Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA)

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For centuries, there has been a common relationship between employers and employees. Over the course of that time, the workplace and the jobs within it have evolved as new jobs were created, ways to execute tasks became more advanced and laws were enacted to put into place fair employment for those in the workforce. In 1938, congress would pass and President Roosevelt would sign the Wages and Hours Bill, more commonly known as the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA). This federal statute introduced a 44 hour, seven day work week, established the national minimum wage, guaranteed overtime pay in specific types of jobs at a rate of “time and a half”, and it defines oppressive child labor, which prohibits most employment of minors. The FLSA applies to those employees engaged in interstate commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, unless the employer can claim an exemption from coverage. The Fair Labor Standards Act was first developed by Hugo Black, a senator from Alabama, in 1932. Senator Black saw a problem that existed with people in the workforce being overworked and underpaid and wanted to provide a solution. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was a strong supporter of this effort and stood behind Senator Black. According to President Roosevelt, the FLSA was “the most far-reaching, far-sighted program for the benefit of workers ever adopted in this or any other country.” During this time, workers in several different industries were faced with

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