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Compilations of labor laws enacted in the United States have been published from time to time in the form of special reports and in the bimonthly bulletins of this Bureau. In the present report is presented a compilation of the labor laws enacted by the legislatures of the various States and Territories in force at the close of the year 1907 (with the exception of Oklahoma, whose laws enacted in 1907 were not available at the date of publication of this report), and those enacted by Congress up to and including the session of 1907–8.
In order to facilitate the use of this compilation, side notes have been placed on all the pages where labor laws have been reproduced, and a comprehensive index has been appended.
In addition to the laws, annotations of decisions have been placed in smaller type immediately below the statutes affected by such decisions. These annotations consist of brief digests of the decisions, followed by the abbreviated titles of the reports in which the decisions are published. With few exceptions only annotations of decisions of the Federal courts and of the higher State courts are given.
All labor laws that have been declared unconstitutional by the Federal courts and the higher State courts have been excluded from this compilation. In some instances, also, laws apparently superseded by later enactments have been omitted, even though they were retained in the published compilations consulted in preparing this volume.
The greatly increased volume of labor legislation has made it desirable to present in a condensed form certain inatter which has heretofare been presented in extenso, though it is believed that the value of the compilation has been in no way diminished by such condensation. The laws selected for such treatment are those that yield readily to a summarization without loss of clearness of statement, those that are of so uniform a type that a mere statement of the subject of the enactment or the reproduction of a single statute is practically a presentation of all, or those whose classification as labor laws is possible only by a somewhat liberal construction of the term.
Under the first head may be mentioned laws governing apprenticeships, lien laws, and laws protecting the wages of employees of contractors engaged in the construction of public works, railroads, etc. In the second class may be placed the laws giving to married women the control of their own earnings, laws exempting mechanics, etc., from the requirement of procuring peddlers' licenses, laws making stockholders of corporations individually liable for the wage debts of such corporations, and the laws protecting the trade-marks or labels adopted by trade unions; while in the third class are laws granting a right of action for injuries causing death, laws governing the hours of labor on the public roads, laws requiring public printing to be done within the State, laws providing for the organization of cooperative associations, either for purposes of production or of distribution, laws declaring what are legal holidays, and convict labor laws. Some of these laws might be classed in more than one of the above groups, but this classification is believed to indicate fairly the reasons that have controlled in the selections made.
Besides the above classes of laws, laws relating to the labor conditions of seamen have been omitted, with the exception of the Federal laws relating thereto, because the labor contract for this class of employees differs widely from the ordinary form of the employment contract, so that the subject is of little interest to the great body of labor, and because the Federal statutes on the subject may be considered as presenting the essentials of such laws. Laws relating to shipping masters and to sailors' boarding houses are retained, owing to their analogy to laws governing employment offices generally.
The present volume contains two chapters, the first comprising the digests and summaries named above, and the second the text of such laws as are reproduced at length.
The following table shows, for each State and Territory, the date of the code, revision, or compilation of laws used, the latest session laws examined, and the frequency of the sessions, whether annual or biennial:
DATE OF CODE, REVISION, OR COMPILATION, AND OF LATEST SESSION LAWS
Date of code, revi.
sion, or compila.
193 1893 1905 1901 1995 1901 e 1897
121 1993 1897 1923 1933 1902 1897 190.5 125 1899 189.5 1901 1899 1991 1893 1897 1971 195 1.005 190 1 1893
nially. Biennially. Biennially. Biennially. Biennially. Biennially.
Biennially. 1 Annually. Annually.
Biennially. | Annually.
e Extra session.