History of the Flsa Essay

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The History of the Fair Labor Standards Act


After the great depression, unions were legalized in order to be the voice for the workers for whom they represented to their employers. Once this legalization became evident through federal statute, set the stage for what was to become the Fair Labor Standards Act. Having just survived a depression, the United States was hoping to avoid any future economic downturns, the government would accomplish this with paying higher wages that the employer could afford and employees could provide for their families.

The History of the Fair Labor Standards Act

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is administered by the United States Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division.
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The President set out "to raise wages, create employment, and thus restore business," the Nation's employers signed more than 2.3 million agreements covering 16.3 million employees (Grossman, 1978). On "White Monday," March 29, 1937, the High Court reversed its course when it decided the case of West Coast Hotel Company v. Parrish, the plaintiff was suing for back wages, in a turnaround, Justice Owen Roberts voted with the four-man liberal minority to uphold the Washington minimum wage law; the FLSA had been vindicated. Justice Roberts vote and "big switch" was an important event in American legal history, social history in America also changed for the legal attitude toward labor standards (Grossman, 1978). The FLSA achieved its aim through a single mandatory device: forced overtime pay, it forces employers to pay employees when working longer than 40 hours. Rather than balancing the interests of employers and employees, the obligations and burdens imposed by the Act are completely one-sided; they favor employees alone (Wilson, 2005). Moving forward, the FLSA was amended by the Portal-to-Portal Act on May 14, 1947, this legislation was significant because it resolved some issues as what constitutes compensable hours worked (Dept. of Labor, 1988). This act defined compensable work time,
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