Labor Day is a little more than just a day off of work. It represents years and years of commitment to the United States from our workforce. It's used as a day to commemorate our nation's workers and all that they do.
Some believe that the very first Labor Day was celebrated more than 100 years ago. Many claim Peter J. McGuire, the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, was the first one to bring up the idea of the holiday. Others say that it was Matthew Maguire, the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists, who started the Labor Day holiday.
Regardless, the first holiday was held on the first Monday of September in 1882 in NYC, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Just a year later, the second holiday was celebrated and the tradition continues.
Back then, it was also referred to as the "workingmen's holiday."
Our Asheville workers compensation attorneys understand that the Labor Day holiday has really become a part of the American fabric. The nation has given the holiday increasing emphasis, and it doesn't look like it's slowing down any time soon. For the very first time in 1885, the holiday received governmental recognition through municipal ordinances. The first bill was introduced in New York although the first bill to pass was in Oregon. During that same year, for additional states, including New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Colorado, launched their own Labor Day holidays through legislative enactment.
By the end of that decade, Pennsylvania, Nebraska and Connecticut joined in as well. Before 1895, nearly 25 states had adopted a holiday on the first Monday of September to honor our nation's workers.
With the celebration of Labor Day and the hard work that Americans put into making our nation a better place day after day, we'd also like to discuss the importance of keeping these individuals safe. To help to do that, the federal government has enacted various laws to protect workers on the job.
The DOL has created three agencies to make sure that employers are doing their job to protect workers. There's the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) as well as the Wage and Hour Division (WHD).
The DOL also has the Working Partners for an Alcohol- and Drug-Free Workplace to help companies and employers to create drug-free workplace programs. Although this is not a federal law, these kinds of programs also help to protect workers on the job and provide them with a safe workplace.
What you might find to be the most important is the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP). This office helps four major disability compensation programs to provide compensation regarding wage replacement, vocational rehabilitation, medical treatment and other benefits to federal workers or their dependents who are injured on the job or who acquire an occupational disease.