BUSG - THE FIRST MINIMUM WAGE LAWS Clifford F Thies Overview The first minimum wage law was enacted in 1912 by Massachusetts Like most of the other

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THE FIRST MINIMUM WAGE LAWS Clifford F. Thies
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Overview The first minimum wage law was enacted in 1912 by Massachu- setts. Like most of the other early minimum wage laws, this law provided forthe establishment ofregulatory boardsthat set minimum wages for women equal to the cost of living as determined by the hoard 2 Alco hL-e moot 0 t 1-he other earl,, miruin-ulim ~uacte ionic 1-he
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ment, it is not unreasonable to say that these differences have now come almost, if not quite, to the vanishing point. Chief Justice William Howard Taft, dissenting in Adkins, stated: “Legislatures, in limiting freedom of contract between employer and employee by a minimum wage proceed on the assumption that emulovees, in the class receiving the least nay. are not unon a full
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Arizona 1917 Overturned by Supreme Court in 1925 in Murphy v. Sardell, following Adkins. Arkansas 1915 Overturned by Supreme Court in 1927 in Donham v. West Nelson Manuf. Go., following Adkins. California 1913 Waited until Supreme Court upheld
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South Dakota 1923 Never enforced. Texas 1919 Never enforced, repealed in 1921. Utah 1913 Set low minimums, believed not effective in raising wages, repealed in 1929. Washington 1913 Upheld by Supreme Court on a 5-4 vote
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uiiuiii wage iaw strucK uowii iii i-iaicms. vvuhle J usuce flOOCILS uiu not believe the “new design” law to be substantively different, he believed that the Adkins decision was itself wrong (Levitan and Belous 1979, p. 30). Accordingly, the next year, the Supreme Court called up another minimum wage case, this one dealing with Wash- ington’s longstanding minimum wage law. In this case, West Goast 7_I//I_-a f-’. . D_-./.~./L •1_-~~/ ~ f-’_-~.i- ~ ~ A ~n-_-.
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neaiey nncis unanimous support tnat ireeiy entereci into contracts determined the just wage. Among those who considered whether people could freely enter into onerous contracts, all agreed that the “use of physical force against a workerto elicit consent toaparticular wage was condemned.” Nevertheless, some held that it was not unjust “to profit by the inner compulsion of a worker’s hunger”
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~ccorcung to r~yan i~nflu~i, pp. io—i 1), tne inaustriai revoiution was “aperiod ofhorror,” characterized by “wage slavery.” Ifthis analysis
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This note was uploaded on 11/28/2010 for the course ACG 1301 taught by Professor Davenport during the Spring '10 term at Pasco-Hernando Community College.

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BUSG - THE FIRST MINIMUM WAGE LAWS Clifford F Thies Overview The first minimum wage law was enacted in 1912 by Massachusetts Like most of the other

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