In 1913 the Consumers’ League of Oregon, published their “Report on the Wages, Hours and Conditions of Work and Cost of Standard Living [for] Woman Wage Earners” in support of the “Bill for an Industrial Welfare Commission.” The report’s data collection reflected the increased concern for women that left home and entered the workforce at the turn of the 20th century. To achieve the goal of protecting women, the Consumers’ League of Oregon adopted ideas of difference theory, which stated that men and women were fundamentally different and that women needed protection that men did not need. Protective labor legislation aimed to aid women workers in securing shorter hours, higher wages, and better working environments. While sex-based legislation served as the opening wedge for this protective reform, it also convinced both the state and federal courts that women would never be equal to men.
Miller, Chloe, "Protective Labor Legislation: How Oregon Attached Motherhood to Working Women" (2021). Academic Excellence Showcase Proceedings. 292.
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