« AnteriorContinuar »
then be viewed as an act intended merely to correct abuses in any one section of the country. Clear enunciation and implementation of a national policy on equal employment opportunity are obviously long overdue at this point in the history of the United States.
To emphasize specifically the extent of the problem and the acute need for this act, the following items are pertinent:
A. Employment discrimination of some kind can be found in almost every industry—if not with respect to initial employment, then certainly with respect to opportunity for promotion.
B. Arbitrary denial of equal employment opportunity unquestionably contributes to our current staggering welfare assistance costs. For example, Mr. Raymond M. Hilliard, director, Cook County Department of Public Aid, conservatively estimates that $70 million additional yearly costs in Chicago's welfare grants can be attributed solely to employment discrimination. Mr. Hilliard further cites a projection of welfare costs from an expert study conducted in Chicago to the effect that a fourfold increase in welfare costs can be expected in the next 10 years if present trends continue.
Industries such as banks and financial institutions, electronic and electrical manufacturing companies, advertising agencies, insurance companies, trade associations, management consulting firms, book and publication companies, and paper products firms-traditionally the prime employers of young people--are perhaps the most flagrant practitioners of employment discrimination against minority groups.
D. As a consequence, denial of equal employment opportunity contributes to disillusionment of high school students and increased school dropouts, currently an acute national problem. A young person who leaves school before graduating from high school is much sess likely to find adequate employment and, as a corollary, is much more likely to become a full-scale juvenile delinquent. The dollar cost to society of a single juvenile delinquent may, according to authoritative studies, run as high as $25,000.
E. Among other peoples of the free world, especially the peoples of the newly emerging and uncommitted nations, continued employment discrimination in the United States casts doubt upon our sincerity in furthering the cause of individual liberty and human dignity. To quote from the testimony of Hon. G. Mennen Williams, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs :
As you know, the majority of the people of the world are colored, and as such are particularly sensitive to any racial inequities or color barrier. During trips last year through 35 countries in all regions of Africa, and in daily contacts with African diplomats, I have been constantly reminded of the interrelationships between our domestic actions and our foreign relations. Virtually every press conference in Africa brought a series of pointed questions on color conflicts in America. Our racial and religious problems are understandably of great interest in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and elsewhere abroad. The real difficulties of racial integration --which our open society permits the world to know do complicate our foreign relations. Our shortcomings in this regard are of particular interest to the Soviet bloc nations,
who engage in a persistent campaign, often through distor-
Nations with predominantly colored populations often
tunity to see for themselves. F. In addition to creating unfavorable impressions among the free peoples of the world, employment discrimination results in underutilization of manpower and, consequently, poses a distinct threat to the Nation's ability to maintain its competitive position in the world. As Secretary of Labor, the Honorable Arthur J. Goldberg, stated in testimony:
We cannot in numbers match the manpower available to the Soviet Union and Red China. We must compensate for this deficiency in numbers by the skill of our workers
and by making the most effective use of their talents. Yet the preponderence of evidence points clearly to ineffective use of our manpower resources. For example:
(1) Twenty-two percent of white college men become proprietors, managers, or officials in business while only 5 percent of Negro college men achieve such positions. (Source: "Économic and Social Status of the Negro in the United States," National Urban League, 1961.)
(2) Department of Labor studies demonstrate similar underutiliztion of the manpower resources of older workers. To wit:
In December 1961, among the long-term unemployedthose unemployed for 27 weeks or longer-men age 45 and over constituted a significantly larger proportion of this group than they are represented in the labor force as a whole-35 percent versus 26 percent. Likewise, among the beneficiaries of temporary extended unemployment compensation--a group sharing the common problem of long-term unemployment-workers age 45 and over represented 45 percent of the total in October 1961.
In 1960 at least 10 State employment security agencies gathered data on age restrictions in connection with their participation in the 1961 White House Conference on Aging. These studies showed a variable picture from State to State, ranging from a low of 26 percent of position openings with age restrictions to a high of 64 percent.
Unfortunately the problem appears to be growing more acute as we move through this decade of change. For many in their forties and fifties work careers are being interrupted by the economic cycle, automation, plant movement, and mergers. Long-term unemployment thus created in addition to its immediate economic impact continues to plague the individual right up to and including retirement by reducing his work credits and pension income. Coupled with this is the steady erosion of skill and spirit-losses which are not measurable in economic terms alone.
(3) Not only are currently available manpower resources and skills not being adequately used, but little if any attention has been paid to ways and means of training the volume of skilled manpower which will be needed in the next 8 to 10 years. True, the Congress has taken a limited step in the Area Redevelopment Act and can take further action by approving the manpower development and training bill and the youth employment opportunities bill. Yet, the more one ponders manpower problems, the more one sees clearly their magnitude. Furthermore, the Congress must be farsighted enough to insure that workers trained through governmental programs do not face discriminatory barriers when they look for employment.
As a result of committee investigation of discriminatory practices in apprenticeship training programs, Secretary of Labor Goldberg appointed an ad hoc task force to study not only the problem of discrimination in apprenticeship and other training programs, but also the adequacy of these programs in light of future manpower needs. The task force report demonstrates dramatically the distinct likelihood of an acute manpower shortage within a few years.
For example, at present levels apprenticeship programs in the construction industry will come nowhere near providing the number of journeymen needed by 1970. Of 14 selected trades, only 1, the electrical trade at 36 percent, reaches a proportion of apprentices in training to future needs as high as 22 percent. In carpentry, the largest of the building trades, only 6 percent of the needed journeymen will be provided at the present rate of training. In four other trades the proportion is under 10 percent. In other parts of the economy, furthermore, the volume of apprenticeship is even less adequate than in the construction industry.
In brief, the task force report shows that we need two things and need them soon: First, a vast expansion of apprenticeship and training programs, and, second, removal of all arbitrary barriers to entry into such programs, so that the best qualified people may contribute to the future need of our Nation.
G. Despite solid advances toward elimination of discrimination, organized labor has much yet to do. As AFL-CIO President George Meany said in his testimony:
The leadership of the AFL-CIO, and of the separate federations before merger, has been working ceaselessly to eliminate those prejudices. The leaders of every affiliated national and international union are enlisted in the same effort. We have come a long way in the last 20 years-a long way farther, I might say, than any comparable organization, including the religious organizations as a whole, and certainly we are a generation or more ahead of the employers as a whole.
But we have said repeatedly that to finish the job we need the help of the U.S. Government. * * * When the rank-and-file membership of a local union obstinately exercises its right to be wrong, there is very little we in the leadership can do about it, unaided.
In short, I am not here to ask for special exemptions for unions; quite the contrary. I hope the law you draft will cover the whole range we ourselves have written into our
constitution and we hope you will make sure the law will also
this very committee last August. H. Organizations which customarily speak for management have not taken an official position on this bill. . Although many invitations to testify were issued to business groups, only one, the Illinois Manufacturers Association, chose to appear. The association spokesman, without presenting any evidence that disciminatory patterns in employment are not fully as widespread as other witnesses had indicated, opposed the act on two grounds: (1) That such legislation is an unwarranted intrusion into the affairs of private business; and (2) that if any governmental action is necessary, such action should be taken on a State level. It developed, however, that the Illinois Manufacturers Association had opposed enactment of the recently adopted Fair Employment Practices Act in Illinois.
A study in committee files prepared for a northern commercial and industrial association expresses a far less intransigent view. The study encompasses the reactions of businessmen to fajr employment practices laws in their States. Although State laws may not have been welcomed, the experiences have been constructive. Speaking for the prevailing executive view, the findings may be summarized as follows:
(1) The laws are a further invasion of industry's prerogatives, an unnecessary nuisance, or both.
(2) But they are inevitable.
(3) And they haven't turned out to be as onerous as had been expected.
(4) In fact, and on the whole, executives are rather pleased with the successful way they have handled the matter. In the body of the study many executives did, in fact, say that the State commissions had been of significant help to them in solving difficult personnel problems.
I. The committee finds that all is far from right in the employment practices of the Federal Government, where, above all, complete fairness ought to be the rule. The committee gives full recognition to accomplishments of this and previous administrations through executive action. It holds, nevertheless, that nothing short of full statutory authority can accomplish the job that must be done.
J. Testimony before the committee showed the need for Federal legislation irrespective of whether States have taken action to protect employment opportunities of minority groups. First, some 100 million people are not covered by State laws. Second, State laws vary greatly in coverage and effectiveness. Third, State commissions have encountered difficulty in dealing with the large, multiphased operations of businesses in interstate commerce. In one instance, in fact, a State court ruled that the commission had no jurisdiction over companies in interstate commerce (Colorado: Green v. Continental Airlines, Inc.).
K. In short, this act proposes active steps toward achievement of basic constitutional and moral right-transforming from the theoretical into the actual the fundamental principles which are the very foundation of American democracy-and undertakes to remove deficiencies and to attain positive benefits necessary to internal well-being and to continued world leadership.
PART III. MAJOR PROVISIONS OF THE ACT A. The act provides the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with authority to use three approaches to elimination and prevention of unlawful employment practices because of employment discrimination based upon race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, or age:
(1) Educational efforts:
(3) Recourse to civil action in the Federal couts in the event that the first two approaches fail. B. Section 9 obviously departs substantially from the procedural patterns of most State fair employment practices laws and of many independent Federal agencies. That
That is to say, rather than investing the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with quais-judicial functions, including the power to hold public hearings and issue cease and desist orders in the event that conciliation and mediation fail to obtain compliance with the law, the Commission may take the matter into Federal district court to secure injunctive relief. The decision of the committee to institute such procedure is based upon the following observations:
(1) In line with a longstanding position of the American Bar Association, it is more in keeping with basic principles of American jurisprudence to have final judicial determinations made by the judiciary rather than by an investigative, prosecuting agency.
(2) The experience of State fair employment practices commissions furnished to the committee indicates that in actuality the mediation and conciliation provisions of State laws have been far more important in achieving compliance with said laws than the provisions for hearings and issuance of cease and desist orders. The following table shows the experience of the majority of States with effective laws. The period of time covered is from effective date of the State law to the end of 1961.
It is apparent that in less than 0.3 percent of the cases has it been necessary to carry proceedings through the hearing stage; that in slightly more than 0.1 percent of the cases has it been necessary or appropriate to issue cease and desist orders, and that in less than 0.1 percent of the cases has it been necessary finally for the matter to be adjudicated in State courts.
(3) Since a cease and desist order issued by quasi-judicial bodies has no force and effect, if the respondent chooses not to comply with