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Adkins v. Children's Hospital

Adkins v. Children's Hospital - Adkins v Childrens Hospital...

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Adkins v. Children’s Hospital 261 U.S. 525 (1923) Supreme Court of the US Appellants : Jesse C. Adkins, et al.; Minimum Wage Board of District of Columbia Appellee : Children's Hospital of the District of Columbia Appellants' Claim The U.S. Congress has the right to establish minimum wages for women and children. Justices Dissenting Oliver Wendell Holmes, Edward Terry Sanford, William Howard Taft (Louis D. Brandeis did not participate) Decision Minimum wage laws for women are unconstitutional because they interfere with the liberty of contract guaranteed by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. Significance The Supreme Court ruled that Congress does not have the power to set minimum wages for women as a special group. It also stopped efforts to equalize pay between men and women, a discrepancy that remained until the Equal Pay Act of 1963. Facts Willie Lyons, a 21-year-old elevator operator, desperately wanted to keep her job. Lyons worked at the Congress Hall Hotel in Washington, D.C. She felt that the work was easy, the hours short, and the surroundings clean and pleasant. She had been happy at work and with her pay--$35 a month, plus two meals a day. Then the District of Columbia Minimum Wage Board set $16.50 a week as the base pay for all female hotel workers. The Congress Hall Hotel had to fire her, or face legal penalties.
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