The National Recovery Administration: An Analysis and Appraisal

By Leverett S. Lyon; Paul T. Homan et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIV
HOURS PROVISIONS

Quite understandably, the codes have come to be known as 36-hour codes, less-than-40-hour codes, 40hour codes, or by some similar designation. This practice, however, should not be allowed to conceal the fact that in nearly every code the so-called basic week is qualified by exceptions -- by various types of provisions designed to secure elasticity.

If, for example, a nominal 40-hour code contains a provision that the work week is to be 40 hours averaged over a stated period, but that, in any given week, 48 hours may be worked, it is obvious that elasticity has been provided. Naturally, this elasticity is large or small according to the excess hours permitted, the number of weeks averaged, and other stated conditions. Another example: a nominal 40-hour code may have a provision that, as a general proposition (herein called a "general overtime" provision) the basic hours may be exceeded, with or without set limit, provided overtime at a certain rate is paid. Again, a nominal 40-hour week may have extensive provision for peak or seasonal periods during which the maximum hours may rise to some stated amount -- this with or without the payment of an overtime rate. Still again, there may be other "excepted periods," such as for emergency maintenance and repairs, for inventory taking, and for other purposes, varying with the requirements of industries and the skill of the code negotiators. Finally, nearly all the codes provide for permanent, not periodic, exceptions of specified classes of employees from the hours provisions of the

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