Who Invented the Five-Day Workweek?


Quick Answer

Henry Ford became one of the inventors of the five-day workweek in 1926, when Ford Motor Company implemented a 40-hour, five-day week for its factory workers. Ford admitted that he expected the policy to make his workers more productive.

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Full Answer

Ford's decision inspired many other business owners and industry associations to follow suit. The cotton and textile industry agreed to the five-day workweek and a minimum weekly wage in the 1930s. The five-day workweek was not codified into federal law until 1938, when Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act, which barred child labor and limited the workweek to a maximum of 44 hours.

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