The Roosevelt Administration's Fair Labor Standards Act

1284 Words 6 Pages
During a time of great economic disparity, the Roosevelt administration put into effect one of the most far-sighted labor laws in the history of the United States and rest of the world. Imagine sending your child of ten years into work at a mine to endure gruesome conditions and excruciating work for seemingly endless half day shifts. In America, this predicament was once commonplace. Nowadays, this atrocity is seemingly nonexistent thanks to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended (FLSA). The Roosevelt Administration enacted the law to set a ceiling on the hours of a workweek, a minimum floor under wage rates, and to ensure children can attend school and work in a safe, healthy environment. In today’s perspective, a bill so beneficial …show more content…
My current place of work enforces a strict “do not work more than forty hours a week” policy out of fear of paying overtime wages. At the time the law was passed, one study found one-fourth of children working exceeded the forty hour threshold while averaging only four dollars per week. This statistics served as powerful ammunition for liberal congressmen arguing for the FLSA. This specific part of the law has evidently been successful because the vast majority of the population enjoys an eight-hour, five day a week work schedule or some close relative. The foresight of the drafters to create a standard so useful more than seventy years later is astounding. This being said, it would be nice if I possessed the freedom to work more than forty hours a week if I pleased. During the Industrial Revolution, children were preferred as workers because they could be paid less, were easy to manage, and were unlikely to strike. Mining companies preferred kids simply because their small stature enabled them to crawl into tiny crevices adults could not fit into. The first child labor law was passed in 1836, and a few important others found birth before the FLSA but they were almost all at the state level. Even if a rule had been put into effect, it was very rare to find it …show more content…
The government was making sure kids had the chance to earn an education and the ability to rise out of their current job placement. There exist countless benefits from this provision of the bill. It would not be surprising to me if people stayed employed at one company for a great duration of their life, without ever conceiving it possible that a better working scenario could have been achieved through education. The law also limits the hours children can work a week. At my previous job as a waiter at a restaurant, my coworkers under the age of sixteen had to be clocked out by a certain time at night. The FLSA really made it possible for laborers to balance an education and job at the same time. I find it unfathomable for it to be legal for an employer to keep a young teenager at work late into the night and expect the worker to turn into a genius test-taking student the next morning. For these reasons, the bill has been successful in granting children a safe and reasonable work experience conducive to their academic responsibilities. Another major component of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 was establishing a minimum wage. At institution, the wage was only applied to about thirty eight percent of the population, mainly being transportation, industry, and mining workers. Through many expansions, it now covers eighty five percent of the

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