American Workers & the Importance of Labor Day

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Labor Day is a federal holiday that was created to celebrate workers and their achievements. During the height of the Industrial Revolution, employees worked twelve hours a day, seven days per week, with no breaks and in unsafe working conditions. Children as young as five years old worked alongside adults in factories, mines, and mills while earning only a fraction of the adults’ wages.

In the late 1800s, workers began striking against these poor working conditions in order to negotiate better hours and higher pay. On September 5, 1882, over ten thousand Americans skipped work to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City. This event marked the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history!

The idea of a “workingmen’s holiday” spread across the country to other industrial centers. Many states passed legislation to recognize the workingmen’s holiday on the first Monday in September. On June 28, 1984, President Grover Cleveland and the U.S. Congress signed Labor Day into law, officially making it a national holiday.

Is Labor Day a “Paid Holiday” in Florida?

Labor Day is one of the most celebrated holidays in the United States. Many employers observe this holiday by giving their workers a day off to spend with friends and family. However, there are no federal or Florida laws requiring companies to give employees a day off on Labor Day (or any other federal holiday). Also, while employers can choose to give their workers a day off, they are not required to provide “holiday pay” for Labor Day. Interestingly, studies show that people who work for large organizations are more likely to work on Labor Day than people who work for small businesses.

As of July 2019, there are over 160 million people in the labor force in the United States. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which was enacted in 1938 to protect workers against certain unfair pay practices and work regulations, does not require employers to pay employees for time they did not work. However, even though there are no legal requirements, many companies give their employees a paid day off on Labor Day.

For those employees that work on Labor Day, some employers may elect to pay them at an overtime or holiday pay rate. It is at the employers’ discretion whether or not to give employees Labor Day off, and whether or not to pay workers who do work on Labor Day at a higher pay rate.

It is important to remember that even though there are no laws specifically pertaining to Labor Day, employers must still follow antidiscrimination laws when deciding which employees to give the day off and/or pay at a higher rate.

Please contact USA Employment Lawyers at (800) 483-0998 if you are experiencing workplace discrimination, unpaid overtime, or other illegal wage practices. Our experienced employment lawyers can help!

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