Minimum Wage Legislation For Women And Children Essay examples

1397 Words Mar 4th, 2016 6 Pages
Minimum wage legislation for women and children in the District of Columbia was passed by Congress in 1918. Five years later, the wage board of Children’s Hospital in Washington D.C. cut the hours of many of the employees, who were primarily women, to counteract the extra money that they would have to pay their employees due to the legislation. Many of the employees saw that the wage board’s enforcement of the 1918 legislation was not benefitting them as intended because overall, they would each be paid less overall due to the decrease in working hours. The case was brought to the Supreme Court by Children’s Hospital and a female employee hoping to stop the enforcement of the act by Jesse C. Adkins and the wage board. The Supreme Court ruled that the legislation of 1918 violated the 5th Amendment under the employees’ right to freely contract labor, so minimum wage for the women in Children’s Hospital was removed. This ruling, while technically correct under the terms of the constitution, fails to fully regard the purpose of giving women a minimum wage, which is so that they may be able earn a livable wage independently. Congress would not see another example of minimum wage legislation until Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in the midst of the Great Depression. The Decision in Adkins v. Children’s Hospital is unjust because it reinforced the systemic patriarchy in America by not allowing women to earn a substantial income, perpetuated women as lower class citizens,…

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