Adkins v. Children’s Hospital (minimum wage)?

Hi, I have an essay to do with minimum wage and I noticed that Adkins v. Children’s Hospital is a landmark case concerning it

My thesis is

The minimum wage rate should be increased in America, because it would better the lives of its citizens.

For the essay, I have to find a court case that supports my thesis but I have trouble finding one.

My question is, how does the Adkins v. Children’s Hospital support my thesis but if it doesn't, can you introduce me to one that does?


1 Answer

  • 4 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    This applied to woman and children:

    In Adkins v. Children's Hospital (1923), the Supreme Court ruled that a minimum wage law for women violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment because it abridged a citizen's right to freely contract labor. In 1918, the District of Columbia passed a law setting a minimum wage for women and children laborers. It set up a board to investigate current wages, solicit input on ideal wage levels, and ultimately set minimum wages. The law was designed to protect women and children "from conditions detrimental to their health and morals, resulting from wages which are inadequate to maintain decent standards of living." The board eventually set minimum wages for various industries, e.g., a minimum $16.50 per week "in a place where food is served" and $15 per week "in a laundry." The Children's Hospital of the District of Columbia, which employed many women at wages below those established by the board, sued the board on the grounds that its regulations violated liberty of contract as defined in Lochner v. New York (1905). The case reached the Supreme Court on appeal in 1923.

    Adkins v. Children's Hospital thus reaffirmed the basic holding of Lochner: minimum wage laws violate a citizen's right to freely contract work. Adkins was effectively overturned by West Coast Hotel v. Parrish (1937), which held that states could impose minimum wage regulations on private employers without violating the Due Process Clause. As long as they are rational and procedurally fair, minimum wage laws are a legitimate exercise of the state's police power.


    The Supreme Court held that the federal minimum wage is constitutional and does not exceed the scope of the Commerce Clause in U.S. v. Darby Lumber Co., 312 U.S. 100 (1941).[

    Darby was charged with violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (the Act) by failing to comply with minimum wage and hour requirements for employees. He challenged the violation, claiming the regulation on intrastate wages and hours did not fall within the commerce powers of Congress.

    Darby, a lumber manufacturer challenged the constitutionality of the Act. Darby paid employees below the prescribed minimum wage and forced employees to work beyond the prescribed maximum weekly hours. The District Court found the Act was beyond the powers of Congress because it attempted to regulate hours and wages of employees in local manufacturing activities. The finding was appealed to the United States Supreme Court (Supreme Court).


    Supporters of increasing the minimum wage also contend that such a move would act as economic stimulus. When low-income households earn more money, they are likely to spend it, pouring more dollars into the economy,

    Those who oppose an increase to the minimum wage, however, argue that the effects on employment rates would be exactly the opposite of those supporters foresee. A higher minimum wage, they claim, would be too heavy a burden on employers, especially small business owners. And those employers, in turn, would be unable to hire as many people -- an undesirable result when unemployment continues to hover at about 8 percent.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.