History of the Flsa

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The History of the Fair Labor Standards Act


After the great depression, unions were legalized in order to be the voice for the workers for whom they represented to their employers. Once this legalization became evident through federal statute, set the stage for what was to become the Fair Labor Standards Act. Having just survived a depression, the United States was hoping to avoid any future economic downturns, the government would accomplish this with paying higher wages that the employer could afford and employees could provide for their families.

The History of the Fair Labor Standards Act

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is administered by the United States Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division. The Act regulates child labor, wages, and hours, it also requires employers to keep proper records and which to maintain (Bennett – Alexander, 2004). The Act, now law requires employers to pay employees at the lower end of the pay scale, a certain amount which maintains a minimum standard of living and out of poverty (Bennett – Alexander, 2004). That is the law and theory, in actuality the law has caused poverty in certain areas of the employment theatre, keeping those who are at the low end of the pay scale; below the reach of higher paying jobs.

The FLSA began on a Saturday, June 25, 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed 121 bills, one of them being the landmark law in the Nation's social and economic development – the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 ( Grossman, 1978). This law did not come easy, wage-hour and child-labor laws had made their way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1918 in Hammer v. Dagenhart in which the Court by one vote held unconstitutional a Federal child-labor law. Similarly in Adkins v. Children's Hospital in 1923, the Court voided the District of Columbia law that set minimum wages for women, during the 1930's the Court's action on other social legislation was even more devastating (Grossman,...
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