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Fair Labor

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Submitted By blaine
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History of Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938

The growth of factories in the United States around 1900, brought about what is known as sweatshops. These sweatshops usually employed the unemployable, women, children, and newly arriving immigrants. These individuals had few employment choices and were forced to accept low wages and terrible working conditions. Social advocates of the time pushed states to enact laws to protect all workers wages, allowing all employed individuals an adequate standard of living (National, 2007).
In 1912, Massachusetts became the first state to mandate a specific wage for workers. By 1938, twenty-five states soon followed that lead with laws for their workers. However, the success of the wage laws was tempered by courts decisions. The U. S. Supreme Court decided that state minimum wage laws were unconstitutional. The Supreme Court stated that these laws violated employer and employee rights to negotiate fair wages. This decision made the Supreme Court one of the chief barriers to fair wages. The Supreme Court also hindered the child-labor laws. Amongst the noteworthy cases is Hammer v. Dagenhart where the Court held unconstitutional a Federal child-labor law by one vote. In 1923, the Supreme Court by a fine and small leeway invalided the District of Columbia law that establishes minimum wages for women in Adkins v. Children's Hospital. Even more devastating to the new laws in the 1930's, was the Court's decisions on societal based legislation (Grossman, 2007).
Roosevelt's consultants designed a National Industrial Recovery Act (NRA) in 1933, under the "New Deal" program (National, 2007). Antitrust laws were suspended by the act so that organizations could implement fair- trade codes consequently resulting with less rivalry and increased salaries and earnings. The President upon endorsing the legislation declared that history would

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