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lishments employing fewer than four females at the same time, in the same building, and at the same class of work, cotton factories, and fruit and vegetable canning industries. The industries included under the operation of the Arkansas act are "any manufacturing, mechanical or mercantile establishment, laundry, or any express or transportation company" and hotels, restaurants and telephone establishments. In California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Oregon and Washington the persons affected are women and minors under eighteen years of age; in Utah, females, adults and minors under twenty-one years; and in Kansas, women, learners, apprentices and minors.
The Commissions are empowered to make various exceptions to this rule, which practically put all women and minors under the operation of the law, in the case of defectives and learners. In all the States, with the exception of Utah and Arkansas, the commissions may grant special licenses to physically defective women, permitting them to work for less than the established minimum. In Wisconsin special licenses may also be issued to defective minors. The Arkansas act makes no mention of defectives. Minnesota alone limits the number of defectives that can be so employed, putting the maximum at ten per cent of the total employees in any one establishment. In California such a license is good only six months, but may be renewed indefinitely. California and Colorado make no provision for learners. Massachusetts, Nebraska and Oregon have special rates for learners and apprentices; Wisconsin requires that minors in a “trade industry" must be indentures; in Washington the commission may permit the employment of learners by granting special licenses for such a period of time as the commission shall determine; the Utah law provides that "adult learners and apprentices" shall not receive less than ninety cents per day, and the learning period and apprenticeship shall not exceed one years; Arkansas puts the minimum wage for "inexperienced female workers or apprentices" at $1.00 per day; and in Kansas, minors, learners and apprentices may be employed at lower rates than adult women only by special license. The Minnesota law provides that learners shall receive a living wage, same as regular workers. In no State are the maximum number of learners and apprentices fixed by the law.
Powers and Duties of Commissions: Investigation, Determinations. In Utah the Commissioner has no duties or powers other than the general enforcement of the Act. In all other States the commissions are required to make investigations into the conditions of labor in industries where women and minors are employed, and are authorized to fix minimum rates of wages. In Arkansas the Commissioner of Labor and Statistics, who is a member of the commission, or any person duly authorized by him, is charged with the enforcement of the act. The investigation, in all cases, may be made on the initiative of the commission; and, in California, also upon petition;1 in Minnesota, at
1 No more definite provision made in Act.
the request of one hundred employees; In Kansas upon the request of not less than twenty-five persons engaged in any occupation in which women, minors, learners and apprentices are employed, and in Wisconsin upon complaint of any person to the effect that the legal rates are not paid in any establishment or industry. In conducting these investigations, the commissions have power to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, and examine books, records, etc. In California, Wisconsin, Kansas and Arkansas, they have the additional right to enter the premises of the establishment investigated for the purposes of their investigation.
Besides being authorized to determine minimum rates of wages, the Washington commission may fix standard conditions of labor; the commissions of California, Oregon, Kansas, and Wisconsin, conditions of labor and maximum hours; the commission of Arkansas may establish "regulations governing the employment of females in hotels, restaurants and telephone establishments." During strikes and lockouts they may, except in California, Arkansas, and Kansas act as boards of arbitration. In all the States, with the exception of Colorado and Arkansas, they are further empowered to enforce all wage rulings; and in most of the States, barring only Colorado, California, Arkansas and Washington, they may enforce all other rulings made in pursuance of the acts. The Minnesota Act provides that the commission, and the Utah and Arkansas acts that the Commissioner of Labor, shall have charge of the enforcement of the provisions of the act.
Methods and Principles of Wage Determination. There are three methods of determining wage rates in the United States: by fixing the rates in the law itself, as in Utah and Arkansas; by a special commission, as in Colorado; and by a special commission aided by a special subordinate board, as adopted by the eight other States.
The standard or principle governing the wage determination is "a living wage," defined by the several acts as follows:' in California and Arkansas, the "necessary cost of proper living and to maintain the health and welfare"; in Oregon and Washington, the "necessary cost of living and to maintain the workers in health"; in Colorado, wages "adequate to supply the necessary cost of living, maintain them in health, and supply the necessary comforts of life"; in Massachusetts, Kansas and Nebraska, wages "adequate to supply the necessary cost of living and to maintain the worker in health"; in Minnesota, "wages sufficient to maintain the worker in health and supply him with the necessary comforts of reasonable life"; in Wisconsin, “a wage sufficient to maintain himself or herself under conditions consistent with his or her welfare."
Minimum wages rates may apply either to time or piece work, and in Minnesota, Oregon and Kansas orders may be issued for a given locality or area.
1 The Utah Act fixes the rates for experienced adults at $1.25 a day.
Penalties. Penalties are provided for by the several acts for any employer who violates any of the determinations of a commission, or any provisions of the act.1 The penalties differ in the different States. In Massachusetts the commission may publish the names of the offenders in the newspapers, and any newspaper that refuses to publish the names is subject to a fine of $100; in Nebraska the commission must publish the names, and the newspapers are subject to the same penalty as in Massachusetts; in California the minimum fine is $50 or imprisonment for thirty days, or both; in Colorado, the maximum fine is $100 or imprisonment for three months, or both; in Minnesota, $10 to $50 for each offense, or imprisonment for ten to sixty days; in Oregon, $25 to $100 or imprisonment for from ten days to three months, or both; in Washington, Arkansas and Kansas, $25 to
$100 fine; in Wisconsin, $10 to $100 fine for each offense; and in Utah it is a misdemeanor, subject to the ordinary penalties at law.
In California, Colorado, Minnesota, Oregon, Kansas and Washington, the employee who has not been receiving the legal wage can recover from the employer the balance due him or her. Different penalties are provided by most of our States for employers who discharge or otherwise discriminate against employees because such employees have testified, or are about to testify before a commission. California makes this offense a misdemeanor; Colorado, Nebraska, and Wisconsin make each offense punishable by a fine of $25; Washington, Oregon, and Kansas, $25 to $100; Massachusetts $200 to $1,000, and Minnesota fixes the same penalty as for a violation of the other provisions of the act.
Court Review: Minnesota, Arkansas and Utah, alone, do not provide for an appeal from the rulings of the commission to some judicial tribunal. Appeals may be taken as follows: in California and Washington, to the Superior Court, and on questions of law only, in Oregon and Wisconsin, to the circuit court, on questions of law only; in Nebraska and Kansas to the district court, on a general demurrer to the ruling, and a further appeal from the district court to the supreme court of the State lies in Kansas; in Colorado, to the district court, on questions of law only; and in Massachusetts, to the supreme judicial court or to the superior court.
Generally the courts may set aside the rulings of the commissions on such grounds only as are provided for in the several acts. This may be done in Colorado and Wisconsin if the ruling is found to be unlawful and unreasonable; in California, if the commission acted without or in excess of its powers, or if the determination was procured by fraud; in Massachusetts if com
1 The penalty attaches only to a violation of the wage ruling in California. 2 That is, there is no appeal from the commission's decision upon questions of fact.
pliance with the ruling would prevent a "reasonable profit"; and in Nebraska, if compliance "is likely to endanger the prosperity of the business."
Advisory Boards: Each act, the acts of Colorado, Arkansas and Utah excepted, provides for the establishment by the respective commissions of an advisory wage board. Action on the part of the commissions is mandatory in Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas and Massachusetts, and optional in California, Minnesota, Oregon and Washington. The California "wage board" is to be composed of an equal number of representatives of employers and employees, and a representative of the commissions; the Kansas "board" of not less than three representatives of employers, an equal number representing the employees, and one or more disinterested persons appointed by the commission to represent the public; the Massachusetts "wage board" of at least six representatives of employers and six of the employees and one or more of the public; the Minnesota "advisory board" of from three to ten representatives of employers and an equal number of employees, and one or more of the public, and at least one-fifth of the membership shall be women; the Nebraska "wage board" of at least three representatives of employers, three of the employees, and the three appointed members of the commission; the Oregon "conference" of not more than three representatives of employers, three of employees, three of the public, and one or more commissioners; the Washington "conference" of an equal number of representatives of employers and employees, and one or more of the public; and the Wisconsin "advisory wage board" so constituted as to fairly “represent employers, employees and the public." These boards receive no compensation in Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon and Minnesota. They receive five dollars a day and expenses in California; the same rate as jurors in Massachusetts; and in Nebraska and Kansas, the same as jurors in the district court.