Page images

fair employment practices commissions.

Idaho has a statute declaring equal opportunity in employment to be the public policy of the State, and making violation thereof a misdemeanor. In 1953, Iowa adopted a concurrent resolution declaring nondiscrimination in employment, public or private, to be the policy of the State.

On March 18, 1963, the Governor of Kentucky issued a code of fair practices prohibiting discrimination in State employment services, in public employment and in public contracts and in other areas. All State agencies are required to cooperate with the Commission on Human Rights, a factfinding, investigatory, and advisory body established in 1960-Kentucky Revised Statutes, sections 19.010 and 19.050.

Fourteen States have laws which specifically require a nondiscrimination clause in public contracts, or contracts for public works, or both. These laws are applicable to the public contracts or contracts for public works of the political subdivisions as well as of the State.

These 14 States are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

As may be observed, all of these States with the exception of Arizona, have antidiscrimination laws applicable to private employment. The District of Columbia has a policy of requiring the inclusion in all contracts, to which the District is a party, of an antidiscrimination clause in which the contractor agrees to insert a similar provision in all subcontracts, with the exception of those for standard commercial materials or for raw materials.

Since 1948 more than 40 cities have enacted fair employment practices ordinances, or have adopted an antidiscrimination policy, authorizing the city attorney to enforce the law where employers, labor unions, or employment agencies do not comply with the ceaseand-desist orders of the local commission. In fact, in many of the States, local antidiscrimination laws preceded action by the State legislatures. Some of the State statutes-for example, the Pennsylvania one-expressly recognize the municipal ordinances. In others, such as Minnesota, the prevailing interpretation is that the local laws are not invalidated by the passage of the State law. On the other hand, the Michigan fair employment practice law specifi

cally provides that municipal ordinances are thereby superseded-Michigan Revised Statutes 17.458(1)-(11). The California law also expressly repeals existing municipal fair employment practice ordinances.

The city of Baltimore, Md., has both a fair employment practices ordinance with enforcement provisions, as of July 1960, and a policy requiring the inclusion of a nondiscrimination clause in all city contracts, as of May 1960. Phoenix, Ariz., adopted in 1955 legislation barring discrimination in public employment and in firms holding public contracts. In 1962, Omaha, Nebr., adopted an enforcible fair employment practices ordinance.

In light of the past actions of States and municipalities in the fair employment field, it is lucidly obvious that Federal action in this field-quite aside from being unlawful in the opinion of the Senator from Texas-is both unwise and unnecessary.


From 1952 to 1962 more than 75 measures proposing Federal fair employment legislation were introduced in either the Senate or House of Representatives in the 83d to the 87th Congresses. These bills represented the gradations found in legislation of this type, from bills merely declaring the opportunity to Federal employment without discrimination a Federal policy, to measures proposing an enforcible equal-opportunity law, whereunder the right to employment without discrimination is made a Federal right. None of the bills reached the floor of either House.

Extensive hearings were held during the first session of the 87th Congress on proposed legislation to prohibit discrimination in employment in certain cases because of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, or sex, by the Special Subcommittee on Labor of the House Committee on Education and Labor. Notwithstanding the submission by the committee of a favorable recommendation in House Report 1370 on H.R. 10144, which proposed the establishment of a five-member Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with advisory and investigatory powers, and the authority to initiate judicial action, the measure never reached the floor. House Report 1370 includes the supplemental and minority view filed with respect to H.R. 10144.

More than 60 bills espousing some type of Federal fair employment policy have been introduced in the 88th Congress.

Mr. President, as you know, fair employment practices legislation has been

discussed by many learned Americans for a number of years. I would like to recall for the Senate the views of a number of those Americans which I feel are pertinent at this time.

Enforcement and Administration:
In General-Dirksen Amendments

EDITORS' NOTE: Early in the Senate debate, Senator Dirksen (R., Ill.) offered 10 amendments to Title VII. Some of these proposals eventually were incorporated in the substitute bill adopted by both the Senate and House, although there were changes in language and section numbers. Sen. Dirksen's explanation of the changes appears below.


pp. 8192-8195

Mr. DIRKSEN. I am grateful to the Senator from Virginia for permitting me to intrude at this point in his interesting speech.

I had planned today to submit 10 amendments to title VII of the bill. They are submitted in the utmost good faith and in the firm belief that they would improve markedly the title of the bill that deals with fair employment practices and creates the so-called Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

These proposals are the fruit of long study and staff work and consultation with the people in business, in industry, in the contracting field, and in nearly every other field of economic activity.

I wish to make it abundantly clear that there may be other amendments. The most controversial amendment that I have been dealing with, together with my staff, will be submitted at a later date.

We have been having consultations on this side of the aisle with the proponents of the bill as is, in the hope that somehow we can find a practical solution for the problem which is involved where State and Federal jurisdictions are concerned.

Let me say, parenthetically, that I found most of the people who have come to consult with me, and who would be

widely affected by this measure hostile to the civil rights bill. They began by stating that they would like to see a civil rights bill, but they wish it to be sound and practical. They wish it to be workable and, quite naturally, out of an abundance of their experience, they seek the enactment of a measure that will be fair.

I do not believe that anyone can quarrel with that premise. I do not believe that these amendments which will be submitted directly would impair, weaken, or emasculate the pending measure. They are not so designed and they are not so inspired.

It should be remembered that we are seeking to predicate a civil rights bill upon a solid foundation, knowing that in the years to come it will probably share the same fate as legislation in every other field.

I recall that even now we are amending and perfecting legislation on which I first voted in 1933 and 1934, and in subsequent years, when I was a Member of the House of Representatives. Thus, no legislation is perfect at the outset. Only as experience somehow yields to the wisdom and the prudence which is necessary, will it dictate the amendments which probably will be offered in the years ahead.

Later in my remarks, I shall ask unanimous consent to insert the text of the amendments in the RECORD, together with a brief explanation of their significance. When the time comes, I expect

to call them up for consideration, and that is momentarily a rather indefinite date. At that time, there will be a more thorough exploration and exposition of the amendments.

I am rather confident that they will beget the spirit of consideration by the Senate, and that there will be an abundance of debate, so that all aspects of the amendments will be thoroughly ventilated.

I am withholding one amendment. It is probably more important than all the others. It deals with the procedure to be followed by an aggrieved person who feels that he has been the victim of discrimination in the employment field. This involves a question of jurisdiction, since 30 States today have enacted and put into practice their own code which deals with employment discrimination.

The 30 States to which I refer are:

Alaska and Arizona; California and Colorado; Connecticut and Delaware; Idaho and Illinois; Indiana and Iowa; Kansas and Massachusetts; Michigan and Minnesota; Missouri and Nebraska; Nevada and New Jersey; New Mexico and New York; Ohio and Oregon; Pennsylvania and Rhode Island; Washington and West Virginia; Wisconsin and Hawaii; and Vermont and Oklahoma.

In those 30 States are located about 70 percent of the working population of the Nation and, for aught I know, that percentage may be even larger. We have tried by interpolation to determine how many of our working population are presently covered by State fair employment practice statutes and how the commissions should articulate those statutes. Interestingly enough, of this group of States, 17 are represented by 23 Republican Senators, and this figure is sufficiently impressive to indicate that these and other Members of the Senate are interested in the question of primary jurisdiction over civil rights complaints.

The House bill which is before us contains a section in the 11th title which recites:

Nothing contained in any title of this Act shall be construed as indicating an intent on the part of Congress to occupy the field in which any such title operates to the exclusion of State laws on the same subject matter, nor shall any provision of this Act be construed as invalidating any provision of State law unless such provision is inconsistent with any of the purposes of this Act, or any provisions thereof.

That language can be interpreted in a number of ways. However, if we are dealing with basic intent and purpose, I believe it was the intention of the House of Representatives, when it incorporated that language in the House bill, to give full consideration to the States and to the jurisdiction of the States in dealing with this problem in the first instance.

To be sure, there are recitals in title VII of the pending bill calling for cooperation between Federal, State, and local agencies and even for reimbursement of State and local agencies for services which might be rendered. Cooperation, however, between the Federal Commission on the one hand and the State and local commissions on the other can easily become a one-way street because of the pressure and emotionalism involved and because of the tendency of Federal agencies to dominate any field which they are authorized by Congress to enter.

In the Senate are men who have been Governors of their State. Offhand I can think of at least a half-dozen. In the main, they all seek a workable and equitable civil rights bill but they are mindful of the steady and deeper intrusion of the Federal power in fields where the problem is essentially State and 10cal in character. It should be borne in mind that we deal not with something like trade practices in commerce which are widely diffused over the whole country and therefore require the interposition of Federal power, but rather with cases where a single individual is involved who complains of discriminatory practices by an employer. Surely we can develop language which will assure the States on this point, assure individual complainants that they will have fair and expeditious consideration of their grievances and still retain sufficient authority in the Federal Commission to carry forward the purposes and objectives of this title of the bill.

I trust that within a few days, it will be possible to satisfactorily resolve the issue of jurisdiction and procedure between the State and Federal commissions.

Mr. President, I submit these 10 amendments, and with each of them I submit an explanatory statement. In addition to them, I should like to have the amendments in proper form not only presented, but also published in the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD. I submit them for that purpose.

« PreviousContinue »