Legions of Women Workers in U.S. Still Lack Minimum Wage and Labor Protections

It’s Women’s History Month—what a nice idea to recognize that women actually make history and aren’t just along to make dinner for the history-makers! In 1980, President Jimmy Carter declared seven days in March to be National Women's History Week, and President Ronald Reagan followed suit. In 1987, Congress expanded the commemoration on the calendar, giving women a whole month.  We have come so far. (...)

But Women’s History Month shouldn’t only tell happy stories because the fact is that the laws passed during the Great Depression and later both explicitly and indirectly left many women out. Regardless of the talk about merely “leaning in,” many women in low-wage jobs are stuck because of political deals.

Prejudice against working women created a legacy that still harms many. This is explored in more detail in my forthcoming book, Under The Bus: How Working Women Are Being Run Over. Although newspaper reporters and commentators often characterized working women as silly and shallow in the early 20th century, the sad reality was that many women desperately needed a job to keep their families from falling off the cliff.