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

By Elizabeth Faulkner Baker | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
SOME EFFECTS OF PROTECTIVE LEGISLATION FOR WOMEN1

A recent study made by the New York Bureau of Women in Industry of 59,000 women employed in manufacturing and mercantile establishments in the state shows that 56 per cent were scheduled to work 48 hours and under. Only nine per cent were scheduled to work as much as 53 and 54 hours -- the present legal maximum of working hours for women in the state.2 For men, too, daily hours have been reduced until a substantial majority of them are at the 54-hour level and below.3

This is the high mark in New York State of a tendency that has been increasing in recent years. In an earlier bulletin of the Bureau of Women in Industry, the observation was made that,

It is increasingly recognized that the so-called "standards" embodied in the Labor Law are, in fact, only minimum requirements. Many employers are taking the lead in the establishment of fair conditions; many of them have gone far ahead of the requirements of the law. This is true not only of hours and wages, but also of standards of building construction and plant equipment.4

____________________
1
The note at the end of this chapter suggests the nature and scope of an investigation which might lead to more real knowledge of effects of legislation than is now available.
2
Hours and Earnings of Women in Five Industries, New York State Department of Labor, Bulletin no. 121, November, 1923.
3
The Industrial Bulletin for February, 1924, p. 106.
4
Women Who Work, Bulletin no. 110, pp. 25-26, New York State Department of Labor, April, 1922.

-351-

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