Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 24

In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article twenty-four states “Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.” Americans appear to be workaholics. Reasonable limitation on working hours is not valued in the United States as it is in other countries. Our accounting system promotes asset attainment and wealth creation. The economic culture in America sends the message that the harder and longer one works the better off financially he or she will be.
Working hours is defined as the time spent doing a paid activity. Activities that do not receive pay such as rearing children, housework, and caring for elderly parents are not considered when totaling the work week hours. Dictionary.com defines working hours as “any of the hours of a day during which work is done, as in an office, usually between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.”
Work week hours in the United States have been well documented since 1880. Hours worked for the time prior to 1880 can also be estimated. Many believe that the term “sun up til sun down” shows a well-entrenched work ethic in the United States. Skeptics claim that work hours did not increase until the industrial revolution as employment shifted from agriculture and became less seasonal.
With the move from cultivation to sweatshop, work divided into two domains of pursuit: the public or economically recognized, which is paid, and the private or domestic, which is unpaid. In formal pursuits, people are paid by the hour or week. This paid time dictates the way unpaid time is spent. Work in domestic activities, which used to be mainly left to women, are thrust to the perimeters of the capitalist economy, but persist as essential for the prosperity and endurance of civilization.
The Factory Acts was a series of acts that began as laws to protect children and women from working excessive hours during this industrial revolution period. The Factory Acts of 1802, 1831, 1833,...