BOSLEY V. MCLAUGHLIN, 236 U. S. 385 (1915)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Bosley v. McLaughlin, 236 U.S. 385 (1915)

Bosley v. McLaughlin

Nos. 362 and 363

Argued January 12, 1915

Decided February 23, 1915

236 U.S. 385


The nature of the work of pharmacists and student nurses in hospitals and the importance to the public that it should not be performed by those overfatigued, make it a proper subject for legislative control as to hours of labor of women so employed.

Whether there is necessity for limiting the hours of labor of women pharmacists and nurses in hospitals is a matter for legislative, and not judicial, control, and the legislature is not prevented by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment from limiting such labor to eight hours a day or a maximum of forty-eight hours a week. Such a restriction is not so palpably arbitrary as to be an unconstitutional invasion of the liberty of contract.

Miller v. Wilson, ante, p. 236 U. S. 373, followed in regard to the right of the legislature to limit the hours of labor of women other than pharmacists and student nurses employed in hospitals in California.

An exception of graduate nurses from the operation of a statute limiting the hours of labor of women is not so arbitrary, either as to female pharmacists or student nurses in hospitals, as to make the statute unconstitutional as denying equal protection of the law. The distinction in their employment is one of which the legislature may take notice.

Enforcement of a state police statute will not be enjoined on the ground that it violates the equal protection provision of the Fourteenth Amendment where the bill fails to show, as to the persons attacking the statute, any such injury, actual or threatened, as warrants resort to a court of equity.

The California Statute of 1911, as amended in 1913, limiting the hours of labor of women in certain employments, including those in hospitals, to eight hours in any one day or a maximum of forty-eight hours a week is not unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment either as unduly abridging the liberty of contract or as denying equal protection of the law because graduate nurses were excepted therefrom.

Page 236 U. S. 386

The facts, which involve the constitutionality under the Fourteenth Amendment of the California Women's Eight Hour Labor Law, are stated in the opinion.

Page 236 U. S. 388

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