Attorney Advice |
August 21, 2021

The Real Meaning Behind Labor Day 

The history of labor day is a tale of the public respect afforded to the workers of the United States who drive our economy. An employment attorney like Minnis and Smallets knows about the underlying meaning of Labor Day as well as anyone, and we are strong supporters of workers’ rights. 

A national holiday has been established in the U.S. to respect the value that workers contribute to the economy. As we’ll explore below, it was established at a time when the rights of workers were not being respected, and exploitation was common. In the modern environment, workers are not only celebrated by Labor Day, but also protected by both state and federal laws and state statutes. 

How did Labor Day Get Started?

As explored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Labor Day began not as a federal holiday, but one that was recognized by individual states and the labor activists who helped popularize the event. Over the course of the mid-1880s, a movement was established to secure state legislation to make Labor Day an official event. By 1894, 23 states in the U.S. had already adopted the Labor Day holiday, and on June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act that made the first Monday of each September a national legal holiday. 

Labor Day is About Respecting America’s Workers

The workers of the United States were granted national recognition through the holiday established in the late 19th Century. History.com notes that it is a day to pay tribute and respect to the contributions and achievements of the workers of the United States. It began in recognition of the effort put into the Industrial Revolution that would shift the economy of the United States and the way of life of the everyday citizen. Labor Day generally coincides with the end of the summer, with school and everyday life beginning anew after the holiday. 

The Labor Day holiday happened alongside the development of the labor rights movement in the late 1800s. Working conditions, hours per week, and the ability to achieve promotions were changed significantly over this time. Instead of being viewed as machines producing profit for the owners of companies, workers gained more appreciation and were seen as contributing to the development of the nation rather than simply physically powering it. 

While the Holiday Respects Workers, Employers Might Not

Knowing the history of the Labor Day holiday underlines the respect that the states and federal government hold for workers. It is the workers who produce profits for companies, for the employers, and while the holiday grants them respect, employers do not always respect the rights of workers. If your rights have been violated on the job, or if you have experienced an injury, reach out to an experienced employment attorney for information today. 

Schedule An Appointment with Employment Attorneys from Minnis and Smallets Today

If you’ve got an issue related to your work and would like to reach out to an attorney for professional guidance and advocacy on how to best resolve your issue, contact us today. We are ready to protect your rights as an employee.