1943 was only 68 years ago, which, in the grand scheme of things, was not far off. Yet, consider how far we’ve come, not the least of which in the area of personal liberties and civil rights.
Case in point? The Walt Disney Family Museum recently released the 1943 Disney employee handbook, entitled “The Ropes at Disney.” The handbook included this pre-Title VII gem:
My legal tip of the day—do not have a workplace policy that makes benefits available only to men (or whites, or Americans, or Christians, or, well, you get the point).
Other highlights include various nods to World War II, such as a selective service policy, and the inclusion of a violation of the United States Espionage Act among the grounds for termination. The company’s military severance pay policy strikes me as particularly progressive, but I’ll admit my ignorance on whether that type of policy was prevalent during the war.
Huge thanks to Tim Eavenson, who first posted about this on his Current Employment blog.
Update: Phil Miles, on his Lawffice Space blog, shares his thoughts as well,