In 1937 when Elsie Parrish, a maid for the West Coast Hotels in Washington State, sued for back wages based upon the state minimum wage, her employer argued for “liberty of contract.” With the economic challenges of the Depression as a factor and in a true reversal from previous trends, the Supreme Court abandoned strict ideas regarding “free market” protectionism at the expense of individual workers and ruled on the side of Parrish. This video explores the Court’s evolution to accepting President Roosevelt’s New Deal and considering fair labor practices.
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