Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Official citation and/or docket number and footnotes (if any) for this case available with purchase.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

HODGSON v. CORNING GLASS WORKS

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


March 30, 1972

James D. Hodgson, Secretary of Labor, United States Department of Labor, Plaintiff,
v.
Corning Glass Works, Defendant

Muir, D. J.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: MUIR

MUIR, D. J.

I. Introduction.

 This suit was commenced by the Secretary of Labor on October 2, 1969, pursuant to 29 U.S.C. Section 201 et seq., the Fair Labor Standards Act ("Equal Pay Act"). Plaintiff seeks to enjoin Defendant's alleged practice of wage discrimination based on sex and to obtain restitution of unpaid wages allegedly due certain female employees of Defendant.

 II. Findings of Fact.

 1. Corning Glass Works ("Corning") is a New York Corporation having its principal offices in Corning, New York. (Stip. of Fact 2)

 2. The Wellsboro plant of Corning Glass Works is the only plant involved in this case. (Stip. of Fact 2)

 3. There are four separate jobs involved in this litigation: Inspector-Packer, Frost Light Inspector, Positioner-Inspector, and Quality Inspector. (Stip. of Fact 6)

 4. Prior to October 16, 1966, except during World War II, only female employees worked in these inspector positions on the day shifts at the Wellsboro plant. (Stip. of Fact 8)

 5. Prior to October 16, 1966, except during World War II, only male employees worked in these inspector positions on the steady night shift in the Wellsboro plant. (Stip. of Fact 9)

 6. In 1947, the differential in base hourly rates between the jobs of Inspector-Packer and Inspector-Packer Nights was 19 cents an hour, the differential in base hourly rates between the jobs of Frost Light Inspector and Frost Light Inspector Nights was 18 cents an hour, and the differential in base hourly rates between the jobs of Positioner-Inspector and Positioner-Inspector Nights was 19 cents an hour. (Stip. of Facts 36, 42, 45e)

  7. On October 16, 1966, these respective differentials were 20 cents an hour, 16 cents an hour, and 20 cents an hour. (Stip. of Facts 37, 43, 45f)

 8. The differential in base hourly rates between the jobs of Quality Inspector and Quality Inspector Nights has increased from 20 cents an hour in 1949 to 22.5 cents an hour on October 16, 1966. (Stip. of Facts 48, 49)

 9. These differentials in base rate of pay were in addition to the plant-wide shift differential which has increased from 6 cents an hour in 1947 to 12 cents an hour in 1966 for steady night work. (Stip. of Facts 21-25)

 10. Since October 16, 1966, by mutual agreement between the employees' certified bargaining agent and the Company, women have been permitted to exercise their seniority, on the same basis as male employees, to claim jobs on the steady night shift when vacancies occur and to bump into such jobs during periods when the work force is being reduced. (Stip. of Facts 19, 30, 38, 44, 45a, 79, 85-88, 118, 119)

 11. Male and female inspectors who work on the steady night shift inspection jobs involved in this case have been and are paid at the same base hourly rate. (Stip. of Facts 37, 72, 74, 89, 104)

 12. Male and female inspectors who work on the day shifts on the inspection jobs involved in this case have been and are paid at the same base hourly rate. (Stip. of Facts 73, 90)

 13. A night shift worker is out of phase with community life and is usually out of phase with family life. (3 N.T. 199-200)

 14. Night work, both steady and rotating, interferes with the worker's physiological (circadian) rhythms. (3 N.T. 200)

 15. The first job evaluation plan at Corning's Wellsboro plant was effective from October 20, 1947, to January 18, 1965, and was called the Stevenson, Jordan and Harrison Plan. It is referred to as the SJ&H Plan. (Stip. of Fact to which Defendant Either Makes Objection or Withdraws a Prior Objection, P-39 at page 19)

 16. The SJ&H Plan measured jobs by weighing the following factors: schooling, training, skill, versatility, knowledge, responsibility, surroundings, and hazards. (Stip. of Fact to Which Defendant Either Makes Objection or Withdraws a Prior Objection, P-50 at page 14)

 17. Under the SJ&H Plan, the ratings of these factors differed for each inspector job but the ratings of the surroundings and hazards factors were the same for the day and night shifts for each job. (Stip. of Fact to Which Defendant Either Makes Objection or Withdraws a Prior Objection, P-50 at page 14)

 III. Discussion.

 Until October 16, 1966, except during World War II, only women worked as Frost Light Inspectors, Positioner-Inspectors, Inspector-Packers and Quality Inspectors on the day shift at the Wellsboro, Pennsylvania plant of Defendant Corning Glass Works, and only men were permitted to work on the night shift. *fn1" Plaintiff contends that because the male inspectors on the night shift received a higher hourly base rate of pay than the female inspectors on the day shift, in addition to a plant-wide shift differential, Defendant violated 29 U.S.C. Section 206(d)(1) which provides:

 

"(d)(1) No employer having employees subject to any provisions of this section shall discriminate, within any establishment in which such employees are employed, between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in such establishment at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in such establishment for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions, except where such payment is made pursuant to (i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit system; (iii) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (iv) a differential based on any other factor other than sex: Provided, That an employer who is paying a wage rate differential in violation of this subsection shall not, in order to comply with the provisions of this subsection, reduce the wage rate of any employee."

 In my view, Plaintiff has failed to sustain its burden of proof that the male and female inspectors performed their work "under similar working conditions." Male inspectors worked on the night shift; female inspectors on the day. Plaintiff contends that the time of day worked is not a "working condition" within the meaning of the statute. Plaintiff relies in part on testimony by Defendant's expert in the field of job evaluation that time of day worked is considered a wage condition, not a working condition. (3 N.T. 207, 211-212) Plaintiff also relies on the fact that the criteria evaluated under the job evaluation plans used by Defendant did not include time of day worked, and on selected legislative history. Defendant, on the other hand, points to Murphy v. Miller Brewing Company, 307 F. Supp. 829, 835 (E.D. Wisc. 1969) where the Court stated that

 

"it is not subject to serious dispute that there is some difference in working conditions between the first, second, and third shifts merely because the work is performed at different times of the day."

 In addition, Defendant too relies on legislative history to support its position. In my view, time of day worked is a working condition within the meaning of 29 U.S.C. Section 206(d)(1). *fn2" As Defendant's expert testified, night work has a significant sociological, psychological and physiological impact on most workers. *fn3" It is a condition of employment which can affect an employee's work more than disagreeable surroundings or exposure to hazard. It is a condition under which most people would prefer not to work.

 The question remains whether despite the difference in time of day worked, the day and night inspectors worked under working conditions which as a whole were similar. It appears that except for the time of day worked, their working conditions were the same. *fn4" In my view, a given job performed at night and at day is not performed under similar working conditions even though all other conditions are identical. Working at night is so significant a factor that the totality of the working conditions here were dissimilar; they were not "very much alike" or "alike in substance or essentials." *fn5" Hence, Plaintiff has failed to prove a violation of 29 U.S.C. Section 206(d)(1).

 IV. Conclusions of Law.

 1. This Court has jurisdiction of the parties and subject matter of this action.

 2. Plaintiff has the burden of proving for each of the four inspector jobs involved in this case that male and female inspectors labored under similar working conditions but were not paid equal wages for equal work.

 3. Work performed on the night shift is not performed under working conditions similar to work performed on the day shifts.

 4. Since female inspectors worked on the day shifts and male inspectors worked on the night shift, Plaintiff has not sustained its burden of proof that male and female inspectors labored under similar working conditions.

 5. Plaintiff has not proven any violation of 29 U.S.C. Section 206(d)(1).

 An order in accordance with this Opinion will be entered. *fn6"

 Order

 Judgment is hereby entered in favor of Defendant and against Plaintiff. Plaintiff's request for an injunction enjoining alleged violations of Sections 15(a)(1) and 15(a) (2) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, 52 Stat. 1060, 29 U.S.C. Sections 201-219, and for withholding of payment of wages allegedly due Defendant's employees under the Act, is hereby denied.

 Supplemental Findings of Fact

 A. Historical Background

 1. Plaintiff claims a violation of the Equal Pay Act only with respect to employees who were hired prior to January 20, 1969. No violation is claimed at this time with respect to employees hired subsequent to January 20, 1969. (Stip. of Fact 121)

 2. The steady night inspection jobs were created between 1925 and 1930 because of the introduction of automatic production equipment which made it necessary to inspect ware on all shifts. (Stip. of Fact 10)

 3. At the time of the institution of inspection work on the night shift, and until 1947, Pennsylvania law absolutely prohibited the employment of women between the hours of 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. (Stip. of Fact 15). Thus, men had to be hired for this first night inspection shift.

 4. These men were selected from male employees within the plant. (Stip. of Fact 13)

 5. These men were paid the individual, personal rates they were already receiving which were higher than the rates being paid to women doing inspection work on the day shift. (Stip. of Fact 13)

 6. At the time of the institution of inspection work on the night shift, Corning did not pay shift differentials. (Stip. of Fact 11)

 7. During at least part of World War II, women were employed on the steady night shift as inspector-packers. (1 N.T. 203; 3 N.T. 132). There is no evidence that these women did or did not receive the same wages as the male inspector-packers working at night.

 8. In 1947, Pennsylvania law was amended to permit women to work at night conditioned upon the approval of the State Department of Labor (Act of May 21, 1947, P.L. 389, Sec. 4). The State regulations provided, among other things, that in order to be permitted to employ women at night an employer was required to furnish transportation where public transportation was not available. (Stip. of Fact 16)

 9. Public transportation has not been available in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. (Stip. of Fact 18)

 10. It has not been economically feasible for Corning to furnish transportation to its female employees. (3 N.T. 195-196)

 11. In 1944 the American Flint Glass Workers' Union of North America negotiated a collective bargaining agreement covering many production and maintenance employees of Corning Glass Works, Wellsboro plant, including the inspectors who worked on the inspection jobs involved in this case. (Stip. of Fact 21)

 12. This contract provided that, for the first time, all employees working a nonrotating night shift would receive a shift differential as a premium for such night work. (Stip. of Facts 22 and 23)

 13. In addition to this new "shift differential" applicable to all night workers, this contract continued in effect the existing differential in base rate of pay between the employees on the steady night shift inspection jobs and employees on the day and afternoon shift inspection jobs. (Stip. of Fact 23)

 14. All collective bargaining agreements entered into by Corning with the Union, between the years 1944 and 1969 continued to maintain the differential in base rate between the steady night shift inspection jobs and the day and afternoon shift inspection jobs, except for minor variations caused by the negotiation of percentage rather than flat rate increases. (Stip. of Fact 24) 15. The following jobs were performed exclusively by men on all shifts at least until October 17, 1966: Job Code Job Title Group No. 2836 Industrial Truck & Equipment Opr. 7 2015 Head Mixer 10 4007 Glass Melting Furnace Operator 11 4031 Optical Reader Forehearth & Lehr Opr. 14 2181 Cng. Rbn. Mch. Operator-Class B 14 2184 Relief Attendant 10 2280 Cng. Rbn. Mch. Operator-Class A 18 1053 Hiker 3 3838 Traying Machine Operator 5 4457 Frost Operator 8 4466 Misc. Frost Operator 9 3608 Opr. Cut & Finishing Machine 9 3716 Ceramic & S & L Operator 9 5711 Sahara Operator 9 5739 Finishing Equipment Mechanic 11 0850 Ind. Truck Driver & Checker 8 5728 Shift Maintenance Mechanic 13 6213 Electrician -- Class A 16 6214 Electrician -- Class B 12 5224 Packing Equipment Operator 7 5287 Attendant Hamper Maker & Sealer 4

19720330

© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.



Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Official citation and/or docket number and footnotes (if any) for this case available with purchase.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.