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THE FAIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICE ACT

FEBRUARY 20, 1945.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the

state of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mrs. NORTON, from the Committee on Labor, submitted the following

REPORT

(To accompany H. R. 2232]

The Committee on Labor, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 2232) to prohibit discrimination in employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, or ancestry, having considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bili

do pass.

One of the principal objectives of the tragic war in which we are now engaged is to establish the principle that

all men, no matter what their religion, color, or national origin, are born with the right to freedom to worship and work to safeguard their spiritual and economic welfare. The men and women of America hold this belief so dear that they are fighting and dying on the battlefields of the world to uphold it. When the war comes to a victorious end, and our men and women return to peacetime occupations from the battlefields and from the production of war materials, there must be equal opportunity for all. The men who have fought for economic freedom for peoples throughout the world will not, and should not, be satisfied with anything less in our own country.

Let it be clearly understood this bill has for its purpose economio opportunity only. The opponents of the bill are attempting to confuse the issue by bringing up the question of social equality. We repeat, there is nothing in the bill concerned with anything other than economic equality.

The Presidential candidates of both parties specifically pledged themselves to support of a permanent Fair Employment Practice Commission. At the beginning of this session of the Seventy-ninth Congress, 13 bills, having the same purpose, were introduced and referred to the committee. The provisions of 10 of these bills are identical. The bills are as follows: H. R. 481, introduced by Mr. LaFollette, of Indiana; H. R. 679, by Mr. Baldwin of New York; H R. 700 by Mr. Dawson, of Illinois; H. R. 1370, by Mr. Hook, of Michigan; H. R. 1575, by Mr. Dirksen, of Illinois; H. R. 1743, by Mr. Powell, of New York;

H. R. 1762, by Mr. Bender, of Ohio; H. R. 1806, by Mrs. Douglas of California; H. R. 1815, by Mr. Clason, of Massachusetts; and H. R. 1894, by Mr. Doyle, of California. The bill H. R. 523, introduced by the chairman, was based very largely on the provisions of the above identical bills.

These proposals were considered by a subcommittee composed of Mr. Randolph, of West Virginia; Mr. Patterson, of California; Mr. Geelan, of Connecticut; Mr. Powell, of New York; Mr. Baldwin of New York; Mr. McConnell, of Pennsylvania; and Mr. Adams, of New Hampshire. After full consideration, the subcommittee recommended to the full committee a bill embodying the best features of all of the above proposals. Upon completion of comprehensive discussion by the full committee of the recommended bill, the committee requested the chairman to introduce, as a committee bill, a bill carrying out these recommendations. It is that bill, H. R. 2232, which is herewith reported.

ANALYSIS OF THE BILL The following is an analysis, section by section, of the recommendations of the committee.

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE

This section gives the act its title, the Fair Employment Practice Act.

SECTION 2. FINDINGS AND DECLARATION OF POLICY

This section sets forth the underlying factual basis and policy for the regulation provided by the bill. The Congress finds that discrimination in employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, or ancestry (1) leads to interracial tension and conflict, (2) forces large segments of our population permanently into substandard conditions of living, (3) creates a drain upon the resources of the Nation, (4) causes a diminution of employment and wages which disrupts the market for goods in commerce,, all of which (5) burden, hinder, and obstruct commerce.

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SECTION 3. DEFINITIONS

This section defines in ordinary terms the words, person, labor union, commerce, affecting commerce, and Commission. The term employer is defined, however, to exclude all employers of five or less employees.

SECTION 4. RIGHT TO FREEDOM FROM DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT

This section declares that the right to work free from discrimination is an “immunity” of the citizens of the United States, which shall not be abridged by any Federal or State agency.

SECTION 5. UNFAIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES DEFINED

This section seeks to outlaw discriminatory practices by three major groups, private employers, labor unions, and agencies of the Federal Government. It forbids discrimination in every incident of the employment relationship. Thus it would make unlawful a discriminatory refusal to hire, refer, upgrade, promote, or classify properly. It is designed to forbid wage differentials based upon race, discriminatory transfers, or assignments, discriminatory discharges, and discrimination in the application of seniority rules. It likewise seeks to ban the various devices by which discrimination is effected. The bill also forbids an employer to confine his hiring to any source that discriminates.

The section also seeks to forbid discriminatory practices by trade unions. It forbids them to deny membership because of race, creed, color, national origin, or ancestry or to discriminate among members because of such facts.

In addition, the section seeks to protect those persons who suffer discrimination not because of race or creed, but because they seek to assist their fellow employees who belong to a minority group. Thus it forbids discrimination against employees who oppose discrimination or who assist in any proceeding under the bill.

Having stated the objective of extirpating every form of discrimination in employment, no matter how occasioned, devised, or motivated, it should likewise clearly be stated what the bill does not seek to do. The bill is not concerned with matters other than employment, such as housing, education, recreation, transportation, political rights, or social relationships.

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SECTION 6. FAIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICE COMMISSION

This section creates a quasi-judicial agency to be known as the Fair Employment Practice Commission, to consist of five members appointed by the President for 5-year terms with the advice and consent of the Senate. The original members will serve, however, for terms ranging from 1 to 5 years. Commissioners will receive $10,000 a year. When a quorum of the new Commission has taken office, the present Committee on Fair Employment Practice created by Executive order 9346 will go out of existence, but its records, employees, and unexpended appropriations will be transferred to the new Commission.

SECTION 7. PREVENTION OF UNFAIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES

The Commission is empowered to prevent the proscribed unfair employment practices by the issuance of cease-and-desist orders. The procedure devised by this section for the issuance of such orders follows closely that of other administrative agencies. Thus the section provides for the filing of charges with the Commission, the holding of hearings before it, the making of findings of fact, the issuance of ceaseand-desist orders.

The Commission is empowered to prevent those unfair employment practices which are committed by Federal agencies or by Federal contractors or which affect commerce.

SECTION 8. JUDICIAL REVIEW

This section incorporates, by reference, thprocedure for judicia) review and enforcement of the Commission's orders, which is now applicable to the orders of the National Labor Helations Board. The technical, common-law rules of evidence will not be binding upon the Commission, but in conformity with existing judicial doctrine it will receive or consider only the type of evidence whichusually affects fair-minded men in the conduct of their daily and important affairs (Bene v. F. T. C., 229 Fed. 468).

Any party aggrieved by a final order of the Commission may, on his own initiative, obtain a review of such order in the circuit courts.

No penalty is provided for a violation of an order of the Commission. If, however, a court commands obedience to such an order, violation of the court's decree will be punishable as a contempt of court.

SECTION 9. INVESTIGATORY POWERS

This section confers upon the Commission the customary powers of subpena and administration of oaths. The subpenas are enforceable in the Federal district courts.

SECTION 10. RULES AND REGULATIONS

This section empowers the Commission to issue regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of the act, but provides that the two Houses of Congress may disapprove any regulation by the adoption of a concurrent resolution within 60 days after the issuance of such regulation. After adoption of such a résolution the Commission would be barred from issuing another regulation having the same effect as the one disapproved. Thus continual congressional supervision of the Commission's regulations is provided for.

SECTION 11. GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS

This section continues the existing requirement of Executive Order 9346 issued by the President, that every contract to which the Federal Government is a party shall contain a covenant obligating the contractor and his subcontractors not to discriminate in employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, or ancestry. This obligation is in effect only during the period of time required for the performance of the contract.

This section also provides that in the discretion of the Commission it may require that a person found to have violated any of the provisions of the act shall be barred from receiving another Government contract for a period of not to exceed 1 year. This section is based upon a similar provision in the Walsh-Healey Act of 1936 (41 U. S. C. 35).

SECTION 12. ENFORCEMENT OF ORDERS DIRECTED TO GOVERNMENT

AGENCIES

This section provides for a means of enforcing the Commission's orders against Federal agencies or their officers who have been found to be guilty of discriminatory employment practices. The Commission is empowered to request the President to take any action he deems appropriate to obtain compliance with the order of the Commission. Thus the President may discharge summarily any Federal employee or officer who, in the President's opinion, has willfully failed to obey an order of the Commission.

A Federal agency named as a respondent in a Commission order will have no right of appeal to the courts.

SECTION 18. WILLFUL INTERFERENCE WITH COMMISSION AGENTS

This section, customary in comparable regulatory statutes, protects agents of the Commission from physical harm as willful interference. This section is not applicable to the committing of unfair employment practices or the violation of the orders of the Commission.

SECTION 14. SEPARABILITY CLAUSE

This section expresses the intent of Congress that the act shall be deemed separable in the event of a decision of unconstitutionality affecting only a portion of the act.

MARY T. NORTON.
JENNINGS RANDOLPH.
AUGUSTINE B. KELLEY.
FRANK E. HOOK.
ELLIS E. PATTERSON.
JAMES P. GEELAN.
WILLIAM J. GREEN, Jr.
ADAM C. POWELL, Jr.
RICHARD J. WELCH.
JOSEPH CLARK BALDWIN.
SAMUEL K. McCONNELL, Jr.
SHERMAN ADAMS.

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