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CHILDREN FOUND ILLEGALLY EMPLOYED OR FOR WHOM PROOF OF AGE WAS DEMANDED IN FACTORIES IN YEAR ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 1914
First INSPECTION DISTRICT Found illegally employed:
Males Females Total Less than 14 years of age (discharged).
24 14 to 16 years of age (without certificate).
53 *104 Working illegal hours.
323 1716 Children for whom proof of age was demanded: Age proven 16 ...
26 Age proven 14 to 16 (certificates secured).
70 Age proven less than 14 (discharged). Discharged without proof of age..
138 Total. ...
SECOND INSPECTION DISTRICT
Less than 14 years of age (discharged).
Note.- The above violations and demands for proof of age in the First District were found in 738 establishments - 734 in New York City, 2 in Nassau County, and 2 in Suffolk County. Those in the Second District were found in 247 firms, 63 of which were in Buffalo and 39 in Rochester.
* In these 104 cases the children had secured the required certificates, but they were not on file with employers.
The total here represents the pumber of violations found; there were 98 duplications, as follows: Twenty-two cases in which children between 14 and 16 years of age who had unfiled certificates were being employed illegal hours; one case in which a child less than 14 years of age was being employed illegal hours; 30 cases in which children between 14 and 16 years of age without certificates who were being employed illegal hours and for whom (age having been proven) certificates were secured; and 45 cases in which children without certificates were employed illegal hours and were discharged without proof of age.
The total here represents the number of violations found; there were 44 duplications 41 cases in which children between 14 and 16 years of age were being employed illegal hours and 3 cases in which children less than 14 years of age were being employed illegal hours.
$ In 38 cases, the child had secured required certificate but it was not on file with employer; in 11 cases the inspector reported that child secured certificate.
| In the first inspection district the Department issues to children upon request certificates of age of more than 10 years upon production of sufficient proof of age. In 1914, the Division of Factory Inspection issued 2,173 such certificates, the evidence of age being school records in 794 cases, birth certificates in 789, baptismal certificates in 158, passports in 323, mother's affidavits in 108 and institution records in 1.
(2) REPORT OF DIVISION OF HOMEWORK INSPECTION
Hon. JAMES M. LYNCH, Commissioner of Labor:
SIR.— Herewith is respectfully submitted the report for the Division of Homework Inspection for the year ending September 30, 1914. A table attached briefly summarizes the work of the Division.
At the close of the present report year, there were in effect a total of 12,862 licenses, each license representing a separate building, distributed throughout the industrial centers or cities of the State as follows: Manhattan 7,134 licensed houses, Kings 4,252, Bronx 806, Queens 162, Richmond 6, Nassau 1, Albany 89, Buffalo 27, Troy 1, Utica 82, Syracuse 8, Yonkers 1, Lawrence, L. I., 1, Rochester 292. During the year I withdrew by cancellation 2,149 licenses, revoked 87 and cancelled 115 applications for licenses; 3,280 new licenses have been written and 2,331 licensed houses have been visited in search for child labor violations, as a result of which 372 children were found at work in their homes and 588 separate employers or firms were notified of the illegal employment of the children so found.
The fourteen inspectors assigned to this work made a total of 20,695 inspections and other visits of investigation in compliance with the laws' requirements. These figures do not embrace the visits made by the inspectors to enforce the prompt removal of hurtful or unclean conditions found as the result of inspections made in the regular way, or of visits made on complaints.
At the close of the year 1913 the record showed a total of 11,818 outstanding licenses. These figures compared with those given for the present year show a net gain of 1,044 new licenses, notwithstanding the number of licenses withdrawn by cancellation and revocation. This increase is nearly all chargeable to the change recently made in section 100 from specific to general re lating to articles made in the home and covered by the law. Articles of clothing and flowers still engage the greater number of home workers. Out of a total of 16,849 persons found at work in the home in the whole state, 15,037 persons were employed on these two classes of articles. Dividing the articles of clothing into two grades, custom and factory made, we find 8,200 persons at work on the custom grade and 6,197 at work on the factory grade, and 640 workers on flowers. It is also of interest to notice that many and different races are engaged in home work. Thirty different races make up the total of 16,849 home workers reported, and of this number 7,245 belong to the Italian race and 6,621 to the Jewish race.
The change made in the law, which aims to give the Department control over the employment of children in the home, under 16 years of age, is very complicated, and most difficult of enforcement, in fact cannot be enforced as it is written. The responsibility sought to be placed on the factory owner who employs the parent to do the work in the home, cannot be made to work out in fact, as was desired in theory. To make this feature of the law really effective, responsibility should be made to rest directly on the person, parent or guardian having direct control over the child, and who compels or permits the little ones to help with the work. My instructions to the inspectors on this subject left them no choice of action but to report all facts discovered by them when a child was found employed in the home illegally, which they did, but in all cases that were reported, not one contained sufficient elements of fact to warrant counsel to order the prosecution of the employer.
The prompt aid and co-operation we have received from employers generally, in our efforts to check the work of young children in the home, have been of great value and assistance, and are very gratifying to us. Employers have as a general rule notified all their home employees, many having posted notices to that effect, that if children under age were found helping with the work sent into the home, all work would be denied the parent or other person so offending. We have found this method to be effective wherever the rule has been applied. I will not here refer at any length to the number of distressing cases coming under the notice of the field workers, of families where destitution was very apparent, with the head of the family out of work or ill, or of widows with small helpless children to provide for, with no income from any source save that derived by the wife or mother with the help of the child, from this very precarious and ill paid employment. My method of proceedure for the illegal
employment of children in the home, is indicated by the following notices, correspondence and reports of investigations by the inspector in the field:
Notice to Employers GENTLEMEN: Our inspector reports that you are supplying work (neckties) to Mrs. in her living rooms at
street; that the said Mrs.
employs her daughter, Fannie, 8 years of age, to assist her in this work; that the said Mrs.
has been advised by the inspector that it is a violation of the State Child Labor Law for her to force or permit the child to do this work.
You will please take notice that you, as employer, are guilty of a violation of the law if you knowingly furnish articles or materials to the said Mrs.
on which the child is to be employed, and that you are subject to arrest therefor, and if found guilty, to a fine of from $20 to $50.
I also beg to advise you that it is your duty under this law, to see to it that persons to whom you furnish articles or work to be done by them in their homes, perform this service for you in compliance with the law in every respect.
Yours very truly,
Chief, Division of Homework Inspection.
Replies from Employers DEAB SR: Are in receipt of yours of the 3d inst., wherein you state that your inspector reports that Mrs.
street, to whom we are supplying work, allows her daughter Fannie, 8 years old, to assist her in the work.
We have investigated this matter and from what we can learn, the child is not allowed to do any work. We told Mrs.
that it is against the law for any child to do any work and we will stop supplying her with any work should we at any time find out that she is allowing the child to assist her in any way. Trusting above explains the matter satisfactorily, we remain
Very truly yours,
Department of Labor, N. Y. C.: DEAR SIRS: I do not give out any more work to the people living at street, as per your request.
....., living at
DEAR SIR: We received your letter of ..... advising us that Mrs.
street, employs her daughter, 11 years of age, to assist her in work received from our manufacturing department.
In this connection desire to say that we do not send our work direct to tenements. All our work is contracted by our regular contractors, and this
may be working for them. We have instructed all our tailors in this city not to employ Mrs.
if she has her daughter assisting her, and assure you that we are always ready to assist your Department in this connection.
GENTLEMEN: Yours of the
to hand and in reply beg to thank you for having called attention to the fact that Mrs. ....
of street, has been violating the law on work supplied at home, in having children under age working on such work.
We have discontinued sending work to this party and will take the same action in every case where persons are supplied by us with work at home, and do not comply with all provisions of the law.
Yours very truly,
Effect of Action on Home Worker DEAR SIR: On
an inspector from your office stopped my work because she found my daughter, 12 years old, helping me with the work of finishing pants. The work belonged to
and because of this report, Mr.
now refuses to give me any work at all. My husband has been ill and unable to work for the past two months. We have a family of eight children, all small except one, and I wish to do what I can to help support them. I promise you that if you will permit Mr.
to give me work again, I will not allow any of my young children to help at this work.
Reports of Investigators My DEAR MR. O'LEARY: In compliance with your request make special investigations of complaints attached hereto, we beg to report the following: Investigation No. 1.
Henry Street. Visited
Henry street, May 25, 1914, at 11 A. M. Mr. and wife engaged in manufacturing brassieres. No outside help found employed as on a previous visit. Mr.
manufactures for peddlers and for his own trade. No children found at work.
Visited again May 26, 1914, at 4:15 P. M. Found his two children aged 12 and 13162 assisting by cutting the threads and cutting buttons. They do not work for renumeration or for a factory, and assist only occasionally when there is much work. Investigation No. 2.
Elizabeth Street. Visited apartment of
Second floor north, at 10 A. M. on May 25, 1914. Mary
at home taking care of baby and cleaning house. Mother ill. No work of any kind being done in the house. Visited P. S. No. 21, Mott street, which Mary
attends, and found this to be the first time in two weeks that she had been away from school. From all appearances and from observation no work seems to have been done in the house for many weeks. Did not consider second visit necessary.