Page images








United States to be in conflict with the treaty of the United States with China, and to be therefore void (see In re Tiburcio Parrot, 1 F. R. 481); and this decision would probably also annul similar laws in Nevada and Idaho (Nev. 4764 4766, 4948-4949; Idaho 1897, p. 5).

This is the only attempt that has been made to prohibit by statute the employment of aliens in private employments. But in several States it is forbidden to employ Chinese' or aliens” upon State, municipal, or public works in California, Wyoming, Idaho, by the constitution), and such work can be given only to United States citizens; and in New York and Minnesota, in stonecutting work, the stone must be worked, dressed, and carved within the State, while in all cases, “preference” is to be given to the citizens of the State. In Massachusetts, in public work, preference must be given to United States citizens (1896, 494). And in New York it was made a criminal offense for a contractor on public work to employ an alien; but this statute was declared unconstitutional, besides being in violation of our treaty with Italy. There was an alien tax law in Pennsylvania (1897, 139) held unconstitutional.

There are further specific provisions in California and Nevada restricting the immigration and labor rights of Chinese and Mongolians, but they are probably inconsistent with Federal law and treaties.? The national Chinese exclusion law applies to Hawaii (U. S. 1898, Int. Rev. No. 55). Indiana has a law prohibiting the bringing of alien contract labor into the State, and Virginia and Arkansas a law permitting such contracts not exceeding two years, or in Arkansas one year.'

1 Cal. Const. 19, 3; Oreg. M. L. 4235; Nev. 4947; Idaho 1891, p. 233. Except as a punishment for crime. But this law has also been held unconstitutional.

2 N. Y. 1874, 622; N. J. 1899, 202; Ill. 6, 12–17; Idaho Const. 13, 5; Laws 1897, p. 5; Wyo. Const. 19, 1.

N. Y. G. L. 32, 1, 13; Pa. 1895, 182; Ill., Idaho. 4 N. Y. ib. 14; Minn. 1895, 347.

N. Y. ib. 13; Mass. 1896, 494. 6 People v. Warren, 34 N. Y. Sup., 942. The general labor law now provides (N. Y. G. L., 32, 1, 13):

Preferences in employment of persons upon public works. In the construction of public works by the State or a mun ipality, or by persons contracting with the State or such municipality, only citizens of the United States shall be employed; and in all cases where laborers are employed on any such public works, preference shall be given citizens of the State of New York. In each contract for the construction of public works, a provision shall be inserted, to the effect that if the provisions of this section are not complied with, the contract shall be void.

7 Nev. 4764–7.
In Massachusetts (86, 12):

Every corporation which brings into this Commonwealth any person not having a settlement therein, or by whose means or at whose instigation any such person is so brought, for the purpose of performing labor for such corporation, shall give a bond to the Commonwealth, to be delivered to the State board [of health, lunacy and charity) in the sum of three hundred dollars, conditioned that neither such person, nor any one legally dependent on him for support, shall within two years become a city, town, or State charge.

8 Ind. 7079–7082.
9 Va. 6, 44; Ark. 4782. In Wyoming:

SEC. 1075. No contract made for labor or services with any alien or foreigner previous to the time that such alien or foreigner may come into the Territory, shall be enforced within this Territory for any period after six months from the date of such contract.

SEC. 1076. Any alien or foreigner who shall hereafter perform labor or services for any person or persons, company, or corporation within this Territory shall be


[merged small][ocr errors]









SEC. 1. ATTACHMENT OF WAGES.-Laborers are generally protected by laws prohibiting the attachment, by garnishment or trustee process or by execution, of debts due them or their wives and children for wages or personal service. In some States such wage debts are exempt to any amount;' in others the amount exempt is limited to $50 or $100, or to one month, or 60 days' wages. ' And in a few of these

. States an exception is made of claims for necessaries furnished the debtor or his family. In some States the exemption only exists when

* the debtor is a householder having a family,' or is head of a family, or when the wages thus exempted are necessary for the support of the family."

The wages of the debtor's wife and children, or family, to any amount, are also exempt in several States.

The costs in such suits are limited, in Connecticut.'

SEC. 2. AssIGNMENTS OF WAGES. —No assignment of wages is valid against the employer unless it is recorded in the town clerk's office (or entitled to recover from such person or persons, company or corporation, a reasonable compensation for such labor or services, notwithstanding such person or persons, company or corporation, may have paid any other party or parties for the same; and in actions for the price of such labor or services no defense shall be admitted to the effect that the defendant or defendants had contracted with other parties, who had, or pretended to have, power or authority to hire out the labor or services of such party or parties, or to receive the pay or price for such labor or services.

SEC. 1077. Any person, whether he or she, acts for himself or herself, or as agent, attorney or employee for another or others, who shall

, in pursuance of, or by virtue of, any contract made with any alien or foreigner, made before such alien or foreigner came into the Territory, receive or offer to receive any money, pay or remuneration for the labor or services of any alien or foreigner, excepting the person so performing such labor or services, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, on conviction thereof, shall be fined in a sum not less than five hundred dollars, and not more than five thousand dollars, and imprisoned in the county jail for not less than three nor more than twelve months, for each and every offense.

1 Pa. Dig., p. 2077; Del., v. 15, 185; Tex. Const. 16, 28; Ala. 2512; Ga. 3554; Fla. 2008; Okla. 2846. But at a rate not exceeding $25 a month (Ala.), $100 (D.C.).

? Thus, $20: N. H.; Miss. 1963; Mass. 183, 30; Me. 86, 55; $25: Minn. 5314; Mich. 8032, 8096; $30: Tenn. 2931; $50: Conn. 1231; Ill. 62, 14; Ky. 1701; Va. 3652; Nev. 3267; $100: Md. 9, 32; D. C. U. S. 1878, 321; Wyo. 2831; Miss. 196, 3; $8 a week: Ill. 1897, p. 231; $200 (in railway labor); Ark. 1897, Ex. 43, $60; Colo. 2567; Wash, 526.

3 Thirty days' or one month's wages only are exempt: Ind. 971; Minn.; Mo. 5220; Nev.; Ky.; Cal. C. P. 690 (7); Oreg. C. P. 313; Nev.; Colo.; Idaho C. Ć. P. 4480; Ga.; Ariz. 4, 98. So 60 days' wages only: Nebr. C. C. P. 371; Ark. 3717: Wash. 1893, 56, 23; N. Dak. Civ. C. 5567; S. Dak. Civ. C. 5179; Mont. C. C. P. 1221; S.C.C.C.P. 317; N. Mex. 1897, 71; 90 days: Iowa 3074; Kans. 4588–9; Okla. 4384; 4803; N. Mex. 1887, 37, 1. One-half the debtor's wages only are exempt (Del. 111, 1), but only for 30 (Colo.) or 60 days (Utah) preceding; Colo. 1889, p. 463; Utah, 3429. Twenty dollars are exempt unless the suit is for necessaries; in that case $10: Mass. 183, 30.

4 N. H., Mass., Me., Ky., Cal., Ga., Mont. (one-half). 6 D. C., Fla., Ill., Colo., Mo., Mich., Nebr., Miss.

7 Cal., Colo., Utah, Idaho, Ariz., s. C., N. Dak., S. Dak., Mont., Okla., Kans., Wyo., Oreg., Nev., Wash.

8N. H. 245, 20; Me.; Mass. 183, 29; Conn.; Vt. 1075; Mich. 8096; Minn.; Iowa 4299; Del. ibid.; N. Mex.

o Conn., 1239, 1240.


[ocr errors]

5 Va.


[ocr errors]



l'egister of deeds) where the assignor resides.' (See also Chap. I, Art.

( C., $ 4.)

In Virginia and Wyoming there is a new statute (Wyo. 1895, 47; Va. 1898, 628) making it unlawful for any creditor or holder of any debt, book account, or claim against any laborer, servant, clerk, or employee of any corporation, firm, or individual in the State to sell, assign, or dispose of such claim, etc., to any person, firm, or corporation, or to institute elsewhere than in the State, or prosecute any suit for such claim against such laborer, etc., by any process seeking to attach the wages of such person earned within sixty days prior to the commencement of such proceedings for the purpose of avoiding the effect of the laws of Wyoming concerning exemptions, and it is made unlawful for any person to aid, assist, abet, or counsel a violation of this act. Proof of the institution of such suit or service of garnishment by any person, firm, or individual in any court of any State or Territory other than in Wyoming, is declared prima facie evidence of such evasion of the law of Wyoming, and such persons may be made liable to the parties injured for the amount of the debt so sold or assigned and an attorney's fee. A similar but simpler statute exists in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota.?

Sec. 3. ORDINARY EXEMPTIONS NOT VALID AGAINST LABOR DEBTS. By the constitution of Virginia, and the statutes of a few other States, no property is exempt from attachment or execution for wages due any clerk, mechanic, laborer, or servant, or no stay is granted upon such claims.

And the ordinary exemptions of personal property from execution are much restricted in the case of judgments obtained for labor or services other than professional.3

SEC. 4. PREFERENCE OR PRIORITY OF WAGE DEBTS.--And further, the State laws very generally give a claim either absolutely preferred, or preferred after taxes, State or Government dues, and costs, to servants, laborers, and employees, and in some cases clerks, for debts due, for wages, or salaries, above all other claims against the estate of an insolvent person,' or an insolvent corporation or its receiver, or the




1 N. H. 215, 4; Mass. 183, 39; R. I. 254, 28; Me. 1897, 301.

Pa. Dig. p. 834; Ohio 7014; Ind. 2283; Ill. 62, 32; Wis. 1891, 57; Iowa 1894, 102; Minn. 1895, 353; Nebr. 6120; S. Dak. 1893, 97.

1 Va. Const. 11, 1, Code, 3630; N. Y. City, N. Y. 1882, 410, 1086 (as to females, only, up to $50); Pa. Dig., p. 2073 ($100); Mich. 7091 (as to women plaintiffs only); Mo. 4910; Kans. C. L. 1885, 2660; Nebr. C. C. P. 531 ; Okla. 2848. But the amount of the claim is sometimes limited; as, in Michigan, $25, in New York, $50, in Missouri, $90. The ordinary exemption may be claimed against labor debts of a greater amount.

2 Mich. 7091a.
3 Mich. 7717a-7717f.

1N. H. 201, 32; Me. 70, 40; Vt. 1867; R. I. 274, 58; Conn. 514; Mass. 157, 104; N. Y. R. S., p. 2276; 1886, 283; 1897, 266; Pa. Dig., p. 2074, 9; N. J., p. 38, 8; 1896, 27, Ohio, 6355; Ind. 7058; Mich. 8749m; Îll. 10a, 6; 38a, 1; Wis. 1693c; Del. 110, 1; Iowa 1890, 48; Minn. 4234; Nebr. 6, 44; Md. 47, 15; Mo. 4911; Cal. C. C. P. 1204–6; Nev. 3829; Oreg. 1893, p. 30; Colo. 193; 1897, 26; Wash. 3122; N. Dak. Civ. C. 6070; Wyo. 1893, 15; Mont. C. C. P. 2150; Pol. C. 4514; Utah 1892, 30; 1896, 49; La. 3191; Ariz. 1889, 10; Conn. 1897, 40; N. J. 1896, 185; U. S. 1898, 541.

2 N. Y. G. L. 32, 1, 8; N. J., p. 44; 1892, 278; 1896, 185; Mich. 1887, 94; Wis. 2787a; Mo., Iowa., Pa., Minn. 6254; Oreg., Nev., Md., Mont., Utah, Ark. 1897, 48; Conn. 1897, 40; Vt. 1991; Ind. 7051; Ill. 38a, 1; N. Dak., Ala. 1899, 766.



estate of a deceased insolvent. In New York this statute only applies to corporations other than “moneyed.” Such preference is usually given to claims not exceeding a fixed amount,* or for wages due for not more than a limited time. But in the case of a receivership there appears to be no such limitation in Indiana.

That such preferred claims are assignable, see Falconio v. Larsen, 48 Pac., 703. They extend to wages due to persons no longer in the employ of the debtor at the time of the assignment, etc.?

And in some States a lien is given to all laborers for amounts due from a corporation up to the time of the act of insolvency upon all the assets of the company, which is paid prior to any other debt, and such lien is given to all workmen or employees, or claimants for labor or services, whether in the actual employ of the corporation at the time of the insolvency or not. So, in New Jersey, whenever a receiver is appointed in a suit at law or equity, to take possession of property of any manufacturer, etc., and wages are due, the chancellor may

order sale of the property to pay the same without delay, or so much of it as may be necessary.

And the statute is not unusual that claims for labor done on railroads, or liabilities to contractors for construction, laborers, etc., take precedence of any mortgage before or after created. So, in Pennsylvania, and any assignment or conveyance of the real or personal estate of said company without the written assent of such creditors first obtained is declared fraudulent and void." And in New Jersey no attachment or execution may be made on the property of any manufacturer or other person unless all claims due for labor, not exceeding one month's wages, are first paid. The United States courts have granted a preference to employees' claims and claims for necessary supplies in the case of railroads, but denied it as to other corporations (Fosdick v. Schall, 99 U. S., 235; Keelyer v. Carolina Telephone Co., 90 Fed., 29).

SEC. '5. LIABILITY OF CORPORATION STOCKHOLDERS FOR WAGE DEBTS.—Besides the ordinary provisions of law making stockholders personally liable for the debts of corporations in certain cases, Michi

3 Mass. 137, 1; Pa. Dig., p. 591; Ohio 6090; Ind. 2534; Ill. 3, 70; Kans. 2864; Del. 89, 25; Minn. 6256; Cal., Ñev. 3830; Wash. 1897, 22; Oreg. Ć. P. 1183; Wyo. 1891, 70, 25; Mont. C. C. P. 2151; Ala. 2079; La., Mo. 183; Ark. 110; Ariz.

Such as $50 (Del., N. H , Me., Vt., Ind., Colo.); $100 (Mass., R. I., Wash., Conn., Minn., Nev., Mont.)'

; $200 (Ariz', Pa.); $300 (N. J., Ohio). In others the amount is not limited (N. Y., Utah, Mich., Wis., Wyo., Oreg.).

6 For a time not exceeding one month (Del.); sixty days (N. J., Cal., Wash., Ariz.,
Mont.); three months (Wyo., Nev., Wis., Iowa, Conn., ill., Ark., Ind., Minn., Colo.,
R. I., Mo., Oreg.); nine months (Nebr.); twelve months (Mass., Pa., Ala., Ohio, La.;
Utah); six months (Me., Vt., R. I.).

6 R. S., 7058.
? Re Scott, 42 N. E. 1079.

8 N. J. Rev., p. 188, $ 63; 1887, 71; Minn., 6254; Del. 70, 38; Tenn. 2768; Mont. C. C. P., 2150.

9 N. J. Sup., p. 770, 1.

10 Pa. Dig., p. 139, § 1; Minn. 6254; Ky. G. S., 70, 3, 1; and so of manufactories, etc., in Kentucky. În Garrett County, Md., if any individual engaged in mining or manufacturing, or any corporation whatever, is indebted for thirty days to employees, or to furnishers of raw material, in the aggregate sum of $25, and neglects or refuses to pay the same, the circuit court may, upon petition of any such employee or material man, appoint a receiver (Md. Local Laws, 1888, Garrett Čo., 145).

11 Pa., p. 139, § 1.
12 N. J. Rev., p. 749, § 1.


[ocr errors]


gan has a constitutional provision, and several States have passed express statutes, making them in all cases individually liable for debts of the corporation due for labor or personal services. In some States each stockholder is jointly and severally liable therefor to any extent, in others only to an amount equal to the par value of his stock. 3 In most cases a demand must first be made,* or suit brought,' against the corporation. In some States the law applies only to railroads or manufacturing corporations,' mining companies,' and other specified classes of corporations.

Sec. 6. PROCEDURE IN SUITS FOR WAGES. -Suitors for money due for personal service have in several States special privileges in the courts. Thus in some States action for wages“shall be first in order for trial, no security for costs is required, additional costs may be recovered, no court fees at all required, no stay of execution allowed, or a special attorney's fee recovered, and joint appeals are provided for, or joint suits brought.8

In Louisiana suits for wages are tried in a summary manner upon three days' citation (La. 1874, 25).

SEC. 7. EXEMPTION FROM TRUST LAWS.-In several States, where there is a stringent law against trusts, there is a special exception that this anti-trust act shall not apply to contracts and combinations relating to the services of laborers or artisans who are formed into societies or organizations for the benefit and protection of their members. See, for such laws, Chap. X, $ 3.

SEC. 8. MECHANICS' LIENS, ETC.—By the Constitution of Texas: Art. 16.Mechanics' liens. Sec. 37. Mechanics, artisans and material men, of every class, shall have a lien upon the buildings and articles made or repaired by them, for the value of their labor done thereon, or material furnished therefor; and the legislature shall provide by law for the speedy and efficient enforcement of said liens.

Mechanics’ liens given for work done upon real estate exist in all the States and Territories without exception. Their provisions are not only


* Mass. 106, 61; N. Y. 1892, 688, 54; Pa. Dig., pp. 1075, 1292; Ind. 5077; Mich. Const. 15, 7; Wis. 1769; N. C. 1940; Okla. 1074; Tenn. Part Í. Title 9, passim.

2 Mass., N. Y., Ind., N. C., Okla., Tenn., N. Dak. 3157; S. Dak. Pol. C. 3111; D. C. R. S., 574. But not for an amount due for services rendered more than six months before (Mass., Pa. in mfg. co.'s). So, for thirty days' wages, only (N. C.), or six months (Wis.).

3 Pa. Dig. p. 423, 99 (of general corporations); Wis. 4 Mass., N. Y. 5 Pa., N. Y., N. C., Okla. 6N. C., Ind. 5198. ? Pa., Mass., Okla., Ind., N. Dak. 8 Pa., Okla., Ind., N. Dak. 'Mass., Ind. 5449, 5471; Tenn. 1 Ohio 5134; Pa. Dig. p. 2073. 2 Wis. 3783a; Mich. 77172. 3 As to female employees others than domestic servants: N. Y. 1882, 410, 1424 (in New York City); C. C. P. 3131 (in Brooklyn); Ohio 6732a; Minn. 5499.

4 In suits for less than $50 in New York City: N. Y. 1882, 410, 1416. In all suits in forma pauperis: N. J. Rev. p. 896; Ind. 1894, 2; Ill. 33, 5; Va. 3538; W. Va. 138, 1; Ky. 884; Tenn. 3912; Ark. 798; Colo. 676; Miss. 870.

5 Mich. 7091a; Iowa 3063; 'Pa. Dig: p. 2073; Wis. 3674; D. C. R. S. 1025.

6 Mich. 7091a; Utah 1896, 40; Ohio 6563a; Ill. 13, 13; Kans. 1893, 187, 7; Okla. 1895, 51.

*Pa. 1897, 127.
8 Mass. 1896, 444.

1 Mich. 1889, 225; Wis. 1893, 219, 9; Nebr. 1897, 79; Mont. P. C. 325. See Shade v. Luppert, 17 Pa. Co. Ct. R., 460; in re Grice 79 Fed. 627. which held such a statute in Texas unconstitutional as being class legislation.

« PreviousContinue »