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Bunting v. Oregon


Bunting v. Oregon was a significant step in establishing the basic elements of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. It affirmed the state's authority in enacting legislation that would protect workers in hazardous occupations. If the statute merely limited the number of hours of service in specific industries in an effort to oversee the health and general welfare of workers and did not set a minimum or maximum standard of wages, the state was within its appropriate level of power to enact the law. Laws regulating the maximum number of hours of labor did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

The establishment of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 relied upon cases such as this one to provide equitable power to both the employer and employee to negotiate wages and contracts, and to protect both parties from any unfair advantages. Laws regulating the hours of labor or service still come under review today, including discussions of overtime and compensation hours instead of overtime wages (Working Families Flexibility Act, 1997).

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1883 to 1917Bunting v. Oregon - Significance, Proper Exercise Of Police Power, Impact, Related Cases