Lochner v. New York
198 U.S. 45 (1905)
"Error to the County Court of Oneida County, State of New York."
This case deals with the Fourteenth Amendment where the general right to make a contract in relation to a business is protected. This includes the right to purchase and sell labor, except as controlled by the State in the legitimate exercise of its police power. The indictment in this case stated that the defendant, "wrongfully and unlawfully required and permitted an employee working for him in his bakery to work more than sixty hours in one week," after he was already convicted of the same act. Because of his actions the defendant had to pay $50 fine. After all of this many appeals had been filed which in turn the conviction was re-affirmed several times.
The law that started this whole conviction was written in 1897 in the one hundredth and tenth section of article 8, chapter 415 of the labor laws of the state of New York.
This law was written in a time where sixty hours a week was unheard of and seen as cruel. In today's time this law hardly can stand to apply. Many laborers work well over sixty hours a week and at the current time 40 hours is the minimum for full time employment. In this law there was no provisions made for emergencies that would hence require employees to stay longer at work and exceed the sixty hours that week. Because of this law even if an employee wants to earn extra money which he or she could only accomplish by working more that sixty hours a week or 10 hours a day, the employer is forbidden to allow this to go on. This statute clearly interferes with the right of the...