The Supreme Court upholds a minimum wage law for women

(143 words)

Historical Context Note

Before the 1937 ruling West Coast Hotel vs. Parrish that upheld a minimum wage for women, the Supreme Court had held the position that the state should not interfere in the liberty of contract between employer and employee. Moreover, it was argued that women, having gained the vote, had achieved a degree of equality that meant they didn't need any special protection under the law, despite women often having little choice other than to accept low paid jobs. Previous rulings had favoured employers, arguing that any state upholding of a minimum wage for women would be unconstitutional. However, when chambermaid Elsie Parrish sued the hotel where she worked for the difference between what she was paid and the state minimum wage, …

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  1. Feminism &Women Studies