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Coppage v. Kansas


The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Coppage v. Kansas was later invalidated by reforms in the New Deal era and subsequent legislative reorganization of modern labor law by the National Labor Relations Act in 1935. As one of the final vestiges of unregulated employment practices during the industrial revolution, the Court majority held that Kansas inappropriately provided "penalty for coercing or influencing or making demands upon or requirements of employees, laborers." In essence, the Court ruled that employees could not belong to any organization which advocated on their behalf working conditions without approval of an employer. However, within two decades, political and social pressures were brought on by social disillusionment with corporate America after the economic trauma of the stock market crash in 1929, and the pervasive depression which followed. Reasoning that unregulated exploitation could no longer be justified by false economic prosperity, the government was forced to reconsider the meaning of appropriate employer/employee relations.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1883 to 1917Coppage v. Kansas - Significance, Employers' Rights Upheld, Dissent Over "freedom Of Contract", Impact, Yellow-dog Contracts