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Scholars Day: April 10, 2013

Gringo-Rican? Robert Claiborne's Fight for the Fair Labor Standards Act in Puerto Rico, 1938-1940

The presenter is sharing the results of her 2012 Summer Undergraduate Research Program work. Her questions are whether the US Congress debated the application of the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act to Puerto Rican workers, and what role Robert Claiborne, a Virginian living in Puerto Rico, played in attempting to enforce the law's provisions for minimum wages and maximum hours. She worked with the Congressional record and with Claiborne's letters to his wife in New York City. Her conclusions are that Congress did not consider the implications of applying the law to the sugar, needlework, and tobacco industries in Puerto Rico, and that Claiborne, first as a federal employee and then as a labor lawyer, fought tirelessly for Puerto Rican workers to enjoy the benefits of the FLSA. He was so identified with them that it is possible to think of him as "gringo-rican."

Presenter: Linda Webber (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: History
Location: Lobby of Edwards
Time: 1:15 pm (Session III)
Please note that presentation times are approximate. If you are interested in attending sessions with multiple presentations, please be in the room at the start of the session.