“Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the first Monday of September in each year, being the day celebrated and known as Labor’s Holiday, is hereby made a legal public holiday.”
While mostAmericans lament the end of summer, Labor Day always offers one last long summer weekend before returning to school or the usual grind of work at summer’s end. Workers enjoy many national holidays by taking the day off, but even though days such as Memorial Day and July 4th are associated with barbecues, Americans always take time to remember the meaning behind those important days.
What about Labor Day though? Do Americans stop to really think about the meaning behind the holiday? Or is it just the symbolic end to summer fun and sunshine? Today’s Long Island employment law blog explores the history of Labor Day.
Labor Day is, of course, celebrated on the first Monday of September. The idea of Labor Day originated in the late 1800’s as a tribute to the contribution of American workers to the country’s prosperity and well-being (According to the Department of Labor). The first known celebration of a Labor Day took place in New York City in 1882. Observers celebrated by holding a parade to display the strength and pride of labor unions. The parade was followed by a festival for workers and their families.
New York State’s legislature was the first government to propose a law recognizing Labor Day, but in 1887, Oregon was the first state to actually pass a bill. Later that year, New York followed suit, along with Colorado, Massachusetts and New Jersey.
Other states similarly passed laws recognizing Labor Day culminating with the United States Congress passing a law recognizing the first Monday in September as Labor Day across the country. The law was approved on June 28, 1894.
As you take one last summer road trip, spend the final days of summer on the beach, or do some last minute school shopping, on this Labor Day, take a minute to thank the workers who built the nation into the prosperous and wealthy country it is today. Or, at least thank them for the day off!
At Famighetti & Weinick PLLC, we support workers everyday by enforcing workers’ rights to minimum wage and overtime and to be free from unlawful discrimination and retaliation in the workplace. If you have questions about workplace rights, contact our employment lawyers at 631-352-0050. Although we are not in the office on Labor Day, our lawyers receive messages at all hours and return calls on weekends and holidays!