National Consumers League

The Fair Labor Standards Act turns 75

FLSA anniversary

Since FDR signed the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938 great strides have been made in protecting worker's rights. At that time, the act covered only about one fifth of the labor force. The FLSA banned oppressive child labor, set a minimum hourly wage of 25 cents, and defined a maximum work week of 44 hours. Economists believe that raising the minimum wage could help pull millions Americans out of poverty and could potentially generate over $60 billion in consumer spending. The federal minimum wage has not been increased since 2009, and the tipped minimum wage has not been raised since 1991. The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 proposes to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. One study found that this increase would push more than half of the working poor out of poverty.