A Timeline of American Employee Rights

Library of Congress
5 of 11

Child Labor Laws and Minimum Wage

The surge of textile mills during the industrial revolution in the late 1700s placed new demands on a limited resource: cheap labor. A number of organizations existed in the early 20th century to curb the use of child workers, but there was no federal law put into place until 1938. The Fair Labor Standards Act set a minimum wage, required employers to pay overtime, and made it illegal to employ children under the age of 14.