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Labor Laws

4/17/2004:

On April 18th, 1895, an article in the Milton Globe explained a relatively new state law that allowed farm laborers to put liens on crops they tended – meaning they would get their wages before anyone else got a cut of the profits.

“Every fall,” the article read, “many a laboring man (has) been obliged to stand by and see the fruits of his toil applied on some old claim, which too often... left him with nothing but experience and winter to clothe and warm himself with.

“The laborer is now protected from... an irresponsible class of employers who... promise any wages asked, because their property and crops were hypothecated and they knew the laborer would have to settle for little or nothing in the fall. This uncertainty of being paid has deterred many honest laboring men from coming to this State, who can now afford to come for smaller wages because their hire is secure.”

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm