According to the United States Department of Labor, “The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy.”
Fortunately on Labor Day, we don’t just celebrate labor; we celebrate fair labor. June 25 marked eighty years since the Department of Labor, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was signed, creating the Wage and Hour Division (WHD). This piece of legislation established such well-known concepts as minimum wage, the 40-hour workweek, and overtime pay. It also placed a ban on oppressive child labor.
While this might not seem like a big deal in current times, to the workers of yesteryear, the FLSA was a crucial first step towards normalizing employee rights. Not only does the FLSA assist workers, it also helps job creators ensure they are following the law and correcting their mistakes so they can compete on a level playing field. The United States Department of Labor assures our workers, “Though much has changed in the American workplace since 1938, the FLSA endures as a vital piece of legislation that ensures Americans receive wages they have earned.”
What a beautiful thing to celebrate. On September 3rd, take a rest from your labors. You’ve earned it.