Between 1912 and 1938, 28 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico passed minimum wage laws.
Usually these were restricted to women & children or sometimes just women.
Only one state (Oklahoma)
embraced adult men.
Often these state laws did not specify effective enforcement.
The ultimate penalty in
the Massachusetts law was the publication of the names of non-complying employers.
On the impact of the
FLSA on the labor markets of the low-wage economy of the South, see Gavin Wright, Old South, New South
Basic Books, 1986, esp. Ch. 7, pp. 198-238.
See Table 1 of Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, “Characteristics of Minimum Wage
Workers: 2008", 11 March 2009.
STATUTORY MINIMUM WAGES
At Federal level, minimum wage legislation incorporated as part of the Fair
Labor Standards Act (FLSA) 1938.
Other components of the FLSA concern
the premium rate of pay for overtime work, regulations on the market work
of children, and record-keeping issues.
Distinguish between exempt and non-exempt workers: exempt from the
Federal minimum wage are many farm-workers, some seasonal workers, and
white-collar employees in executive, administrative, professional, or outside
sales positions and who are paid on a salary basis.
For workers receiving tips
as part of their compensation, the total compensation (i.e., the hourly wage
plus tips) must satisfy the Federal minimum wage requirement, not just the
hourly wage component.
In 2008, of workers aged 16 years and over who are paid hourly wage rates
(a total of 75,305 thousand) 2,226 thousand were paid at or below the Federal
Thus, 2.95 percent were paid at or less than the Federal
Enforcement & Penalties ?