Minimum wage law is the body of law which prohibits employers from hiring employees or workers for less than a given hourly, daily or monthly minimum wage. More than 90% of all countries have some kind of minimum wage legislation.
Until recently, minimum wage laws were usually very tightly focused. In the U.S. and Great Britain, for example, they applied only to women and children. Only after the Great Depression did many industrialized economies extend them to the general work force. Even then, the laws were often specific to certain industries. In France, for example, they were extensions of existing trade union legislation. In the U.S., industry specific wage restrictions were held to be unconstitutional. The country's Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 established a uniform national minimum wage for nonfarm, nonsupervisory workers. Coverage was later extended to most of the labor force.
The first moves to legislate wages did not set minimum wages, rather the laws created arbitration boards and councils to resolve labour conflicts before the recourse to strikes.
- In 1896, New Zealand established such arbitration boards with the Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act
- In 1899, the colony of Victoria, Australia established similar boards
- In 1907, the Harvester decision was handed down in Australia. It established a 'living wage' for a man, his wife and two children to "live in frugal comfort"
- In 1909, the Trade Boards Act was enacted in the United Kingdom, establishing four such boards
- In 1912, the state of Massachusetts, United States, set minimum wages for women and children
- In the United States, statutory minimum wages were first introduced nationally in 1938
- In the 1960s, minimum wage laws were introduced into Latin America as part of the Alliance for Progress; however these minimum wages were, and are, low
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... Parrish in 1937, upholding the constitutionality of minimum wage laws ... had sided with the four conservative justices in finding a similar state minimum wage in New York unconstitutional in June 1936 ... court, it created speculation that Roberts had voted in favor of the Washington's state minimum wage law because he had succumbed to political pressure ...
... Billing records of Preston Gates Ellis and Rouvelas Meeds, an international law firm employed by the CNMI, the government of the islands, show numerous contacts between the law firm ... Hall said his dealings with the law firm were with Lloyd Meeds, a partner with the firm, which at the time listed 36 attorneys on staff, not with Jack Abramoff, the firm's ... should handle their affairs and not have us impose labor laws on them." Hall also said "the whole thing was about.. ...
... Deal, the National Industrial Recovery Act, the Agricultural Adjustment Act, and New York State's minimum-wage law ... Children's Hospital, which held that minimum wage laws where a violation of the Fifth Amendment's due process clause and were thus unconstitutional, and upheld the ... conservative justice in using the Adkins decision to strike down a similar minimum wage law New York state enforced in Morehead v ...
... the indicators that might be used to establish an initial minimum wage rate are ones that minimize the loss of jobs while preserving international ... as measured by real and nominal gross domestic product inflation labor supply and demand wage levels, distribution and differentials employment terms productivity growth labor costs business ... on welfare benefits raising tax rates), and the possible knock-on effects to the wages of more experienced workers who might already be earning the new statutory minimum ...
... International Labour Organization insists "minimum wage fixing" for rights of labours and has adopted Minimum Wage-Fixing Machinery Convention, 1928, Minimum Wage Fixing ...
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