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My amazing neighbor who is also a history professor sent me some interesting information about the history of good employer certifications that I just have to share!

“In the early 20th century a reformer named Florence Kelley spearheaded an effort to give ‘white labels’ both to companies that treated their employees well and to products that were safe and sanitary.  Kelley was a leader in efforts to improve women’s employment, in particular, because women were hard to unionize and had very little collective bargaining power.

Kelley’s organization, the National Consumers’ Union, became a powerful force for reform. Kelley also led efforts to establish ‘protective labor legislation’ for women, limiting their hours of work and setting minimum wages. This element of Kelley’s efforts was controversial, as the rationale for this legislation was that women needed special protection as mothers and prospective mothers. Still, the legislation was not entirely without merit and it helped set the stage for minimum wage and maximum hours laws for all workers at the federal level.

I know you’re interested in fostering positive work cultures, rather than in legislation, and Kelley would probably have said that work culture was very important, but that too many employers just didn’t care because they relied heavily on unskilled labor and could replace people without any difficulty. The long and short of it is that you’re in excellent company, and building on a long-standing and really interesting foundation.”

Thank goodness for Florence Kelley and brilliant thoughtful neighbors 🙂

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1.3 min readLast Updated: April 6th, 2021Published On: May 12th, 2010Categories: Improving Workplace Culture, Recruitment and Retention StrategiesTags:

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