For many of us, Labor Day marks the end of summer – the last hurrah as the kids go back to school – the last day you could wear white (who came up with that rule anyway?). But since this is an Employment Law Blog Carnival, I thought we’d learn a little about the history of Labor Day as we get our monthly employment law update.
What is Labor Day?
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, was created by the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.
Speaking of the labor movement, Janette Levey Frisch at The EmpLAWyerologist Firm did a great job of breaking down the NLRB’s recent ruling in the post “What Did the NLRB Say in its Ruling on Joint Employment–and Why?” Donna Ballman at Screw You Guys, I’m Going Home outlines the steps to starting a union in the post “Is It Time to Start a Union at Your Workplace?”
The growth of labor organizations brought about increased protections for workers. Jana Grimm’s post at Employment Essentials on “Workplace Bullying: Its Costs and Prevention” highlights the cost of bullying to businesses and new proposed anti-bullying statutes. Stuart Rudner at Rudner MacDonald LLP shares that Canada is also seeing “Expanding Damages in Employment Law Cases.”
For those who practice appellate advocacy, Robert (“Bob”) B. Fitzpatrick shared his “Appellate Advocacy: Twenty-Five Rules.”
The First Labor Day
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. Reports note that 10,000 to 20,000 men and women paraded through New York City. The parade was supposed to end at noon but at the termination point, most continued on to the post-parade party at Wendel’s Elm Park where there were speeches, a picnic, an abundance of cigars and, “Lager beer kegs… mounted in every conceivable place.” Yes, they knew how to party. Imagine the pictures we would have of that party if Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. were around.
Social media and constantly changing social views bring about new issues in the workplace. Eric Meyer’s post at The Employer Handbook discusses “The Limits of Employee Free Speech on Social Media.” Jesse R. Dill at Walcheske & Luzi, LLC looks at the employment issues that arise when “A Wisconsin Employee Shows Up on Ashley Madison Hack Information.” Michael G. McClory at Bullard’s Employment Law Edge discusses “Gay Marriage, Religious Rights, And The Workplace = One Tough Puzzle.”
The relationship between workers and industry is one of mutual dependence but what to do when it’s over? Robin E. Shea at Employment and Labor Insider asks “When terminating an employee, is a clean break better than a long limbo?”
Founder of Labor Day
More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.
Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.” However, many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, proposed the holiday while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York.
For those who would rather discuss football, Lorene F. Schaefer at Win-Win HR shares a post titled “Rookie Mistake: NFL Ignored Conflict of Interest in Deflategate.”
Thank you to all who contributed to this edition of the Employment Law Blog Carnival and to the Department of Labor’s website for information on the history of Labor Day.