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New State Board To Fix Wages of Women Planned
Denver Post, January 12, 1915, Page 7

Minimum Scale for Minors Also Would Be Provided in Proposed Bill


Members to Have Right to Designate Umpires to Arrange Schedules

A bill creating a new state wage board, which will be all-powerful, will be introduced at this session of the legislature to fix minimum wages for women and minors in Colorado. The new bill is drawn up by the present state wage board and its secretary, Mrs. Catherine B. Van Deusen, and probably will be introduced by the women members of the legislature.

The board is to have three members, who are to determine the minimum proper wage for women. The board may determine similar facts for minors, these being defined as persons of less than 18 years.

To assist it in its investigations, the board is given full power to ascertain wages and examine all private payrolls and books bearing on wage questions. Each employer is required to keep a register of the women and minors in his employ.

The board is given all the power of a court to hold hearings, issue subpaenas, pay mileage and daily expenses to witnesses and punish for contempt failure to appear in response to a subpoena.


If, after investigating the conditions in any industry, the board finds that wages generally are too low, it may appoint and call a conference of three employers in that industry, three working persons engaged in that industry, not more than three representing the public, and at least one commissioner.

This conference will more closely investigate the conditions in the industry, fix standards of minium wages, minimum piece rates and minimum time rates for work, deciding what shall be necessary to defray the cost of living of the average working woman and to maintain her in health, and recommending to the board suitable minimum wages.

The board has the power to approve, disapprove or resubmit the findings of the conference. Should the board approve the minimum wage rates it will make an order putting them into effect after sixty days' notice and advertising, and make it unlawful for anyone in the industry to pay less to a woman employee.


The same system is to be followed where minors are found to be under paid.

The bill provides that there shall be no appeal from the orders of the board on questions of fact, but that on questions of law appeal may be made to the district court of Denver, and thence if desired to the supreme court of the state.

For failure of the employer to comply with the orders of the board a fine of $100 or imprisonment for not more than three months, or both, is provided.

To protect persons who may give evidence against their employers, it is provided that any of the latter who discharge or discriminate against an employee for such evidence shall be fined $25 and costs.

Employees who are underpaid after an order has gone into effect may recover the difference between the wage paid her and the legal minimum wage for her craft, as well as court costs and attorneys' fees.

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