Details of Proposal
The DOL was put in place as Public Law 426-62 by former president William Howard Taft on March 4, 1913. At that time, according to www.dol.gov, President Taft noted that the purpose of the DOL would "be to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners of the United States, to improve their working conditions, and to advance their opportunities for profitable employment" (2004). Since the DOL has been in existence, they have created many statutes that have been turned into Acts by congress. Some of the most important statutes in the DOL's history are the Federal Employees Compensation Act (1916), Fair Labor Standards Act (1934), The Social Security Act (1935), Equal Pay Act (1963), Occupational Safety and Health Act (1971), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (1993).
At www.dol.gov, the DOL's current mission statement reads very much like President Taft's original plan:
The Department of Labor fosters and promotes the welfare of the job seekers, wage earners, and retirees of the United States by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities for profitable employment, protecting their retirement and health care benefits, helping employers find workers, strengthening free collective bargaining, and tracking changes in employment, prices, and other national economic measurements.
In carrying out this mission, the Department administers a variety of Federal labor laws including those that guarantee workers' rights to safe and healthful working conditions; a minimum hourly wage and overtime pay; freedom from employment discrimination; unemployment insurance; and other income support.
Elaine L. Chao is the nation's 24th Secretary of Labor, and first Asian-American woman ever to hold this office. She graduated with her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. It is said that Chao represents a new generation of American leadership. Chao was once a member of the Peace Corps and...