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A Class by HerselfProtective Laws for Women Workers, 1890s-1990s$
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Nancy Woloch

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691002590

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691002590.001.0001

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Protection in Ascent, 1908–23

Protection in Ascent, 1908–23

(p.85) 4 Protection in Ascent, 1908–23
A Class by Herself

Nancy Woloch

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines Muller's aftermath in legal history through the landmark case of Adkins v. Children's Hospital (1923). In Oregon, an employer (Children's Hospital) sought an injunction against the DC Minimum Wage Board to restrain it from imposing the minimum wage of $16.50 per week for women workers in hotels, hospitals, restaurants, clubs, and apartment houses. The District of Columbia Supreme Court upheld the law in June 1920, as did the DC Court of Appeals in June 1921. However, at the second hearing in November 1922, the DC Court of Appeals upset the law. In 1923, when Adkins v. Children's Hospital reached the Supreme Court, defenders of the minimum wage faced a less receptive roster of justices than they had in 1917; recent appointments made in wartime and soon after had produced a more conservative court. As such, the Supreme Court failed to sustain the District of Columbia minimum wage law by a 5–3 decision.

Keywords:   Children's Hospital, DC Minimum Wage Board, minimum wage, women workers, District of Columbia, Supreme Court, DC Court of Appeals, conservative court, minimum wage law

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