Date of Award


Document Type

Senior Thesis - Open Access


In 2019, workers in the United States often find themselves unable to support a family on the wages produced by one job, or even several, jobs. The pattern has obtained for more than a century. In this paper, I examine historical efforts to address this plight and discuss how non­government organizations may collaborate to combat the problem. I focus on the work of the National Consumers' League, and its efforts during the first three decades of the twentieth century to promote protective labor legislation. Specifically, I examine the NCL's work in connection with the Adkins v. Children's Hospital case that reached the Supreme Court in 1923, and the League's campaign to secure the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938. I then explore the more recent Fight for $15, examine the ways in which the NCL is connected to this recent social movement, and look at how the movement might follow the examples of the organization to better effect a positive change to federal wage.