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You are here -> HOME - RETROVILLE - 1949 - In the News - Minimum Wage Bill
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Welcome to Retroville! It's 1949!
In 1938, Senator Claude Pepper was instrumental in obtaining passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). It was the first legislation of its kind, establishing a 25-cent minimum wage at a time when most of the nation was earning less than 15-cents per hour. The original Act applied generally to employees engaged in interstate commerce or in the production of goods for interstate commerce.

During the 1940's, Senator Pepper proposed an increase in the minimum wage standard set by the FLSA. Industrialists, corporations, and many in the House opposed the bill spending large sums of money to lobby against it.

Against all the opposition, Harry Truman signed the 75-cent minimum wage into law in 1949.

Congress has amended the minimum wage and expanded the coverage of the FLSA throughout the years. In 1961, the first major amendment to the Act went into effect. It broadened the application of the minimum wage to include employees in large retail and service enterprises, as well as local transit, construction, and gasoline service station employees.

In 1966, the Act received another expansion to include State and local government employees, hospital workers, nursing home employees, school employees, laundry workers, drycleaning employees, and the employees at large hotels, motels, restaurants, and farms.

Further amendments expanded the minimum wage to just about every worker not previously covered including Federal, State, and local government employees, workers in retail and service trades, and domestic workers in private household employment.

Claude Pepper was instrumental in proposing or supporting all of the changes in this legislation from 1938 through 1971, when he co-sponsored his last bill on this issue.

The minimum wages for every year appears on the opening year page for each year in Retroville under What Things Cost.

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