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TABLE No. 10
SUMMARY OF CHILD LABOR PROSECUTIONS
Age of Establishment Child
14 14 15 15
15 15 15 13 15 15 15 15
After 7 p. m..
Guilty.. Over 8 hours a day Guilty Without a permit.. Guilty. Over 8 hours a day Guilty Without a permit.. Guilty. Without a permit.. Guilty Minors frequenting.. | Guilty. Without a permit.. Guilty Without a permit.. Not guilty. Without a permit.. Guilty. Without a permit.. Guilty Over 8 hours a day. Not guilty. Out of school.
Guilty... Selling papers on Adjudged destreet
pendent.. Selling papers on Adjudged destreet
pendent.. Cripple begging Adjudged destreet
*Juvenile court. *Juvenile court.
Prosecutions: Truancy Truancy.
Prosecutions: Drycleaning . Theater.. Juvenile court.
Out of school .
$25, sentence suspended
Without permit; after
$1 and costs, total of $3.007
child off street or be prosecuted
t-Fine fixed by law is $25. *--Bureau of Women and Children co-operated with police women and juvenile court officials.
Private Employment Agencies. Society has ordained that a man without visible means of support is a vagrant and may be imprisoned. It then proceeded to permit other private individuals to charge these unemployed workmen a fee for information of opportunities to earn a living. In previous reports this department has exposed many abuses that obtain in these legalized employment agencies. Recommendations were made that in our opinion would have prevented many of the abuses, but they were not adopted. The "plunder-bund" is still at work and all our efforts to stop them have been of little avail. We believe that a detailed report of their activities is unnecessary in this report. A recital of each individual case investigated would be only a repetition of those contained in previous reports. Workmen were charged exorbitant fees for jobs at low wages that had practically no promise of permanency. Men were sent to situations that did not exist and only a threat to start proceedings for a revocation of their license could compel the agency to return the fees paid and the expenses incurred in the vain hunt for the promised job. One agent was compelled to quit, but another has taken his place, and we see little improvement in conditions at the location.
Five hundred and fifteen men appealed to the department in the last two years for assistance. In 67 instances their claims were unfounded. Two hundred and seventy-five men were shipped out of the state. The other 241 were intrastate shipments. The inspectors secured a return of the fee in 118 cases, a part of the fee in 139, and a new position in 6 cases. One man refused the fee and expenses when offered, as he believed he could recover more by bringing suit. No fee was involved in 58 cases, and in 124 the return of the fee was refused. Expenses were returned in 103 cases, partly returned in 3 cases, and refused in 126 cases where they had been incurred. In the unsuccessful cases the men were advised to consult an attorney. The total amount collected for fees and expenses was $1,343.15, with the amount not reported in four cases.
The department instituted proceedings against two persons who were conducting agencies without a license. One was fined $100 and the other the ridiculously low sum of $2. The latter agent took out a license before the suit was finished. The other man is now out of business. A record of all the cases is on file in the office of the department and the statements made can be verified by consulting them.
In addition to the agency cases investigated the department received complaints of eight instances of misrepresentations by employers. Their purpose was alleged to be to induce workmen to come into the state. In four cases the complaint was not founded. In the others the firms involved readily reimbursed the men for their time and expenses incurred in coming and sent them to their homes.
Wage Collections. The department is constantly besieged by workmen with requests to aid in collecting wages due them. In some manner the idea has spread that the department of labor is a collection agency as well as a bureau for the redress of wrongs. In many cases the man had quit and was told to wait until pay day. During the past year or two the employers were often short of men and refused to pay before their regular pay day, presumably in the hope that the men would be induced to stay at work until then. A few employers became brutal in their treatment of the men when they insisted on quitting. In a large number of cases the men were discharged or quit for good cause and the withholding of the wages created a hardship that was uncalled for.
Many requests to collect wages are received by mail from all parts
of the state. In these 'cases our only recourse is to advise them to consult an attorney, as the department has not the means to make investigations of all of these complaints. The legislature should by all means provide by law some suitable penalty that would compel the immediate payment of wages to those who are discharged or laid off.
The individual nature of the abuses encountered in these investigations are the same as those told of in previous reports and repetition here is unnecessary. The conditions surrounding some of the appeals were such as to cause the department to give aid by attempting to collect the wages. We were successful in 71 and unsuccessful in 17 cases. The Bureau of Women and Children aided in collecting in 22 cases where women employes were involved. The total amount collected by the department was $1,166.80. A large majority of the cases in which we believed the complainant was entitled to assistance were referred to the legal aid departments maintained by the charity associations in the larger cities of the state.
The creation of "small debtor's courts" such as are maintained in some other cities would, in our opinion, obviate many of the difficulties now encountered in the collection of small wage accounts. The department joins with others in recommending the establishment of such courts in cities of the first class.
State Institutions. At the request of the State Board of Control an inspector was directed to make an inspection at the Rochester Asylum. He found that several windows leading to fire escapes were obstructed with radiators and that all windows were double-locked and difficult to reach the upper locks. He recommended that one window be replaced by a door leading onto the fire escape balcony. He also recommended new fire escapes on the north, south and west detached wings.
The elevators were found to be in a bad condition. The elevator pits were lower than the sewer and all waste water leaking from the valves of the hydraulic apparatus collected in the pit, became stagnant and caused an offensive odor to spread to the nearby rooms, especially the kitchen. In his opinion the general condition of the elevators warranted a recommendation that new electric elevators be installed to obviate the nuisance and provide greater safety. The machinery in the buildings was found to be properly guarded. In the new power house the machinery was being guarded as fast as it was installed.
An inspection was also made of a new elevator installed at the Elliott Hospital in Minneapolis. It was found that the locks were deficient, in that any person could open the gates from the outside with a stick, and a small door was so placed that a person could reach in and operate the lever of the large door. This was a source of great danger and he recommended that these defects be remedied before the elevator was accepted from the contractors.
Boarding Camps. A number of complaints were received from employes in lumber camps relative to insanitary conditions prevailing there. The department has no means of enforcing any recommendations for their betterment, although in previous investigations it has found conditions that were intolerable. In two complaints there were other alleged abuses which made it imperative that an inspector go to the camps, and the sanitary conditions were therefore investigated at the same time. In both cases the camps were reported in good condition.
The department believes that the regulation of these laborers' camps should be made a duty of the state board of health. In previous reports we have shown that conditions prevail that are a menace to the health of those who are employed in them, and, through their contact with others after they leave the camps, to the whole people of the state. The same reports have proved that it is both possible and economical to provide sanitary camps and other states have legislated on this subject with excellent results.
Miscellaneous Investigations. 1. A complaint was received by the department that mattresses were manufactured and sold in the state that did not conform to the requirements of sections 3779 to 3782 inclusive of Revised Statutes of 1913. For some inconceivable reason it is made the duty of this department to investigate such complaints. Acting on the information received an investigation was made which proved that four firms were manufacturing and five firms were retailing mattresses that were not properly labeled. The firms agreed to properly label the mattresses in the future and no prosecution was instituted.
2. A number of women employed in a manufacturing plant reported that they were forbidden to use the elevators and were compelled to walk upstairs to the eighth floor of the building where they were employed. They regarded this as an unwarranted hardship. Investigation proved that the use of the elevators was permitted until 8 a. m., but as à penalty for tardiness those arriving after that hour were compelled to walk up the stairs.
3. A number of girls reported that they were constantly annoyed by loafers who hung around the doors of the factory where they were employed at quitting time. The matter was reported to the police department who stopped the nuisance.
4. A complaint was received that a floor walker in an establishment became particularly abusive to the women employed whenever they went for a drink or to the toilet without first obtaining his permission. An investigation proved that the report was the result of a grudge and was grossly exaggerated.
5. A report that girls employed in a factory were required to lift baskets of material weighing as much as one hundred pounds, to the detriment of their health was found upon investigation to be untrue. The baskets weighed about twenty-five pounds each and boys were hired for the purpose of loading them on trucks.
6. A complaint was received that a municipal water tower in a small town was unsafe and a source of danger to men who worked in nearby places and who were compelled to pass in close proximity thereto. An investigation proved the report to be unfounded.
7. A mother complained that her daughter had been compelled to leave her place of employment because the foreman had used profane language to her. Investigation showed that it was not the foreman but other girls in the establishment who used the profanity.
8. A complaint that a department manager in a store became abusive to the clerks when they made trifling mistakes was found to be untrue on investigation.
9. A crippled girl who felt that she was discriminated against because of her condition was aided in getting to a hospital, where she received treatment.
10. A girl complained that a timekeeper in a hotel where she was employed had brutally assaulted her, knocking her down and kicking her. She asked assistance in securing witnesses for a prosecution. Most of her companions were reluctant to testify and were plainly afraid of the consequences. One man who offered to testify was discharged. After he was secured as a witness the girl decided to use his testimony in a civil suit for damages and the criminal suit was dropped.
PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT OFFICES
The report of the state free employment offices is herewith presented in a series of three tables. The first shows the number of positions filled during each month of the last two years, and the expense of running the offices. It shows that the cost for each position filled was approximately 24 cents in 1914-15 and 20 cents in 1915-16. During the two years 86,932 positions were filled, but a reference to tables 3 and 3A shows that a considerable percentage of these were jobs lasting only a day or two. The number of jobs given to males was 46,287 and to females 40,645. The second table shows the number of positions by months and by the sex of the employes sent to them, and the third table shows the nature of the occupations to which the employes were sent.