Today in History

On June 25, 1938, President Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act, which officially granted many of the workplace rights we enjoy today.

A young worker’s plea

While President Franklin Roosevelt was in Bedford, Mass., campaigning for reelection, a young girl tried to pass him an envelope. But a policeman threw her back into the crowd. Roosevelt told an aide, “Get the note from the girl.” Her note read,

I wish you could do something to help us girls….We have been working in a sewing factory,… and up to a few months ago we were getting our minimum pay of $11 a week… Today the 200 of us girls have been cut down to $4 and $5 and $6 a week.

To a reporter’s question, the President replied, “Something has to be done about the elimination of child labor and long hours and starvation wages.”

-FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, Public Papers and Addresses, Vol. V

Source:  http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/history/flsa1938.htm

 

On June 25, 1938, President Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act, which officially granted many of the workplace rights we enjoy today. “The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments.”  The bill also said that any hours worked over 40 in one workweek would require pay rate of time and a half. It was this union-endorsed bill that gave Americans the weekend.

The significance of this bill can not be understated. Throughout industrialized history, employers had free reign to make as much money as humanly possible while exploiting workers to increase their profits. The FLSA established the minimum wage, overtime pay and child labor standards that we enjoy today.

President Roosevelt signed this bill into law, amidst great pressure to save the nation from the Great Depression. He succeeded by establishing basic workers’ rights and setting the groundwork for a middle class that thrived after World War Two. We need to pay particular attention to this piece of labor history as the inalienable rights of workers are under attack by lawmakers who wish to return our country back to the days of all-bets-off business and exploited labor.

Source:  http://www.massaflcio.org/1938-president-roosevelt-signs-fair-labor-standards-act

 

Today the law firm of Slater Slater Schulman LLP represents employees as they seek to protect their rights under the FLSA

 

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