District of Columbia Minimum Wage Law 40 Stat. 960 (1918)

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Congress, in its capacity as legislature for the district of columbia, enacted this minimum wage law for women and minors "to maintain them in good health and to protect their morals." Seeking to ground the act on the police power, Congress established a Minimum Wage Board with power to compel testimony and other evidence. The act authorized the board to investigate wage conditions of women and minors in the District of Columbia and to fix their minimum wages on the basis of adequacy "to supply the necessary cost of living." The act required the board to provide procedural due process; it also provided for appeals to courts of the District and made violations punishable as misdemeanors. The Supreme Court declared the act unconstitutional in Adkins v. Children's Hospital (1923) as a violation of substantive due process of law, but when the Court overruled Adkins in west coast hotel co. V. parrish (1937), Attorney General homer cummings declared that the law was in effect without any need for congressional reenactment.

David Gordon

(see also: Unconstitutionality.)

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District of Columbia Minimum Wage Law 40 Stat. 960 (1918)

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