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Mr. ROOSEVELT. 120 days is a long time as it is now set out in the Mr. COUSSEL. It is 60. It is 120 in the first year.
Mr. ROOSEVELT. 120 in the first year, and then it goes down to 60, and even 60 may be considered to be somewhat long.
Mr. GOODELL. Well, I am not drawing any conclusions as to what the answer is.
Mr. ROOSEVELT. I hope the gentleman will work on that.
Mr. GOODELL. I would be delighted to, because as the gentleman knows, we cosponsored a much stronger bill than the one we have in the law, and I do believe that we should have a stronger Federal law in this field. But on the other hand, I am very anxious that we not put a provision in here that is going to cause problems, and this is the final question I would like to ask.
Assume-perhaps it is a great assumption, but in view of the Taft-Hartley experience of some others, you never knew—assume that the Federal Commission, does not cede jurisdiction in New York, and just moves in, and starts investigating a great many cf the cases you are presently investigating, what would be the impact on your operation ?
Mr. FOWLER. Well, it would be most unfortunate in my judgment, and it would certainly hinder us in our operation. I think it would be confusing to the citizens as to what Government really was involved in this area.
We would feel the responsibility would not permit the Federal Government to—well, let us put it this way. We would have a dual operation, because we cannot relinquish our jurisdiction. We have no intention of doing it, frankly. I would hate for it to come to this, but we are so jealous of it that we are not going to be in a position of having the Federal Government coming in and taking away our responsibility.
Mr. GOODELL. I think there might be some question about preemption here that might make it very difficult for you to continue. I believe cases where it affects interstate commerce, the Federal probably could take exclusive jurisdiction.
Mr. FOWLER. Yes.
Mr. GOODELL. Most of these, I presume, are field investigators, professionals?
Mr. FOWLER. Professionals, that is right.
Mr. GOODELL. Who are going around and doing the job, buttressing your complaints!
Mr. FOWLER. That is right. Mr. GOODELL. Well, I certainly think you are doing a very fine job, Mr. Fowler.
Mr. FOWLER. Thank you very much.
Mr. GoodELL. And we appreciate having you here, as a representative of the State of New York, and Governor Rockefeller.
Mr. FOWLER. Well, we appreciate your support. You have given it to us a long time. We hope you keep on.
Mr. ROOSEVELT. Thank you very much, Mr. Fowler, and we express our appreciation to the Governor, too. We very much appreciate having you with us.
The subcommittee will now hear from the Honorable James Kemp, the commissioner of the Illinois State Fair Employment Practices Commission.
Mr. Kemp, we welcome you. We appreciate your patience with us this morning. We are very happy to have you with us, sir.
You may proceed.
STATEMENT OF HON. JAMES KEMP, COMMISSIONER, ILLINOIS
STATE FAIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES COMMISSION
Mr. KEMP. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, my name is James Kemp, of Chicago. I am a commissioner of the Illinois State Fair Employment Pratices Commisison, appointed in 1961, and a 4-year period, and recently appointed, within the last several months, for a second 1-year period.
With your indulgence, gentlemen, I will read the statement
For the past 312 years, we have had a fair employment practice act operating in Illinois. I have been a member of the commission administering the act for the entire period.
In this 312 years, we have had 674 verified charges of employment discrimination filed and have resolved 620 of them. While they range across the board as to unfair practice alleged, type of respondent, et cetera, approximately 25 percent show some evidence of discrimination as a result of an investigation.
More than half of these cases in which we believe discrimination occurred are settled through adjustment during investigation. However, in accord with the Illinois Fair Employment Practices Act, the commission endeavors to conciliate the rest of the cases.
Conciliation is a private off-the-record meeting between the parties in which an attempt is made to obtain agreements between the parties that will eliminate the effect of the unfair practice complained of and prevent its repetition.
If the commission is unable to conciliate a case, it has the power to issue a complaint and order a public hearing. We have found that this power is essential to obtain justice for the parties concerned and to reduce employment discrimination.
The Illinois Fair Employment Practice law was recently amended at the request of the commission so that we are now authorized to enter into agreements with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission to further fair employment practices in Illinois.
We sought this amendment so there would be no legal questions about cooperative or joint activities which we might undertake with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission.
The Illinois Fair Employment Practice Act, title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and H.R. 9.2.22 are generally similar but have some important differences.
For example on coverage, the Illinois Fair Employment Practice covers employers of 50 or more; title VII, employers of 100 or in an industry affecting commerce to July 1, 1966, then 75 July 1, 1967, then 50 or more to July 1, 1968, and the
H.R. 9222 covers all employers hiring 8 or more persons and affecting commerce.
With respect to enforcement, the Illinois Fair Employment Practice Commission can seek court enforcement of its orders; under title VII, the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee may not seek court enforcement of its orders and can only refer cases back to com. plainants or the Attorney General if they are unable to conciliate them; under H.R. 9222, the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee has full enforcement powers.
I might adhere, Mr. Chairman, even though it does not appear in this mimeographed statement that it seems unthinkable to my colleagues and myself that an unsophisticated complainant would have the know-how or the termity to seek out the Attorney General, or even counsel of his own, or seek to employ counsel or his own.
Under Federal-State relationships, title VII provides that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will defer investigations for a 60-day period of all charges filed from fair employment practice commission States like Illinois.
We might adhere, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, that the State statute in Illinois provides that within 120 days after the discrimination is alleged to have taken place, that is the time limit that a complainant may file, and that the Commission, within 180 days after the filing period, must reach a decision either to dismiss or to go to public hearing, if conciliation has failed.
This means that the State commissions would have the first opportunity to resolve charges of discrimination arising from the States within a given time limit.
H.R. 9222 has no such deferral provision and presumably, therefore, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission created by the bill could investigate charges filed from Illinois without notifying the Illinois Fair Employment Practice Commission or engaging in other cooperative action.
Both title VII and H.R. 9-222 provide that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may enter into agreements with State fair employment practice commissions and may cede jurisdiction to State fair employment practice commissions.
In summary, H.R. 9222 increases the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's jurisdiction and power but has no provision, like title VII, for 60-day deferrals of complaints to State fair employment practice commissions.
In order for the State commissions to have the first opportunity to resolve complaints arising in their States, we believe that a deferral provision such as title VII, section 706, subsections and c of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964, should be written into H.R. 9:222 to provide that all cases in which the State commission has jurisdiction will be deferred for a given period of time to the State commissions in fair employment practice commission States.
While we endorse this provision and its advantages, we also wish to point out that it can result in a case being carried through two sets of administrative bodies and courts by a complainant or respondent, possibly resulting in diverse and conflicting decisions.
We hope the subcommittee will give some thought to overcoming this disadvantage of the deferral provision.
Finally, in the area of Federal-State cooperation, we urge that H.R. 9222 be amended to direct and enable the EEOC to seek uniform rules, regulations, and procedures between itself and the FEPC's operating in the various States. This would promote greater uniformity between the various commissions to the benefit of complainants and respondents alike.
It says here I will be pleased to answer any questions you may care to ask. I will be pleased to try to answer any questions.
Mr. ROOSEVELT. Thank you, Mr. Kemp.
I think in general, as you can tell from the previous discussion, of the gentlemen from New York, Mr. Goodell and myself, and I think the other members agree, that we should try to find a formula such as you have outlined. I think that where we can simplify the procedures and make them uniform, we will hasten justice for everyone concerned. In most of these areas I think it would be advantageous, where the State is doing a good job, to have the State exercise its jurisdiction. I am sure that from past history, none of us have anything else in mind, and we are going to have to work this out.
Can you give me any information as to this? I notice here that you say that about 25 percent show some evidence of discrimination. That means that 75 percent of the cases that are filed, you have decided, have no evidence of discrimination at all!
Mr. KEMP. Well, there are two things, Mr. Chairman. No. 1, because the law in Illinois was passed in 1960, there is a great area of misinformation. My first experience with that was when I addressed and had a question-and-answer period to an organization known as the Cook County Bar Association.
And when I read the terms of the act, it was a source of amazement to the men who normally we would presume had familiarized themselves with it.
No. 2, we ran into a number of spite cases.
Mr. RoosevELT. That was really the point of my question. I am sure that there is going to be the allegation that this legislation leaves open the question of harassment by an employee against manufacturing.
What is your experience in this area?
Mr. KEMP. Well, the State statute in Illinois provides that the case must be investigated, if there is a complaint. We have taken the position—and when I say “we” I refer to the commissioners—we have taken the position in reference to the staff that even though it appears on its face that the case may have no merit, that they are dutybound to investigate.
I would say that we take that position because there are many people who simply don't have the ability to express themselves, either in writing or in speaking, and sometimes, a case occurs where a fellow describes his plight very poorly, but subsequently it turns out that his matter does have merit. So that we recognize that particularly in the 1960's, there are those of us who are angry about a number of things, and this is the nature of the beast.
But we insist that every case be followed up, and in turn, the complainant is notified in writing as to the decision of the commission, so that there is no misunderstanding.
Mr. ROOSEVELT. Mr. Kemp, would you be in favor, in Illinois, of lowering the figure of 50 or more?
Mr. KEMP. There was an attempt. There was legislation introduced at the last Illinois General Assembly, reducing the number to 10; in an effort to compromise, when it appears that that legislation was not going to pass, the figure was altered to 25, and that failed.
So that we recognize that there are more employers employing 50 people or less, possibly not as many people, but more employers employing 50 people or less than there are those who employ more, and the commission feels that the figure should be reduced.
Mr. ROOSEVELT. What is your commission budget! ?
Mr. KEMP. I am talking off the top of my head, but I think it runs something like-$274,00, I believe-or 238. I have forgotten.
There is a biennial appropriation made in the tail end of June of this year, and there was an improvement in the payment, or improvement in the budget.
We might add, of course, that the five commissioners who serve in Illinois receive no compensation, so that this is for staff and for rent and postage, et cetera.
Mr. HAWKINS. May I ask, is that biennial?
Mr. ROOSEVELT. Biennial. Do you have any coverage for sex or age? Mr. KEMP. No. Mr. ROOSEVELT. Has there been any effort to achieve that in Illinois ? Mr. KEMP. No. No such legislation has been introduced. Mr. ROOSEVELT. Mr. Pucinski?
Mr. PUCINSKI. Mr. Kemp, I would like to congratulate your commission on the fine job that you have been doing. You say that you had 674 verified charges, and you have resolved 620 of them. It is unfortunate that your commission is known throughout the country as the commission that handed down the Motorola decision. It has brought you a great deal of criticism. I would like to go into the Motorola decision, but I understand it is now pending before the Supreme Court, and I am not sure that it would be wise for us to go into that case at this time.
But generally, it seems to me that you have done a good job. It is too bad that this one situation developed which has brought you a great deal of notoriety and made you one of the most controversial commissions in the country.
Mr. KEMP. Congressman, I would have been surprised if that issue had not been raised here. I would not have been disappointed, but I would have been surprised.
But the matter is in litigation, and we have been advised by the attorney general of Illinois to make no comments on that matter until the Supreme Court of Illinois has handed down a final decision.
Mr. PUCINSKI. I certainly will respect that wish. If the Federal law goes down to eight popie, wouldn't you then establish a vast area in Illinois and New York and many of the other States where you have a good commission, assuming that they are good commissions, in which you will leave matters for the courts to decide ?
Wouldn't this have a tendency to put the Federal Government into those States where there is a commission doing a good job, simply because you can't go into areas under 50, while the Federal Government could go into shops employing as few as 8 workers?
Would there be any problems for your commission under that concept?