|Start Date||End Date||Headline||Text||Media|
|Then Now Next||A History of The United States Department of Labor||http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/mission-cent-logo.jpg|
Learn more about us at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Labor
|6/27/1884||3/4/1921||Bureau of Labor Statistics Begins Collecting Employment Data|
Before there was a Labor Department, there was The Bureau of Labor Statistics. Originally part of the Department of Interior, the Bureau publishes its First Annual Report in 1886 containing a study on industrial depressions. BLS is moved to the Labor Department when the department is established in 1913.
BLS was initially housed in The Kellogg Building at 1416 F St. NW in Washington, D.C.
|3/4/1913||President Taft Creates Labor Department|
After much opposition, President William Howard Taft signs the Organic Act creating the U.S. Department of Labor. Signed during Taft's last hours in office, it is followed shortly thereafter by President Woodrow Wilson's appointment of William B. Wilson (no relation) as the first secretary of labor.
William Taft joins Woodrow Wilson on his inauguration day. You can
read about the Organic Act here:
http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/history/organact.htm — Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
|3/6/1913||The First Secretary|
William B. Wilson (April 2, 1862-May 25, 1934) comes to the U.S. at age 8. A year later, he works as a “breaker boy” in the coal mines. By age 14, he is secretary of his local union. He helps found the United Mine Workers and serves as secretary-treasurer. He represents Pennsylvania’s 15th District in the U.S. Congress. A champion of the eight-hour workday and jobs for women and minorities, he plays a major role in our World War I victory by mobilizing an effective workforce for defense production.
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/2-wilson.jpg||William B. Wilson — U.S. Department of Labor|
|1/22/1915||Meeting the Job Needs of Immigrants|
As a result of the Immigration Act, the U.S. Employment Service begins functioning as a nonstatutory general placement agency for immigrants.
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/ellis-island-s_Archives.jpg||Immigrants arriving in New York Harbor — National Archives|
|5/1/1915||The Monthly Labor Review Is First Published|
Royal Meeker, commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, launches the Monthly Labor Review. It includes information about the labor force, the economy, employment, inflation, productivity, occupational injuries and illnesses, and wages.
Browsable copy of May 1915 edition of the "Monthly Labor Review." http://bit.ly/1Aiwg6I
|9/17/1916||Establishing Benefits for Injured and Sick Workers|
The Federal Compensation Act provides benefits to workers who are injured or contract illnesses in the workplace. The act establishes the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs.
15 year-old Estelle Poiriere, an employee of Doffer Granite No. 1 mill in Fall River, Massachusetts, shows the laceration of her index and middle finger caused when her hand became caught in a card machine. To learn more about FECA today, go to http://www.dol.gov/compliance/laws/comp-feca.htm
|3/6/1917||Labor Department Streamlines War Production|
The U.S. declares war on Germany and its allies on April 6. Congress creates the War Labor Administration to organize wartime production, giving the Labor Department an important role in the subsequent victory.
Artist & model pose with a Department of Labor wartime poster
|10/19/1919||International Labor Comes to the Capital|
Even though the U.S. is not a member,the International Labour Organization holds its first meeting in Washington, D.C. It is chaired by Secretary of Labor William B. Wilson.
Delegates to the first meeting of the International Labour Organization
|6/5/1920||Women Receive a Voice in the Workplace Through the Women's Bureau|
The Women’s Bureau is created to develop standards and polices ensuring the effective employment of women and promoting the welfare of wage-earning women. Mary Anderson is the bureau's first director, serving until 1944.
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/anderson_1942.jpg||Mary Anderson, the first director of the Women's Bureau|
James John Davis (Oct. 27, 1873-Nov. 22, 1947) is born in Wales and immigrates to Pennsylvania eight years later. He takes up work as an apprentice in a steel mill and earns the nickname "Puddler Jim,” which follows him throughout his life. He is one of only three Cabinet members in history to hold the same post under three consecutive presidents. As secretary of labor, Davis supports changing immigration quotas, establishes the U.S. Border Patrol and lobbies steel mills to abandon the 12-hour workday. He resigns as secretary of labor to serve as a U.S. senator representing Pennsylvania. It is in the Senate that he co-sponsors the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires that workers be paid fair wages on public works projects.
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/11-davis.jpg||James J. Davis|
|5/20/1926||Railway Labor Act Creates National Mediation Board|
Congress approves The Railway Labor Act to mend the tension between
rail laborers and management. Administered by the National Mediation Board, an
independent federal agency, the success of the RLA led to its expansion in 1936
to cover airline workers.
A photograph of the National Mediation Board, responsible for administrating the "Railway Labor Act." To learn more, go to: http://railwaylaboract.com/.
|3/4/1927||Fair Pay for Longshore and Harbor Workers|
The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act gives
longshore and harbor workers compensation equal to that of state workers. It also compensates for lost wages, medical benefits, and rehabilitation services to longshore, harbor and other maritime workers who are injured during their employment or who contract an occupational disease related to employment.
Emblem of the International Longshoremen's Association c. 1901 More information about the Act may be found at: http://www.dol.gov/compliance/laws/comp-lhwca.htm
|7/7/1930||BLS Begins Collecting Unemployment Data|
When the Great Depression hits, the Bureau of Labor
Statistics is only collecting information on employment. In 1930, Congress
authorizes BLS to collect unemployment data - just as unemployment is about to
hit an all-time high.
Isador Lubin, Chief of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, presents labor statistics to the Special Senate Committee on Employment, 1937. Visit BLS at http://www.bls.gov.
|12/9/1930||3/4/1933||Father of the Five-Day Workweek|
William N. Doak (Dec. 12, 1882-Oct. 23, 1933) stays close to
home. Born in Roanoke,
Va., he attends the state’s public
and business schools. As a railway worker, he rises to become vice president of
the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen. Doak encourages passage of the
Davis-Bacon Act and fights to regulate immigration. As secretary of labor under
President Herbert Hoover, he institutes a five-day workweek at the Labor Department,
leading the way for progressive reform throughout all labor sectors.
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/15-doak.jpg||William N. Doak|
|3/4/1933||6/30/1945||The Trail Blazer|
Frances Perkins is the first woman appointed to the Cabinet. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College and a witness to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, Perkins goes on to lead the battle against the Great Depression as secretary of labor. In office for 12 years (longer than any other secretary of labor), Perkins is the principal architect of the Social Security Act of 1935, maximum hour laws and a federal minimum wage. She also oversees the creation of regulations on child labor and unemployment insurance.
|3/31/1933||New Deal Agencies Offer Employment During Depression|
President Roosevelt and Congress create independent agencies
like the Civilian Conservation Corps as part of the New Deal to help reduce
high unemployment and bring an end to the Depression.
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/18-ccc-pgc-md.jpg||CCC men at work in Prince George's County, Maryland|
|6/6/1933||Wagner-Peyser Act Brings Workers, Employers Together|
Created with unemployed workers in mind, the Wagner-Peyser
Act establishes the U.S. Employment Service, which creates a forum where
workers and employers can exchange information.
Congressman Theodore Peyser, Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins and Senator Robert Wagner look on as President Franklin D Roosevelt signs the Wagner-Peyser Act into law. You can read the Act in its entirety at http://www.doleta.gov/programs/w-pact_amended98.cfm
|6/19/1934||U.S. Joins International Labour Organization|
While not a member of the League of Nations, Congress authorizes the U.S. to join the International Labour Organization and take part in efforts to improve working conditions worldwide.
This painting, created in the same year the the U.S. joins the ILO, reflects an international desire to secure harmony, order and control for all workers.
|6/5/1935||National Labor Relations Act Codifies Worker Protections|
The National Labor Relations Act defines unfair labor practices and protects workers' rights to strike and collectively bargain. The National Labor Relations Board is created to enforce the new law.
Members voting at the NLRB. Read what President Roosevelt had to say about the act here: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=14893
|8/14/1935||Social Security Act Creates Safety Net for Most Vulnerable|
The Social Security Act of 1935 begins payment of benefits to the elderly, disabled and unemployed. Social Security benefits are supported through payroll taxes. The Social Security Administration began life as the Social Security Board. The SSB was an entirely new entity, with no staff, no facilities and no budget. The initial personnel were donated from existing agencies. Frances Perkins offered one of her Assistant Secretaries, Arthur Altmeyer, to be an initial Board member. Perkins even gave her high-backed red-leather executive chair to Altmeyer since the SSB had no furniture.
Ida May Fuller is seen here receiving her first increased benefit check from the SSA. Visit the Social Security Administration online to learn more: http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/ssact/ssact-toc.htm
Apprenticeship Act Allows Labor Department to Oversee On-the-Job Training
Before the National Apprenticeship Act is passed, on-the-job training is unregulated. The Labor Department is put in charge of creating regulations protecting the health, safety and welfare of workers. The new law also encourages the use of contracts when hiring individuals to work as apprentices.
Peter J. Carey & Sons printing company in New York City depended on apprentices to run their business. c.1935. You can read the original National Apprenticeship Act here: http://www.doleta.gov/oa/Original_fitzact_code.cfm
|6/15/1938||Fair Labor Standards Act Codifies 40-Hour Workweek|
The Fair Labor Standards Act standardizes the 40-hour workweek and codifies paid overtime, minimum wage and child labor laws. It also creates the Wage and Hour Division to enforce the law.
To read what FDR had to say in his weekly Fireside Chat about the Fair Labor Standards Act, go to: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=15662&st=fair+labor+standards+act&st1=
|6/15/1939||Dictionary of Occupational Titles Is First Published|
The Dictionary of Occupational Titles, which defines the tasks and skills needed for specific jobs, is created as a resource for those looking to switch careers or who are unemployed and seeking a career change.
Discontinued in the early 1990s, the Dictionary of Occupational Titles is now available exclusively online as O*net: http://www.onetonline.org/
|12/7/1941||9/2/1945||Mobilizing for War, Helping Veterans|
Although the Department does not administer any special war labor agencies like it did in WWI, its contributions are significant. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the research arm of the Office of Price Administration, War Labor Board and the Armed Forces. The Division of Labor Standards and Women's Bureau ensure that labor standards are maintained despite labor shortages and soaring production demands. The Serviceman’s Readjustment Act of June 22, 1944, popularly known as the G.I. Bill of Rights, provides $20 weekly unemployment allowance in addition to counseling, placement services, education and on-the-job training to nearly 10 million veterans between September 1944 and August 1949.
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/wwii.jpg||A WWII veteran poses next to the G.I. Bill of Rights|
|7/1/1945||6/10/1948||The Peace Maker|
Lewis Schwellenbach runs for governor of Washington
state and serves as a U.S.
senator and a federal district judge before President Truman selects him as
secretary of labor. As a senator, Schwellenbach argues for American
neutrality in future wars—due in part to his experience serving in the
infantry during World War I. As labor secretary, he focuses on the rights of
individuals with disabilities and veterans, and is an opponent of
anti-immigrant legislation. Schwellenbach dies in office at the age of 53.
|10/10/1947||Combatting Child Labor|
President Truman creates the Bureau of International Labor
Affairs to foster U.S.
international relations efforts. The office works to end child labor abroad.
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/27-african-child-miners.jpg||Young African miners, c. 1941|
|8/13/1948||1/20/1953||A Man of Action|
Maurice Tobin (May 22, 1901-July 19, 1953), starts his career as the youngest-ever elected state representative and, more than a decade later, defeats four-term Boston Mayor James Curley. He becomes governor of Massachusetts before his appointment as secretary of labor. Tobin supports the Fair Employment Practices Bill, which prohibits discrimination based on race, religion or national origin. Under Tobin, the department’s staff and budget are fortified and government labor functions are consolidated. Under the Marshall Plan, he mobilizes American unions in rebuilding Europe; during the Korean War, he is responsible for wartime labor supply. Tobin also creates the Defense Manpower Administration.
Best known for being the odd man out on President Eisenhower’s “Nine Millionaires and a Plumber” Cabinet, Martin Durkin (March 18, 1894–Nov. 13, 1955) was, literally, a plumber’s apprentice who rose to become president of his union. As secretary of labor, Durkin tries to eliminate loyalty oath requirements listed in the Taft-Hartley Act but fails. He resigns after less than a year in office and is the shortest-serving secretary in the department’s history. With the help of former Secretary Frances Perkins, he goes on to serve as director of labor for the state of Illinois.
|8/13/1953||Fighting Bias in Government Contracts|
President Eisenhower creates the Committee on Government Contracts during Secretary Martin Durkin’s nine-month period in office. The Committee looks into complaints of discrimination in government contracts and makes recommendations for ensuring that equal employment opportunity requirements in contracts are being met. Fourteen federal agencies, including the Labor Department, provide representatives to the committee.
Genevieve Dixon worked as a mathematical "computer" for a Buffalo, N.Y. aircraft company.
|10/9/1953||1/20/1961||A Social Conscience|
Nicknamed “the social conscience of the Republican Party,” James Paul Mitchell (Nov. 12, 1900–Oct. 19, 1964), believes in labor-management cooperation, fighting against employment discrimination and bringing attention to the plight of migrant workers. He lays the foundation for the Landrum-Griffin Act, which regulates labor reporting and disclosures. In 1958, President Eisenhower appoints Mitchell to the Emergency Manpower Agency, a secret group, established to serve in the event of a national emergency that comes to be known as the “Eisenhower Ten.”
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/31-mitchell.jpg||James P. Mitchell|
|3/4/1954||First African-American Serves As Assistant Secretary of Labor|
In his own words, J. Earnest Wilkins considered his
nomination to be assistant secretary of labor “an honor to his race.” Appointed
by President Eisenhower on March 12, 1954, he becomes the second African-American
in history to reach as high a post in the government’s executive branch.
|9/14/1959||Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act|
Birthed from the worry that union leadership and funding were linked to organized crime, the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act becomes an important piece of federal law meant to prevent corruption and foster democracy within unions. The law is enforced by the department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Longshoremen on their lunch break c. 1945. To read the LMRDA in its entirety, go to: http://www.dol.gov/compliance/laws/comp-lmrda.htm
The son of immigrants, Arthur J. Goldberg (Aug. 8, 1908–Jan. 19, 1990) supervises an espionage group during World War II. He serves as general counsel for the United Steelworkers of America and is the chief legal counsel for the AFL-CIO merger in 1955. As secretary of labor, he mentors a young Daniel Patrick Moynihan, advocates for civil rights and raises the minimum wage. Believing that government has a responsibility to help solve labor disputes that threaten the economy, he successfully intervenes in a 1962 steelworkers strike. Later, as a Supreme Court justice, he brings the “silent” Ninth Amendment back into relevance and argues against the constitutionality of corporal punishment. He reluctantly resigns from the Supreme Court in 1965 to serve as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/Negotiator.jpg||Arthur J. Goldberg talks with workers|
|3/15/1962||Job Training Takes Hold|
The Manpower Development and Training Act creates the first major federal job training program. It is focused on training and retraining individuals who lose jobs due to automation and technology. Less than a year after the law is passed, the Manpower Administration is created within the labor department. The new agency is tasked with overseeing all employment and training programs at the department.
Monique Nugent (left), was an instructor at a training salon at Saginaw Technical Institute. To get an overview of what the Manpower Administration did, and how its heir, the Employment and Training Administration, is carrying on its mission, read http://www.preview.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/369.html
|9/25/1962||1/20/1969||A Builder of the Great Society|
W. Willard Wirtz (March 14, 1912-April 24, 2010) graduates
from Harvard Law School
and is hired to teach by future Supreme Court Justice Wiley B. Rutledge. While at Northwestern University, he instructs another future Supreme Court justice: John Paul Stevens. Wirtz rises in the political ranks writing
campaign speeches and is appointed undersecretary
of labor in 1961. As secretary of labor, Wirtz is a proponent of collective
bargaining. He champions department programs aimed at the young,
under-educated, long-term unemployed and older workers. In
conjunction with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he implements antidiscrimination responsibilities for the department.
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/36-wirtz.jpg||W. Willard Wirtz|
|2/19/1963||Preparing Workers for the High-Tech Era|
To meet the need for education and training programs that
would prepare people for burgeoning high-tech industries, the Labor Department
establishes the Manpower Administration.
Read about the history and implications of the Act here: http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/history/mono-mdtatext.htm
|6/10/1963||Equal Pay for Equal Work|
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 guarantees that men and woman be
given equal pay for equal work. It also ensures that employers cannot reduce
the wages of either sex to equalize pay.
Watch this vintage video made by the Department of Labor at: http://youtu.be/n00xZ_mKQgk
|7/2/1964||Banning Discrimination in the Workplace|
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The act was initiated under President John F. Kennedy. Following his assassination, President Lyndon B. Johnson saw it through to law.
Martin Luther King, Jr. congratulates President Johnson after signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law. Listen to President Johnson's remarks on the Civil Rights Act by clicking here: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=26361
|8/20/1964||Launching the Job Corps|
President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the the Economic Opportunity Act which, in part, creates the Job Corps. A
part of Johnson's "Great Society," the act was designed to tackle the
problems of unemployment and provide opportunities for citizens living in
poverty to compete in the growing economy.
1969 Job Corp poster featuring Olympic champion and Job Corp graduate George Foreman. Read what President Johnson has to say about the Economic Opportunity Act here: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=26452
|9/24/1965||Ensuring Equal Employment Opportunities in Federal Contracting|
Within the Labor Department, the Office of Federal Contract
Compliance Programs is established by Executive Order 11246, signed
by President Johnson. OFFCP holds federal contractors to a higher obligation
for affirmative action. E.O. 11246 prohibits federal contractors and
subcontractors and federally assisted construction contractors and subcontractors
from employment decisions that discriminate based on race, sex, color, religion
or national origin.
Official Web site of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance: http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/. You can read Executive Order 11246 here: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/11246.html
|10/22/1965||Expanding Wage Protections: The Service Contract Act|
President Johnson signs the 1965 McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act to protect employees performing work for contractors and subcontractors. This act establishes standards for prevailing compensation and safety and health protection, and is applied to every contract entered into by the United States and the District of Columbia. Provisions are largely enforced by the department’s Wage and Hour Division and its Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
A maid preparing dinner c.1964. Read President Johnson's signing remarks at: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=27332
|12/15/1967||Taking Aim at Age Discrimination|
Life expectancy increased significantly in the 1900s, and
many new pieces of legislation for equal opportunity within the American
workforce are passed. Attempts to include age as a factor by which employers
cannot discriminate in law begins with the Employment Opportunity Act of 1962
and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The lack of data on age discrimination
prompts Secretary of Labor Wirtz to commission the report “The Older American
Worker: Age Discrimination in Employment.” Soon after its publication, in
December 1967, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act is signed into law by
LBJ signs the Age Discrimination in Employment Act into law. You can find President Johnson's remarks on this Act here: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=28614&st=age+discrimination&st1=
|1/22/1969||7/1/1970||The Teacher and Strategist|
George Pratt Shultz (b. Dec. 13, 1920) is a graduate of Princeton University,
World War II Marine Corps captain, and professor who teaches
at both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago.
In 1969, President Nixon appoints Schultz as secretary of labor. During his brief
tenure, Schultz proposes the Manpower Training Bill of 1969
and uses groundbreaking computer technology to match unemployed workers with
job opportunities. Through the “Philadelphia Plan,” he provides leadership in
equal opportunity hiring. Schultz goes on to serve as director of the Office of
Management and Budget, secretary of the treasury, and President Reagan’s secretary
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/44-schultz.jpg||George P. Schultz|
native James D. Hodgson (b. Dec. 3, 1915) serves in the Navy as an officer
during World War II and goes on to become vice president for industrial
relations at Lockheed Corp. As secretary of labor, Hodgson is instrumental in
the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which President Nixon
signs into law in December 1970. Hodgson expands the department’s regulatory
responsibilities and, to aid Vietnam-era veterans, leads an expansion of
employment and training programs under the Emergency Employment Act of 1971.
After leaving his post as secretary of labor, he is named as U.S. ambassador to Japan.
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/45-hodgson.jpg||James D. Hodgson|
|12/29/1970||A New Milestone: Occupational Safety and Health Act|
President Richard M. Nixon signs into law the Occupational
Safety and Health Act. The act establishes the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration, which ensures workers' right to a safe and healthful workplace.
Nixon signs OSHA into law. Check out what OSHA's accomplished since its inception here: http://www.osha.gov/osha40/timeline.html
Peter J. Brennan (May 24, 1918-Oct. 2, 1996) grows up in the
then-heavily Irish "Hell's Kitchen" neighborhood of New York. He attends a local college and
takes a painter's apprenticeship that leads to union work. His labor career is
interrupted by a stint in the Navy during World War II. Brennan goes on to
climb the ladder at several trade councils, including the New York AFL-CIO, and is tapped as secretary of labor by President Nixon because he knows "the people."
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/47-brennan.jpg||Peter J. Brennan|
|9/2/1974||Setting the Standard for Pensions and Benefits|
President Gerald Ford signs the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act into law on Labor Day in 1974. ERISA sets the minimum standards
for retirement, health and other welfare benefits, as enforced by the Employee
Benefits Security Administration.
President Ford's remarks on signing this legislation may be found at: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=4678#axzz1yvi7SM1A. See what's in store for your retirement at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/
|3/17/1975||1/31/1976||A Man of Ideas|
A labor economist and a Harvard University professor, John T. Dunlop’s (July 5, 1914-Oct. 2, 2003) career is tied to Washington, D.C., where he advises every president from Franklin Roosevelt to Bill Clinton. He works as an economic counselor and chairs both the National Commission on Productivity and the Construction Industry Stabilization Committee. He serves as secretary of labor for a little more than a year, resigning the office in protest of an executive branch decision to limit union demonstrations. He earns a reputation for his ability to create measurable results from big ideas.
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/49-dunlop.jpg||John T. Dunlop|
|11/12/1975||From Manpower to Employment and Training |
The Employment and Training Administration is created by
President Gerald Ford to replace the Manpower Administration. The ETA
administers job training programs and oversees the Unemployment Insurance benefits
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/50-eta.jpg||Laid-off worker speaks at a 1975 labor meeting|
Born to a working class family in Hardwick, Ga., William J. Usery Jr. (b. Dec. 21, 1923) cites his mother’s instruction to follow the Golden Rule as the driving force behind his desire to improve labor conditions. A World War II veteran, his career grows through his involvement in the International Association of Machinists. He eventually becomes the union representative on the president’s Missile Sites Labor Commission. Appointed as assistant secretary of labor for labor-management relations by President Nixon, Usery is instrumental as a mediator. He also helps draft and implement key collective bargaining legislation. After a short tenure at the AFL-CIO, Usery briefly serves as secretary of labor during the final months of the Ford Administration. He then returns to the private sector, mediating a number of notable labor disputes.
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/51-Usery.jpg||William J. Usery|
|1/27/1977||1/20/1981||A Self-Made Secretary|
Ray Marshall (b. Aug. 22, 1928) grows up in Louisiana in extreme poverty, opting to go to an orphanage with his siblings rather than to be separated through adoption. His early experiences direct his interests toward fair labor practices and he earns a doctorate in economics from the University of California, Berkeley. He joins the faculty of the University of Texas, Austin, in 1962. He serves as secretary of labor for the Carter administration, oversees the creation of the Mine Safety and Health Administration and the Office of Civil Rights. Marshall authors 30 books, co-founds the Economic Policy Institute and serves as an advisor to numerous boards, commissions and institutes.
|11/9/1977||A Vital Mission: Mine Safety and Health Administration|
The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act moves oversight and enforcement of mines from the Department of the Interior to the Labor Department. The new Mine
Safety and Health Administration is tasked with enforcing employment standards for miners
nationwide. The act mandates annual inspections for mines and requires that all underground mines establish rescue teams.
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/Miners.jpg||MSHA's official Web site: http://www.msha.gov|
|2/4/1981||3/15/1985||A New Calling|
Although Raymond J. Donovan (b. Aug. 31, 1930) once intended to enter the seminary, it is his employment in the skilled trades that gives rise to his career in labor. He works his way up through the Schiavone Construction Co., eventually becoming executive vice president. Picked by President Ronald Reagan to serve as secretary of labor, Donovan is instrumental in creating the agency’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, and implementing the Migrant and Seasonal Worker Protection Act as well as the Retirement Equity Act.
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/54-donovan.jpg||Raymond J. Donovan|
|12/10/1981||Serving Veterans as They Transition to New Careers|
The Veterans’ Employment and Training Service is established
by Secretary of Labor Raymond J. Donovan. VETS serves veterans nationwide by
providing job training and other employment services.
Veterans' Employment and Training Services official Web site: http://www.dol.gov/vets/
|1/14/1983||Ensuring Rights for Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Workers|
The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act
sets employment standards for farmworkers. The act replaces the Farm Labor
Contractor Registration Act.
A Mexican migrant worker harvests melons in Fresno, CA. President Reagan's comments on signing this Act follow: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=41287
|8/23/1984||8/29/1984||Retirement Equity Act|
The Retirement Equity Act is signed into law on Aug. 23,
1984. It amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by addressing women’s
rights not included in the original 1974 version of ERISA ‒ including
survivorship benefits, vesting and domestic relations orders.
ERA protestors in front of the White House c.1983. President Reagan explains the implications of the Retirement Equity Act here: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=40284#axzz20FQwfwkx
William E. Brock (b. Nov. 23, 1930) is born and raised in Chattanooga, Tenn. He serves in the Navy before going to work for his family's well-known candy business. He wins a seat in Congress in 1962 and represents his home state over four terms. He goes on to win a Senate seat, serving from 1971-77. After leaving the Senate, Brock becomes the Republican National Committee chair and then the U.S. trade representative. During his tenure as secretary of labor under President Reagan, Brock introduces the "Workforce 2000" initiative to address the shortage of skilled laborers. He also advocates for affirmative action, parental leave, increased health and safety measures, and increased opportunities for Vietnam-era veterans.
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/58-Brock.jpg||William E. Brock|
|12/14/1987||1/20/1986||Keeper of the Flame|
Ann Dore (née McLaughlin) Korologos (b. Nov. 16,
1941) serves as secretary of labor during the final two years of the Reagan administration.
Before heading the Labor Department, McLaughlin holds public relations positions
at the Environmental Protection Agency and the Treasury Department. Being
only the second female secretary of labor, McLaughlin is “aware of the challenges” facing her. She devotes her tenure to
addressing work-life balance issues as well as promoting economic growth as a
means of improving working conditions.
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/59-mclaughlin.jpg||Ann Dore (née McLaughlin) Korologos|
|6/27/1988||Rules for Employee Polygraph Tests|
The Employee Polygraph Protection Act, signed on June 27,
1988, prevents employers who are engaged in interstate commerce from using
polygraph tests for workers either before or during employment.
Enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, the secretary is authorized to assess
civil money penalties up to $10,000 for employers in violation.
Drawing of polygraph results. Learn more about the EPPA here: http://www.dol.gov/whd/polygraph/
|8/4/1988||Fair Notice for Mass Layoffs|
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act,
signed on Aug. 4, 1988, protects workers by giving them advance notice of plant
closings or mass layoffs by 60 days. The WARN Act is enforced by the Employment
and Training Administration.
Web sites like http://www.careeronestop.org/ provide up-to-date information and options to workers in transition. Read more about the WARN Act here: http://www.dol.gov/compliance/laws/comp-warn.htm
|1/25/1989||11/23/1990||Most Likely to Succeed|
Elizabeth Hanford Dole (b. July 29, 1936) is voted "Most Likely to Succeed" by her classmates at Duke University. With degrees from Harvard University’s School of Education and Oxford University, and only one of only 24 women in her Harvard Law class of 550, Dole learns the importance of a level playing field. She is appointed as the first female secretary of transportation in 1983, and rebuilds the nation's air travel workforce after the 1981 air traffic controller strike. As secretary of labor, she negotiates an increase in the minimum wage and initiates efforts to help minorities break through the glass ceiling. Dole leaves the department to become president of the American Red Cross.
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/63-dole.jpg||Elizabeth Hanford Dole|
|7/26/1990||Making a Commitment to Americans with Disabilities|
The Americans with Disabilities Act, a civil rights measure,
is passed to prohibit discriminatory practices on the basis of a disability. It sets guidelines for accessibility, opening
premises previously unavailable to persons of diverse backgrounds, with the
concept of reasonable accommodation. Disability, as the ADA defines it, includes visual, auditory and
mobility deficits as well as mental, emotional and physical well-being.
Watch the signing ceremony for the Americans with Disabilities Act. Read the Act in its entirety here: http://www.ada.gov/pubs/ada.htm
|2/7/1991||1/20/1993||Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling|
Once a teacher of English, history and economics, Lynn
Morley Martin starts her political career serving on the Winnebago, Ill., school board in
1972. She soon finds herself in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she
earns the nickname “the Axe” for her tight enforcement of budgetary
guidelines. She is the first woman elected to a congressional leadership post:
vice chair of the House Republican Conference. A tireless advocate for women’s
and social issues, Martin is tapped by George H.W. Bush to serve as secretary
of labor in 1991. During her time at the department, she establishes the Glass
Ceiling Commission to assist women and minorities, and initiates a model
workplace program to provide leadership guidance for U.S. employers.
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/64-martin.jpg||Lynn Morley Martin|
|11/21/1991||Glass Ceiling Commission Created by Civil Rights Act of 1991|
The Glass Ceiling Commission is created in 1991 to investigate the “artificial barriers” that prevent qualified women and minorities from moving into more senior positions. The commission works to identify and quantify bias in order to propose solutions for its eventual eradication.
An overview of the Glass Ceiling Commission may be found here: http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/glassceiling/
Robert Reich amasses an impressive academic pedigree, graduating summa cum laude from Dartmouth, winning a Rhodes Scholarship and earing a J.D. from Yale. He assists the U.S. Solicitor General, works for the Carter Administration at the Federal Trade Commission and teaches at Harvard for over a decade. In 1993, his fellow Oxford classmate, Bill Clinton, taps Reich to be secretary of labor. Under Reich, the minimum wage is increased, the School-to-Work Opportunities Act passes, the “No Sweat” program begins, and the Family Medical Leave Act is signed into law. The author of over a dozen books, Reich stays active in politics and the economy, teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, working as a contributor to American Public Radio and CNBC, and using his blog and other social media to voice his opinions.
|2/5/1993||Protecting Jobs During Family and Medical Leave|
The Family and Medical Leave Act is best known
for its provision of parental leave for the birth of a child. It also guarantees that a job will be there upon return, for new
foster parents, caretakers of injured or ill relatives, workers with personal
health problems, and others.
Watch President Clinton's remarks at the signing of the Family and Medical Leave Act. You can read more about the Act here: http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/
|9/12/1996||Ending Sweatshops in the Garment Industry|
The “No Sweat” initiative, a multifaceted movement to end sweatshops in the garment industry, is begun. Sweeps of manufacturing centers are conducted to enforce the law, and publications are produced identifying retailers who had promised to go sweatshop-free to help educate consumers.
Watch Wage and Hour explain the "No Sweat" initiative here: http://youtu.be/2QUtN6w1Mng
|5/1/1997||1/20/2001||A Public Servant for All Seasons|
Alexis Herman is the youngest person to ever serve as director of the Department’s Women’s Bureau, appointed by Jimmy Carter when she is only 29. She starts her own consulting firm and later works her way up through the Democratic National Committee, eventually becoming vice chair. Herman serves the Clinton Administration as deputy director of the Presidential Transition Office and as the head of the White House Office of Public Liaison. As secretary of labor, Herman earns accolades for her handling of the UPS strike. She oversees the creation of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), reorganization of federal employment and training programs under the Workforce Investment Act, and the adoption of ILO’s Convention 182, banning abusive child labor.
|8/7/1998||Keeping America Earning|
The Workforce Investment Act (August 7, 1998) is enacted during President Clinton’s second term to create a means for businesses to participate in workforce training and career pathways programs. It replaces the Job Training Partnership Act of 1982, providing funding for local, statewide, national and Job Corp on-the-job training.
Learn more about the Workforce Investment Act, http://www.doleta.gov/usworkforce/wia/wialaw.pdf
|6/17/1999||Cracking Down on Trafficking of Children|
The United Nations agency for social justice in the labor sector, the International Labour Organization, adopts Convention 182 to prohibit and eliminate child labor. The convention, ratified in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1999, defines a “child” as anyone under 18 and labels child trafficking—whether for sex, drugs or slave labor—as among the worst kinds of child labor.
Read the ILO's report here: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/region/eurpro/moscow/areas/ipec/new_tool_worst_form.pdf
|12/21/2000||Launching the Office of Disability Employment Policy|
To reinforce the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Office
of Disability Employment Policy is created as an authority on national policy
to integrate individuals with disabilities into the workplace. Its goal is to
remove the limits on employment opportunities that people with disabilities
face; to accomplish this, the agency provides information on required
accommodations to employers, and advises people with disabilities about their
ODEP gathers to celebrate its tenth anniversary. Visit their official Web site: http://www.dol.gov/odep/
Born in Taipei, Taiwan, to parents who fled mainland China, Elaine L. Chao immigrates to the United States aboard a freight ship. She is eight years old. Chao studies economics and business and is granted a White House Fellowship in 1983. By 1986, Chao is the deputy administrator of the Maritime Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation, eventually going on to head the department. She serves as director of the Peace Corps and president and CEO of the United Way of America. As secretary of labor, Chao pursues regulatory and legislative reforms, updates labor union financial disclosure regulations, and revises white collar overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In June 2011, Chao receives the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service.
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/chao.jpg||Elaine L. Chao|
Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration Renamed Employee Benefits Security Administration
The Employee Benefits Security Administration focuses on
protecting the benefits of workers and their families by regulating retirement,
health care, and other benefit plans. It has the authority to administer and
enforce provisions of laws including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act
(ERISA); the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA); The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability
Act of 1996 (HIPAA); and the Patient Protection and Affordable
Care Act (ACA).
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/ebsa-bank.jpg||Learn what EBSA can do for you at: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/|
|6/13/2006||Enhancing Miner Safety and Health|
The Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response (MINER) Act winds approval after three major mining tragedies in the same year that killed 19 workers. It includes a number of safety provisions to modify the Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, including requiring mines to provide more updated accident contingency plans and to train miners to survive emergency situations.
Wireless technology allows miners to track personnel, production and equipment, helping to prevent mining accidents. Read George W. Bush's remarks on signing the MINER Act here: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=126&st=MINER+Act&st1=
Hilda L. Solis grows up in California, the daughter of, blue collar immigrants from Mexico and Nicaragua. She is the first person in her family to attend college, choosing to study political science and public administration. She briefly serves in the White House Office of Hispanic Affairs during the Carter Administration, successfully runs for the California State Assembly, State Senate and, finally, the U.S. House of Representatives. During her time in public office, Solis focuses on labor, immigration, domestic violence and the environment; she is a 2000 recipient of the Profile in Courage Award by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. As secretary of labor, Solis invests heavily in on-the-job training, helping transitioning veterans, green jobs, protecting the working class and worker safety.
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/solis.jpg||Hilda L. Solis|
|1/29/2009||Fair Pay for the 21st Century|
The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 reverses a Supreme Court decision that held that people subject to pay discrimination have only 180 days from the date the employer first decides to pay them less to file a discrimination claim. It reinstates the long-standing interpretation of the law that treats each paycheck as a separate discriminatory act that starts a new clock. It is the first bill signed into law by President Barack Obama.
President Obama Signs the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act video on YouTube
|3/23/2010||Affordable Care Act|
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010, with the goal of decreasing the number of uninsured citizens and reducing health care costs via tax credits, subsidies, incentives and fees for employers and uninsured individuals. Under PPACA, insurance companies are required to cover all applicants at the same rate of coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions or gender.
|7/23/2013||Destined to Serve|
Public service and standing up to injustice are in Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez's blood. The son of immigrants and grandson of a Dominican ambassador who sought freedom in the United States after speaking out against the Trujillo regime, Perez has spent more than 25 years in public service at the local, state and federal levels. Growing up in Buffalo, New York as the youngest of five siblings, Perez worked his way through college earning both a master's of public policy from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School. His career has included trying hate crimes cases as a federal prosecutor; instituting mortgage and lending reforms as Maryland's secretary of labor; and ensuring equal access to the ballot box as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice. Throughout his career, Secretary Perez has worked to ensure that the ladder of opportunity is available to those in need, and now as Secretary of Labor, he will continue to do so by working to reduce income inequality, expand veterans employment, close the skills gap, and expand employment for people with disabilities.
R. Alexander Acosta was sworn in as the 27th Secretary of Labor on April 28, 2017.
|http://www.dol.gov/100/timeline/images/acosta.jpg||R. Alexander Acosta|
|7/26/2017||We Need Your Help!|
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