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

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

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

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

Excerpt

Protective labor legislation is a by-product of the machine age in which we live. With the growth of large-scale industry dominated by the desire for profit, the bargaining power of wage-earners has become disproportionately weak, and along with organization into labor unions for self-protection has developed a growing system of protection by the State. For example, practically all important industrial states in America have made legal provision for compensation to workmen for industrial accidents, and the daily hours of labor are regulated for large groups of employees such as those in public service and in hazardous industries. This is to say nothing of the mass of codified and statutory regulations for the improvement of working conditions for the safety of employment and the health of workmen.

Society has reacted to the tyranny of the machine system to maintain and promote citizenship and the welfare of the race. Factors retarding action have been the acquisitiveness of employers, the hesitation of the courts to interfere with the freedom of contract, and our traditional resistance to the usurpation of control by the State. Nevertheless interference by the State in the relations between employer and employee increases each year, and probably it is safe to predict that it will continue to increase if present indications are reasonably trustworthy as a basis for judgment.

Within this larger problem of the legal protection of wage earners falls that of the special protection of women which has developed steadily as the numbers; of women in industry . . .

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