Code of fair competition for the funeral service industry as approved on April 4, 1934


Material Information

Code of fair competition for the funeral service industry as approved on April 4, 1934
Portion of title:
Funeral service industry
Physical Description:
p. 155-164 : ; 24 cm.
United States -- National Recovery Administration
United States Government Printing Office
Place of Publication:
Washington, D.C
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Funeral service -- Law and legislation -- United States   ( lcsh )
Death care industry -- Law and legislation -- United States   ( lcsh )
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


General Note:
Cover title.
General Note:
At head of title: National Recovery Administration.
General Note:
"Registry No. 1749-04."
General Note:
"Approved Code No. 384."

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 004921933
oclc - 639917625
System ID:

Full Text

Approved Code No. 384

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D.C. Price 5 cents

Registry No. 1749-04

This publication is for sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Government
Printing Office, Washington, D.C., and by district offices of the Bureau of Foreign
and Domestic Commerce.
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Approved Code No. 384



As Approved on April 4, 1934



An application having been duly madi.e pursuant to and in full
compliance with the provisions of Title I of the National Induistrial
Recovery Act, approved June 16, 1933, for approval of a Code of
Fair Competition for the Funeral Service Industry, and hearings
having been duly held thereon and the annexed report on said Code,
containing findings with respect thereto, having been made and
directed to the President:
NOW. THEREFORE, on behalf of the President of the United
States. I, Hugh S. Johnson, Adminlistrator for Indiiwtrial Recovery,
pursuant to authority vested in me by Executive Orders of the Presi-
dent, including Executive Order No. 6543-A, dated December 30,
1933, and otherwise; do hereby incorporate by reference -aid annexed
report and do find that said Code complies in all respects with the
pertinent provisions an'] will promote the policy and purposes of
said Title of said Act; and do hereby order that said Code of Fair
Competition be and it is hereby approved, provided Section 13 of
Article VII be amended by changing the period to a comma after
the word service" in the ninth line thereof and adding the fol-
provided, however, that nothing contained in this Section shall
supersede any state law which by its terms permits any of the prac-
tices described herein by members of the industry."
Admin 'istraor for Indu., triall Reco very.
Approval recommended:
Division A dmin i;strator.
April 4, 1934.

51243-- 482-16----34



The White House.
SIR: A Public Hearing on the Code of Fair Competition for the
Funeral Service Industry, submitted by the National Funeral Di-
rectors Association of the United States. Inc. and the National Se-
lected Morticians, was conducted in Washington on the 6th of
December, 1933, in accordance with the provisions of the National
Industrial Rtecovery Act. At the Public Hearing it was established
that the Code was further i'oncurred in by two otlhr associations,
namely, the Funeral Service Bureau and the Indepnendent Funeral
Directors Association. The. four associations represent approxi-
mately 87 percent of the Inidu.-try and they decided to submit the
Code as an Industry.
The maximum hours permitted under this Code are 40 per week,
except that cLbJalIner.-. lawfully engaged in embalming and those
conducting funerals, shall be limited to 84 hours per week.
The minimum wage- provided in this Code is $15.00 per week or
40 per hour on an hourly basis, except embalnieirs-, who shall be
paid $25.00 per week. Provisiuii is made for adjustment of all
wages above the minimum.
This Industry in general eimbrace.-. establishments engaged in su-
pervising funeral -ervices, prior to the burial or disposal of dead
human bodies. According to the Bureau of Census there were 34,132
licenses is.-nied to eminalmersl and funeral directors for the year 1930
and the approximate number of establihmeiinti n~aged in the Indus-
try for that vear was 25.r00. The average umlliber of funerals per
establishment for 1929 was 57 and for 1933 about 52. In practically
every large cotiiin iiity less than 10 percent of the estabdlishments
handle the gr,'ater share of the buszincss.
Emploviymnt is very low compared with the number of establish-
ments. A large per,'ent, of the es-tablislhnents are on a sole proprie-
torship or partnership and the owners cooperate with part-t.ime
employees in performing the services rendered by the Industry.
These establlishiments must remain open 24 hours a day, however, em-
1)pl(,ee.- are not kept on the job 24 hours a day but are sillject to call
when their services are required. Therefore, no regular hours are
worked in this Industry.
The propo.-,d Code provisions (ini hours will probaJbly increase the
number of employees in the larger e-tabli-hmnnts. iThe smaller es-
talhi~.hlltliits under iiorm;il pl)eration1 will mnt increase the number
of .emplohyee].h bIcIau. they average less than ,ne funeral per week.
The information availabtle is of very little use in trying to estal-
lish a pre-code wage rate. However, there is an undetermined num-
ber of employees who receive less tlian the proposed Code hourly


wage of 40. The additional wage burden to this Industry cannot be
determined due to the irregular hours worked.

The Deputy Administrator in his final report to me on -aid Code
having found as herein set forth and on the baiis of all the proceed-
ings in this matter;
I find that:
(a) Said Code is well designed to promote the policies and pur-
poses of Title I of the National Industrial Recovery Act, including
removal of obstructions to the free flow of interstate and foreign
commerce which tend to diminish the amount thereof and will pro-
vide for the general welfare by promoting the organization of indus-
try for the purpose of cooperative action among the trade groups,
by inducing and maintaining united action of labor and management
under adequate governmental sanctions and supervision, by eliminat-
ing unfair competitive practices, by promoting the fullest possible
utilization of the present productive capacity of industries, by avoid-
ing undue restriction of production (except as may be temporarily
required), by increasing the consumption of industrial and agricul-
tural products through increasing purchasing power, by reducing and
relieving unemployment, by improving standards of labor, and by
otherwise rehabilitating industry.
(b) Said Industry normally employs not more than 50.000
employees; and is not classified by me as a major industry.
(c) The Code as approved complies in all respects with the perti-
nent provisions of said Title of said Act, including without limita-
tion Subsection (a) of Section 3, Subsection (a) of Section 7, and
Subsection (b) of Section 10 thereof; and that the applicant associ-
ation is an industrial a.s-'iciation truly representative of the afore-
said Indus'try; and that said Association impo-es no inequitable
restrictions on admission to membershipI therein.
(d) The Code is not designed to and will not permit monopolies
or monopolistic practices.
(e) The Code is not designed to and will not eliminate or oppress
small enterprises and will not operate to discriminate against them.
(f) Those engaged in other steps of the economic process have not
been deprived of the right to be heard prior to approval of said Code.
This Industry has cooperated in a most satisfactory manner with
the Administrator in the preparation of this Code. From evidence
adduced during this hearing and from recommendations and reports
of the various Advisory Boards it is believed that this Code as now
proposed and revised represents an effective, practical, equitable solu-
tion for this industry and for these reasons this Code has been
Respect fully,
Adm ;ii.t rator.
APRIL 4, 1934.



To effectuate the policies of Title I of the National Industrial Re-
covery Act, this Code is established as a Code of Fair Competition
for the Industry, and its provisions shall be the standard of fair
competition for such industry and binding upon every member

1. The term "Funeral Service Industry", a, used herein, shall
mean any person, firm, corporation or other form of enterprise,
engaged in the preparation of dead human bodies, for burial or
disposal by embalming or other sanitariy methods and/or directing
and supervising funeral services prior to burial or disposal, and/or
the sale of funern1 merchandise at retail, and shall include all persons,
firms, corporations, or other forms of enterprise, maintaining a mor-
tuiry, funeral home or other similar establishment and/or using in
connection with their name and business, the words "funeral direc-
tor ", "mortician ", "u ndertaker ", or ain other title or words of
similar meaning and import and such brnances or subdivisions as
may from time to time be included! under the provisions of this code.
2. The term iiimber of the industry" includes, but without
I]miitation any individual, partnership, association, corporation or
other form of enterprise engaged in the industry, either as an em-
ployer or on his or its own behalf.
3. The term "employee as u-er herein includes any and all per-
-sn, enra ged in the industry, however c mpln.-ated. except a member
of the industry.
4. The Act and Almini-tr;ator as used herein mean
respectively Title I of the Nationail Industrial Recovery Act, and
the Administrator for Industrial Recovery.


1. No enlployee s,:hll be permitted to work in excess of forty (40)
hours in any one week; except that embialmers, lawfully engaged
in enmbalming, nand also those conducting funerals, shall be limited
to eighty-four (84) hours per week.
2. No employeee shall be permittedl to work for a total number of
hours in excess of the number of hours prescribed herein whether he
be employed by one or more employer>.
3. The above provisions as to houIrs do not apply to persons em-
ployed in a manangrial. executive or supervisory capacity receiving
thirty-five dollars ($i5r.0) per week or more.



1. No employee shall be lpaid less than at the rate of fifteen dollars
($15.00) per week, or forty cents (400) per hour, when employed on
an hourly basis, except lawful einmblmer,. who shall be paid not less
than at the rate of twenty-five dollars ($25.0.0) per week.
2. Female employees performing substantially the same work as
male employees shall receive the same rate of pay as male employees.
3. This article establishes a minimum rate of pay which shall apply
irrespective of whether an e ,lployee is actually compensated on time
rate. piece-work performance or other basis.
4. Wages above Minimum. If an adjustment of wnges above the
minimum fixed in this Code has not been made sincr July 1st, 1933,
there shall then be an adjustment nimad within ninety (90) days
from the date of approval of this Code. Such adjustment shall mean
that the differentials existing prior to the formulation of this Code
shall be maintained for employees other than persons engaged in a
managerial, executive or supervisory capacity who receive more
than thirty-five dollars ($T,5.)10) per week. provided, however, that
in no event shall hourly rates of pay be reduced. Each member of
the Industry shall make a report of such adjustments, whether made
prior to or subsleqient to the date of approval of this Code. to the
Code Authority.
1. No person under sixteen (16) years of age shall be employed
in the industry. No person under eighteen (18) years of age shall
be employed at operations or occupations which are hazardous in
nature or dangerous to health. In any State an employer shall be
deemed to have complied with this provision as to age if he shall
have on file a certificate or permit duly signed by the Authority in
such State empowered to issue employment or age certificates or
permits showing that the employee is of the required age.
2. In compliance with Section 7 (a) of the Act it is provided:
(a) That. employees shall have the right to organize and bargain
collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and shall
be free from the interference, restraint, or coercion of employers of
labor, or their agents in the designation of such representatives, or
in self-organization or in other concerted activities for the purpose
of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.
(b) That no employee and no one seeking employment shall be
required as a condition of employment to join any company union
or to refrain from joining, organizing or assisting a labor organiza-
tion of his own choosing, and
(c) That employers shall comply with the maximum hours of
labor. minimum rates of pay and other conditions of employment
approved or prescribed by the President.
3. No employer shall reclas.sify employees or duties of occupations
performed an they existed on October 1, 1933, or engage in any other
subterfuge. for the purpose of defeating the purposes of the Act or
of this Code.
4. No provision in this Code shall supler-ede any State or Federal
law which imposes on employers more strinient requirements as to


1ir(g of employee, ;wage,. hours of work, or as to safety, health, sani-
tary or gt-iielral working conditions, or insurance, or fire protection,
than are imposed by this Code.
5. Every employer shall make reasonable provision for the safety
and health of his employees at the place and during the hours of their
6. All employti-, shall post and keep posted coimIplete copies of this
Code in conspicuous places accessible to employees.



1. A Code Autl),hrity is hereby established to cooperate; with the
Adt,iniiitrator in the ladini-tration of this code and shall consist
of fifteen (15) members to be chosen by the industry through a fair
method of selection, approved by the Administrator, to serve for a
period of one (1) year from the date of their selection. The Ad-
ministrator in his discretion may appoint not more than three (3)
additional members without vote, and without compensation from
the indu-t y, to serve for such period of time and to represent the
Administrator or such group or groups- as he may designate.
2. Eiachi trade or industrial a -ci;at ion directly or indirectly partic-
ipating in the selection or activities of the Code Authority shall
impose no il'tquital, e rev.trictions on membership. and shall '-nuliit
to the Administrator true copies of its articles of organization, by-
laws, regulations and any amendments when made thereto, together
with .sichl other information as to lmemberships, organization and
activities as the Administrator may deem necessary to effectuate the
purposes of the Act.
3. In order that the Code Authority shall at all times be truly
reprit-'ntative of the industry and in other respects comply with
the provi-ioin- of the Act, the Administrator may prescribe such
hearings as he may deem proper; and if he shall find that the Code
Authority is not truly rTprt-entative or does not in other respects
comply with the provisions of the Act, he may take such action as
he may dic-ii necessary under the circumstances.
4. No inequitable restrictions on admission to membership in any
triad(e ai--,ci;ition or organnized group, participating in the activities
of the Code Authority shall be imiiposed, and any member of the
industry :.1-hll be eligible for membrsll1ip in any such trade as-ocin-
tion or organized group, under the saiine conditions as are imposed
on any other member.
5. Nothing. contained in this Code shall constitute the members of
the Code Authority partners for any purpose. Nor shall any mem-
ber of the Code Au(thority be liable in any manner to anyone for any
act of any other mllilllr, ofice, agent or employee of the Code
Authority. Nor shall any i'imember of the Code Authlority, exercising
rcas-on:able diliiLicc in the conduct of his duties hereunder, be liable
to anyone for any action or omission to act under this Code, except
for his own willful jii i-fenaunce or non-feas.ance.


6. The Code Authority shall have the following further powers
and duties to the extent permitted by the Act:
(a) To administer the provisions of this Code and provide for
the compliance of the industry with the provisions of the Act, and
to propo,-e and submit amendments and/or exceptions, to or mdli-
fications of this Code for the alppruval of the Administrator, after
such notice and hearing as he may prescribe, said amendments or
modifications, when so approved, to become a part of this Code and
to have the same force and effect as any other provisiionl of this Code.
(b) To adopt by-laws and regulations for its procedure and for
the administration and enforcement of the Code under such rules
and regulation s amay be prescribed by the Admninistrator.
(c) To obtain from members of the industry such statistical in-
formation and reports as are required for the ;adininistrtion of the
Code. No individual reports shall be disclosed to any other member
of the industry or any other party except to isch governmental
agencies as may be directed by the Administrator.
(d) To make recommendations to the Administrator as to cash
discounts, and uniform cost accounting.
(e) Upon the request of the Administrator or upon complaint of
interested parties, or upon its own initiative, to nikte such inquiry
and investigation as to the operation of this Code as may be necessary
and proper under such rules and regulations a. may be prescribed.
by the Administrator and report the saie to the Adm inistrator.
(f) To use such trade associations and other agencies as it deems
proper for the carrying out of any of its activities provided for
herein, provided that nothing herein shall relieve the Code Authority
of its duties or responsibilities under this Code and that such trade
associations and agencies shall at all times be subject to and comply
with the provisions hereof.
(g) To secure from members of the industry who assent to this
Code and/or participate in the activities of the Code Authority such
proportionate payment of the reasonable expenses of maintaining
the Code Authority as nmay be determined by the Code Authority and
approved by the Administrator.
(h) To cooperate with the Administrator in regulating the use
of any N.R.A. insignia solely by those memberr, of the industry who
have assented to, and are complying with, this Code.
(i) To recommend to the Admnisii.trator further fair trade prac-
tice provisions to govern members of the industry in their relations
with each other or with other industries and to recommend to the
Administrator measures for industrial planning, including stabiliza-
tion of employment.
(j) To make recommendations to the Administrator for the coor-
dination of the administration of this Code with such other codes, if
any, as may be related to the industry.
i. If the Administrator shall determine that any action of a code
authority or any agency thereof may be unfair or unjust or contrary
to the public interest, the Administrator may require that such action


be suspendled to afford an opportunity for investigation of the merits
of such action and further consideration of such code authority or
agency pending final action which shall not be effective unless the
Administrator approves or unless he shall fail to disapprove after
thirty (30) days' notice to him of intention to proceed with such
action in its original or modified form.


1. No member of the industry shall brand or mark any service or
merchandise in any manner which deceives or misleads purchasers
with respect to the brand, grade, quality, quantity, origin, size, sub-
stance, charai:ter. nature, finish, material. content or prep:rattion of
such merchandise.
2. No member of the industry shall publish advertising (whether
printed, radio, display or of any other nature), which is misleading
or inaccurate in any material particular, nor shall any member in any
way misrepre.ent any goods (including but without limitation its
use, trade-mark, grade, quality, quantity, origin, size, substance, char-
acter, nature, finish, nmuterial, content or preparation) or credit terms,
values, policies, services or the nature or form of the business
3. No imemberli' of the industry shall give, permit to be given, or
directly offer to give, anything of value for the purpose of influencing
or rewarding the action of any employee, agent or representative of
another in relation to the bIinlls of the employer of such employee,
the principal of such agent or the represented party, without the
knowledge of such employer, principal or party. Commercial brib-
ery provisions shall not be con(,strued to prohibit free and general
distribution of articles co(mll(only used for advertising except so far
as such articles are actually used for commercial bribery as herein-
above defined.
4. No nientber of the industry shall attempt to induce the breach of
an existing contract between a competitor and his customer or source
of supply; nor shall any such member interfere with or obstruct the
performance of such contractual duties or services.
5. No member of the industry shall secretly offer or make any pay-
ment or allowance of a rebate, refund, commission, credit, unearned
discount or excess allowance, whether in the form of money or other-
wise, nor shall a member of the industry for the purpose of influenc-
ing a sale secretly offer or extend to any purchaser any special service
or privilege not extended to all purchasers of like quantities under
like terms and conditions.
6. No member of the industry shall cause the defamation of com-
petitors by falsely imputing to them dishonorable conduct, inability
to perform contracts, questionable credit standing, poor equipment
or mortuary establishments, inferior merchandise, or by other false
representations, or by the false disparagement of their services or
their selling prices.
7. No member of the industry shall sell or publicly offer to sell
any merchandise, or directly or indirectly render any service below
his individual cost, except he may' sell below his own coIt to meet
bona fide competition. For this purpose cost is defined as the cost


determined by cost accounting methods recognized in the industry
and approved by the Code Authority and the Administrator.
8. No member of the industry shall distribute and/or sell any
funeral merchandise or supplies from which the label, serial number,
or other identifying mark of the manufacturer has been effaced
or removed.
9. No member of the industry sluill ship or deliver er merchanise or
supplies with the intent to deceive the purchlaer, which do not con-
form to the samples submitted or represent ition, made prior to secur-
ing the order therefore.
10. No member of the indutltry shall display or .how funeral mer-
chandise without sale prices marked in figure, that are legible and
capable of being understood by the aver~1g,- purchaser.
11. No member of the industry shall offer or give any prize or
premium in connection with or as an indl!i'-e. nt to the sale of ser-
vices or merchandise by any scheme which involves lottery, misrepre-
sentation or fraud.
12. No member of the industry shall organize or promote or par-
ticipate directly or indirectly in the organization, promotion or ;c-
tivities of any enterprise selling cemetery lots, grave space or other
interment, property, on a speculative basis or by the use of mis-
representation or fraud; nor shall any member accept, a conini-sion
from either seller or purchaser upon the sale of any s.uch interment
property sold under such an enterpri'-._-; nor shall any member, ex-
cept thowe actually and legally so en-,.:iged prior to the effective, date
of this Code, hereafter engage in p.ri1,,riiring any service of this
industry, as herein defined, within the confines of any tax exempt
cemetery or any other tax exempt property.
13. No member of the industry shall organize or promote or par-
ticipate, directly or indirectly, in the orgai izati,,n, lp.roimotion,or rop-
eration of any form of enterprise which dec.ives or defrauds mem-
bers, policy holder., or certificate holders as to the financial respon-
sibility of s-ich enterprise or the quality or value of fii.ural mer-
chandise or services offered by such enterpri-e or which limits or
restricts the freedom of choice, in the open market, of the person or
persons having the legal right of such choice, regarding coiitrn;,its,
purchases and arranglmeii ii with reference to any part of a funeral
service. It shall be the duty of every member of the industry
before participating, directly or indirectly, in any t.iah plan to
determine the solvency, integrity and legality thereof.'
14. No member of the ii:ndutry shall employ, retain or otherwise
engage agents to solicit busine-s.


1. This Code and all the provisiini- thereof are expressly imalde
subject to the right of the President, in accordance with the pro-
visions of Subsection (b) of Section 10 of the Act, from time to time
to cancel or modify any order, approval, license, rule or regulation
issued under said Act.
2. This Code, except as to provisions required by the Act, may
be modified or amended on the basis of experience or changes in
1 See paragraph 2 of order approving this Code.


circumstances, such modifications or amendments to be based upon
application to the Administrator and such notice and hearing as he
shall specify, and to become effective on approval of the President,
unless otherwise provided.
3. The Code Authority may make recommendations for modifi-
cations to this Code to the Administrator which shall become effective
as a part of this Code upon approval by the Administrator after
such notice and hearing as he may prescribe.


No provision of this Code shall be so applied as to permit nionop-
olies or monopolistic practices, or to eliminate, oppress or discrim-
inate against small enterprises.


Whereas the policy of the Act to increase real purchasing power
will be made more difficult of consummation if prices of goods and
services increase as rapidly as wages, it is recognized that price
increases, except such as may be required to meet individual cost,
should be delayed, but when made such increases should, so far as
possible, be limited to actual additional increases in the seller's

This Code shall become effective on the secondd Monday after its
approval by the President.
Approved Code. No. 384.
Registry No. 1749-04.



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