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Federal Government Efforts to Regulate Wages, Maximum Hours, and Oppressive Child Labor before The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938

VLibrary.info Logo  May 8, 1895: The New York Bakeshop Act of 1895 set some sanitation standards for bakeries and provided that they could not employ their workers for more than 60 hours in any one week

VLibrary.info Logo  April 17, 1905: Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45. The Supreme Court ruled that The New York Bakeshop Act of 1895 was unconstitutional because of the provisions limiting the number of hours an employee could work. "Clean and wholesome bread does not depend upon whether the baker works but ten hours per day or only sixty hours a week. The limitation of the hours of labor does not come within the police power on that ground."

VLibrary.info Logo  1906: Senator Albert J. Beveridge, Indiana, introduced a bill banning the sale of products from any factory, shop, or cannery that employed children under the age of 14, from any mine that employed children under the age of 16, and from any facility that had children under the age of 16 work at night or for more than 8 hours during the day.

VLibrary.info Logo  February 24, 1908: Muller v. Oregon, 208 U.S. 412. The Supreme Court ruled that legislation limiting the hours of work for women did not violate the constitution, "even when like legislation is not necessary for men and could not be sustained."

VLibrary.info Logo  1912: A bill limiting the hours of work for women and children in New York factories to 54 hours a week was passed through the efforts of Frances Perkins, at that time a lobbyist for the National Consumer's League.

VLibrary.info Logo  1916: The Keating–Owen Child Labor Act of 1916, based on the 1906 child labor proposed bill by Senator Albert J. Beveridge, banned the sale of products from any factory, shop, or cannery that employed children under the age of 14, from any mine that employed children under the age of 16, and from any facility that had children under the age of 16 work at night or for more than 8 hours during the day. The Keating-Owen Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson.

VLibrary.info Logo  April 9, 1917: Bunting v. Oregon, 243 U.S. 426. The Supreme Court declared unconstitutional an Oregon law requiring payment of "overtime at the rate of time and one-half of the regular wage" to employees of mills, factories, and manaufacturing establishments.

VLibrary.info Logo  June 3, 1918: Hammer v. Dagenhart, 247 U.S. 251. The Supreme Court declared the Keating-Owen Child Labor bill unconstitutional. This decision was overruled by United States v. Darby Lumber Co.

VLibrary.info Logo  September 19, 1918: Congress approved the District of Columbia minimum-wage law (40 Stat. 960) guaranteeing a minimum wage to women and children employed in the District of Columbia.

VLibrary.info Logo  December 1918: Child Labor Tax Law, passed as part of the Revenue Act of 1919, imposed a federal excise tax of 10% on annual net profits of those employers who used child labor in certain businesses.

VLibrary.info Logo  May 15, 1922: Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co., 259 U.S. 20. The Supreme Court ruled the 1919 Child Labor Tax Law unconstitutional as an improper attempt by Congress to penalize employers using child labor.

VLibrary.info Logo  April 9, 1923: Adkins v. Children's Hospital, 261 U.S. 525. The Supreme Court ruled that the 1918 District of Columbia Minimum Wage Act, establishing a federal minimum wage for women and children employed in the District of Columbia, was an unconstitutional infringement of liberty of contract.

VLibrary.info Logo  May 27, 1935: Schechter Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495. The Supreme Court declared that the National Recovery Act was unconstitutional.

VLibrary.info Logo  February 5, 1937: President Franklin Roosevelt unveiled the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937, which is generally referred to as the "court-packing plan"

VLibrary.info Logo  March 29, 1937: West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish (1937), The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of minimum wage legislation enacted by the State of Washington.

VLibrary.info Logo  May 24, 1937: The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1937 was introduced in Congress as S. 2475 in the Senate, and H.R. 7200 in the House of Representatives.

VLibrary.info Logo  June 25, 1938: The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) was passed by Congress and signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

VLibrary.info Logo  October 24, 1938: The Fair Labor Standards Act went into effect.