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West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish

    Citation. 300 U.S. 379, 57 S. Ct. 578, 81 L. Ed. 703, 1937 U.S.

    Brief Fact Summary. Washington instituted a state wage minimum for women and minors. The Appellant, West Coast Hotel (Appellant), paid the Appellee, Parrish (Appellee), less than this minimum.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. Wage and hour laws generally do not violate the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution (Constitution).


    Facts. The Appellee was a maid who worked for less than the state minimum of $14.50 per 48-hour week. She brought suit to recover the difference in pay from the Appellant.

    Issue. Is the fixing of minimum wages for women and minors constitutional?

    Held. Yes. This case overrules Adkins v. Children’s Hospital.
    The exploitation of a class of workers who are at a disadvantaged bargaining position is not in the best interest of the health of the worker and economic health of the community.

    Discussion. The Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) reverts to reasoning that women are in an inferior position and need to be protected from those who might try to take advantage of the situation. Furthermore, the state is justified in adopting such legislation to protect the rest of the community from the burden of supporting economically disadvantaged workers. It is important to note that the Depression colored the Supreme Court’s analysis.

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