Hot Topics in Worker Rights
The country’s leading consumer organizations have called upon the 111th Congress to address the needs of hard working Americans on Main Street and not just the interests of Wall Street by supporting the Employee Free Choice Act.
In 1908, NCL’s Florence Kelley and Josephine Goldmark mobilized and aided then-lawyer Louis Brandeis, arguing before the Supreme Court in defense of a state’s right to restrict a woman’s working hours. The case spawned the iconic “Brandeis Brief,” the first of the influential legal arguments based in societal evidence. Brandeis was triumphant; after Muller, states were permitted to regulate work hours, and future Brandeis Briefs would continue to change the course of American legal and social history.
During the summer of 2008, state labor officials in Iowa released the results of an investigation of the kosher meatpacking giant, Agriprocessors, in the small town of Postville, where authorities determined that the slaughterhouse illegally employed 57 minors, aged 14 to 17, in sweatshop-working conditions rife with health and safety violations.