They Also Served --- Series Descriptions
Committee on Discrimination in Employment
A4278. Minutes and Investigations Files, 1941-1945. 7. 5 cu. ft.
Arrangement:Organized into three subseries: Subseries 1, Minutes and Organization Files, 1941-1944, 1. 5 cu. ft. , is arranged with the minutes chronological, followed by the organization files which have no apparent order. Subseries 2, Subject File, 1941-1945, 4. 75 cu. ft. , is alphabetical by topic. Subseries 3, Investigation Leads File, 1942-1944, 1. 25 cu. ft. , is alphabetical by organization name.
The series contains minutes, correspondence, reports,memoranda, hearing transcripts, newspaper clippings, press releases, pamphlets, and a procedures manual for field workers (Labor Discrimination Representatives), all of which reveal the committee's efforts to discourage discrimination and promote fair employment practices. The earliest minutes discuss the committee's organization, its procedures, and the types of discrimination it wished to address. Also found are agendas, resolutions, and sometimes discussion of specific complaints. Quarterly reports recite the number of investigations, their results, court decisions which aided the committee's work, and details of some cases. Information on committee members and special meetings is found, in addition to letters solicited from businessmen, government officials, and civic organizations on the ill-effects of discrimination.
The complaint investigation material contains reports of the committee's work, including final disposition reports of complaints and their rectification, and reports of defense industry investigations conducted in various cities. These were compiled as part of the committee's work in investigating discrimination. Work force composition, production levels, and geographic areas in which a company recruited its labor were all examined by the committee. In addition, reports of statistical surveys reveal the number of Jewish and black persons living in New York City's various municipalities. Information from other states and non-New York State cities on their anti- discrimination activities are within these files, as well as information on Japanese-American internment camps and the federal government's Committee on Fair Employment Practice.
Daily report sheets detail complaints of discrimination made against various businesses and individuals. These report forms were used as the basis for the committee's investigations and list the name of the complainant, the alleged discrimination, and the establishment where it occurred. A more detailed complaint form lists this information in addition to address and phone number of complainant; age; place of birth; number of years as a citizen of the United States, if at all; draft classification; years residency in New York; training and experience in defense jobs; the accused establishment's address; its general manager or personnel director; items manufactured at the plant; type of discrimination charged; and an opinion by the committee on the complaint's validity and seriousness. Most complaints were made by black, Jewish, or foreign-born persons.
Also found are correspondence and other materials from various minority organizations such as the Anti-defamation League and the Urban League which provided the committee with information on discriminatory incidents within the defense industry that were collected to assist the committee's work in investigating discrimination.