CALIFORNIA DEPT. OF INDUS. RELATIONS v. HOMEMAKERS, INC. OF LOS
423 U.S. 1063

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U.S. Supreme Court

CALIFORNIA DEPT. OF INDUS. RELATIONS v. HOMEMAKERS, INC. OF LOS , 423 U.S. 1063 (1976)

423 U.S. 1063

CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, DIVISION OF INDUSTRIAL WELFARE, et al.
v.
HOMEMAKERS, INC., OF LOS ANGELES.
No. 74-1213.

Supreme Court of the United States

January 12, 1976

On petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.

Mr. Justice WHITE, with whom Mr. Justice BLACKMUN joins, dissenting.

This petition presents the questions whether a California statute1 that requires covered employers to pay premium overtime wages to female employees, with no such requirement as to male employees, conflicts with and is pre-empted by 703(a) of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-2(a), and, if so, whether the federal courts should remedy its invalidity by declaring that an employer may disregard the California statute and need not pay premium overtime wages to female employees. The Court of Appeals answered both questions in the affirmative, 509 F.2d 20 (C.A. [Footnote 9] 1974), and approved the District Court's refusal, 356 F. Supp. 1111, 1112 (N.D.Cal.1973), to follow a decision of another court of appeals that is in square conflict in both questions. Hays v. Potlatch Forests, Inc., 465 F.2d 1081 (C.A. [Footnote 8] 1972), aff'g, 318 F.Supp. 1368 (E.D. Ark.1970). These are substantial questions, and it is the Court's duty to resolve this disagreement which

Page 423 U.S. 1063 , 1064

now impedes the important process of reconciling the federal statutes outlawing sex-based discrimination in employment with numerous 'protective' state employment laws applicable only to female employees.

Respondent Homemakers, which employs men and women, filed suit in District Court asking that Cal.Labor Code 1350.5(a) (West 1971) be declared in conflict with Title VII and unenforceable. It argued that to pay the overtime premium to female employees in compliance with state law would violate Title VII because there was no statutory requirement to pay such wages to male employees. Without discussion the District Court concluded that requiring payment of premium overtime wages only to female employees did conflict with Title VII. '[A]ware that the only authority directly on this issue is contrary,' the District Court declined the State's invitation to follow Hays v. Potlatch Forests, Inc., supra, and to require Homemakers to pay the same overtime premium to men as to women. To do so 'would constitute usurpation of the legislative power that has been vested exclusively in the state Legislature.' 356 F.Supp., at 1112. The District Court also rejected the State's argument that both federal2 and state3 'equal pay' laws required Homemakers to equalize wages by paying premium overtime wages to male employees, not by forbidding payment of such wages to female employees. It reasoned that the State's position conflicted with the purpose of the 'equal pay' statutes which was 'to protect only working women, not men, by supplementing women's income in an attempt to narrow the gap between the income of working women and that [423 U.S. 1063 , 1065]


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