be considered as a basis for discussion and was not to be taken as a formal recommendation.
A major policy of the Wisconsin Industrial Commission adopted shortly after its organization in 1911 has been to apply gradually increasing pressure in enforcement, rather than to engage in abrupt crusade. The first chairman of the commission gave expression to this policy in the following language: “Where we may have seemed to go a little slow, it has been for the purpose of really going and continuing to go instead of bucking up against a stone wall and breaking ourselves and the laws on the rocks of our opposition.”
We have, in effect, been following this same policy in attempting to solve the conflicts developed with the adoption of title VII. Irresponsible hasty action is not desirable. In summation this committee recommends 1. That the child labor standards adopted by the IAGLO in
1938 be reaffirmed in their present form, and 2. We affirm the position of the IAGLO, as indicated in the
resolution adopted last year, that bona fide discriminations