The Development of the Fair Labor Standards Act
The Employer-Employee relationship has been around for hundreds of years. As the workforce evolved, new jobs were created, professional relationships advanced, and regulations were developed to ensure fair and honest employment standards. In the early 1900's congress passed an act that would revolutionize the workforce: the FLSA. The FLSA, Fair Labor Standards Act was developed to provide barriers on hours per week while enforcing a minimum wage standard for workers of all trades as well as ensuring child laborers were no longer exploited. The FLSA's introduction to the world of employment was one of the most beneficial contributions to working individuals of all statures.
The FLSA was approved by congress in June of 1938. Hugo Black, a senator of Alabama, pioneered this piece of legislation into effect to avoid workers from being over-worked and under-paid. Franklin D. Roosevelt described the FLSA as being "the most far-reaching, far-sighted program for the benefit of workers ever adopted in this or any other country (u-s-history.com, 2006)." During this era in time industrial workers were faced with unjust work environments causing tension between individuals and employers, resulting in sit-down strikes and protests that ended up in violent legal situations. Seeing the rise in protesting activities, the FLSA was created to minimize these epidemics, and to resolve conflicts within industries such as, but not limited to, the coal and steel industries.
The initial launch of this act standardized a base minimum wage of $0.25 per hour, and enforcing a maximum limit on a 44-hour workweek. However, these wage and hour stipulations mostly affected a percentage of white males, in comparison to women and blacks within the workforce. The percentage of white males (39%) that were influenced, was much more significant than the percentage of women affected (14%). Since women and blacks...
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NC State University. (2006). Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Overview. Retrieved December 17, 2006, from: http://www7.acs.ncsu.edu/hr/classcomp/flsa.asp
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U-S-History.com. (2005). Acts, Bills, and Laws-Fair Labor Standards Act. Retrieved on December 17, 2006, from: http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1701.html
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