The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 was enacted to help bolster the economy in an attempt to pull the country out of the Great Depression. However, this act excluded tip-based jobs and other work predominantly held by black workers, servers, shoe shiners, domestic workers, and Pullman pointers.

This Act is also known as the first-ever minimum wage legislation, and it explicitly excluded most service jobs. Even though these jobs were predominantly held by African Americans, and their unemployment, hunger, and poverty rates were are least twice those of white Americans during the Great Depression. The Fair Labor Standards Act was meant to alleviate economic hardship from the Great Depression, those who were most affected were excluded from this legislation.