History Of Minimum Wage Essay

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History of Minimum Wage In over about 120 years ago, New Zealand was the first country to have a national law creating a government role for setting a minimum wage. The minimum wage has been a cornerstone of the United States’ labor system, and has been a cutting-edge labor law topic among employers and workers for decades. However, the United States has not always had a minimum wage, and was introduced during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Before the minimum wage was introduced there was no federal minimum wage and no legislation to protect workers from exploitation. Therefore, the lack of regulation cause thousands of people to have a routine exploit in poor working conditions in factories for little pay. American business hired woman and children for lower wages than men which was uncommon at the time. Under these circumstances children worked up to twenty hours a day. Many where exhausted and were killed or injured on the job. Early attempts by labor unions to create a mandatory minimum wage were ruled unconstitutional by the…show more content…
After his winning of the 1936 election, President Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standard Act into law in the early 1938. The Fair Labor Standard Act protected American workers from being exploited, and created a mandatory federal minimum wage of twenty-five cents an hour. The law also imposed overtime pay (“time in a half”) after a forty-hour work week. The Act also introduced the classification of “exempt” and “non-exempt” employees as well as outlawed many forms of child labor. By 1943, the Labor Department had raised the federal minimum wage to forty cents an hour. In 1955, the minimum wage was raised to $1.00 an hour. Since, then the federal minimum wage has been 22 times by 12 different presidents. As of 2009, the federal minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour. (The History of Minimum Wage Laws, 2014) In the chart provided below shows the minimum wage pay scale as the year extended, starting at $0.25
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