How the FLSA Changed the American Workplace
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Article 20190320 How the FLSA Changed the American Workplace

How the FLSA Changed the American Workplace

The American labor conditions haven't been always as they are today. There was a time the minimum wage was way below the current $7.25 per hour. Workers would sometimes work up to 12 hours without any overtime compensation. Labor laws have come a long way and you can only appreciate them by looking at past working condition.

How Have Labor Practices Changed

The current working condition was heralded by a new law that saw the protection of minors, and the protection of workers from working extended hours without pay. Even though it is not as recognized today as it was in the past, the FLSA (Fair Labor Standard Act) was signed into law in 1938 and it revolutionized the whole entire employment culture in America.

There were a lot of challenges before the law could be passed. For years, federal and state officials had tried to pass laws protecting the workers but would be shut down by the Supreme Court.

The Fight Against Child Labor

The course of fighting against child labor also started a long time ago. In 1903, Mother Jones challenged the legality of child labor. The struggle for 8-hour day working arrangement almost lasted a whole century. It was only when the Great Depression happened that the changes that were made were able to stick. The 8-hour day philosophy begun to gain momentum as the years progressed. There are unions like that lead by Kellogg pushed for a 6-hour work day. If workers did only eight hours, employers could look for substitutes to fill in the hours which was a big concern at that time.

One of the women that led the efforts for better labor laws was Frances Perkins. She was also the first woman to serve in a presidential cabinet. Most Americans today are in support of the FLSA even if they might know of individual details. It has also been used as a tool to fight inequalities in most states.

An example is the fight for a better minimum wage which has turned out to be successful in some cities like Seattle. States like California and New York are also leading from the front when it comes to improving the federal minimum wage.

Americans and Current Labor Laws

Most Americans take for granted the minimum wage structures in place without realizing how tough it was just a couple of decades ago. This is made possible by laws like FLSA which protects the American labor force from unregulated capitalism. There has been a push to raise the minimum wage even further in most states which wouldn't have been possible if it were not for the legal frameworks provided by the FLSA.

The Labor market today is conducive for workers. The rights of the child are protected and the employer can't discriminate based on sex, age, race, ethnicity, or disability. Workers also deserve to be compensated when they work overtime which rarely happens given the laws that have been put in place. As a worker, you should be aware of your rights. For information, you can check out

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Labor Law Compliance Center, LLC
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Spring, TX 77389
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