In the early 1900s, the US adopted the Grandpa Clause, which required employers to pay their workers overtime for their contributions to the country’s manufacturing sector.
However, in 1912, the Supreme Court ruled in an era of widespread automation, that the clause was unconstitutional.
And in 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a law that allowed Americans to receive up to $1,500 in overtime pay for every $10 they worked, regardless of how long the work had been.
It was a big deal, and it created a wave of labor-saving laws, including a law guaranteeing workers the right to form unions.
By the 1960s, however, most of these laws had been repealed or had been weakened.
Today, the grandfather clause is largely symbolic, but it still exists.
While the US is a big country, the grandpa clause has its roots in a time when workers often worked long hours and were paid little or nothing.
In other countries, workers were paid less for the same work, and employers could deduct overtime wages from the workers’ paychecks.
The grandpa system was particularly unpopular in Europe and Japan, and some countries began to abolish it entirely.
But the grandfather-father clause was just one of many ways that the US and other countries could have eliminated the grandfather system, and modern American workplaces still have it today.