Today in Labor History – February 5th

Modern Times

Modern Times

The first daily labor newspaper, the N.Y. Daily Sentinel, began publication. – 1830

The movie Modern Times premiered. The tale of the tramp (Charlie Chaplin) and his paramour (Paulette Goddard) mixed slapstick comedy and social satire, as the couple struggled to overcome the difficulties of the machine age, including unemployment and nerve wracking factory work. – 1937

President Bill Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act.  The law requires most employers of 50 or more workers to grant up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a family or medical emergency. – 1993

In what turned out to be a bad business decision, Circuit City fired 3,900 experienced sales people because they were making too much in commissions. Sales plummeted. In 2007, the company laid off approximately 3,400 higher-paid workers and replaced them with workers starting off at $7.40 an hour. In 2009, Circuit City declared bankruptcy. – 2003

Cal/OSHA, California’s state-run OSHA office, held a meeting to discuss a draft of what would become the nation’s first ever comprehensive workplace violence prevention regulation for healthcare workers. Healthcare and social assistance workers experience the most assaults on the job, accounting for almost 60 percent of violent assaults in the workplace, but management’s response too often is that it is just “part of the job”. – 2015

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