Protective Labor Legislation, with Special Reference to Women in the State of New York

By Elizabeth Faulkner Baker | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
PROTECTIVE LABOR LEGISLATION IN NEW YORK STATE

PART I: LEGISLATION FOR ALL ADULTS

PRIOR to the year 1899 there were in New York State two classifications of workers for whom protective labor laws had been enacted, -- children and adults. Before 1886 legislation was primarily for the protection of children, and from 1886 to 1889 a number of acts were passed for all employees including a few provisions especially for women. Since 1899, along with extended regulations for general health and safety, has developed an increasing body of legisilation specifically for women, these acts having developed in some cases out of earlier provisions which applied only to minors. We will consider the earlier forms of legislation before describing separately and in greater detail laws pertaining especially to women.1

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1
For purposes of clarity in tracing the history of labor legislation in New York State, it may be explained that scattered laws attempting to safeguard the interests of working people began to appear in the early 1850's; but it was not until 1886 that a factory act was passed. This first act was on behalf of minors and children. Extended by amendment in the following years, this act together with various other statutes affecting the interests of working people was gathered into the first general Labor Law of 1897 (ch. 415, ch. xxxii of the General Laws). In 1909 (ch. 36), the Labor Law of 1897 and all subsequent legislation relating to the employees and their relations to employers were consolidated into what became known as the Labor Law, constituting chapter 31 of the Consolidated Laws. That is to say, all live provisions were included and all defunct and obsolete acts were struck out through repeal at that time. In 1921 (ch. 50), the Labor Law was completely rearranged and

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