There were many reforms made during the Progressive Era. Some of the reforms were social reforms. Before the Progressive Era, it was common for kids to work instead of go to school. They would work in the factories or mines and receive very little pay. As a result, child labor laws were passed, and kids were required to attend school. The Children’s Bureau was also established to investigate issues with child labor. The work environment was often very unsafe and unhealthy. If a worker was injured on the job, that person would likely lose his or her job. As a result of the Progressive Era, worker compensation laws were passed. Additionally, health and safety laws were passed to make factories safer and healthier places to work.
Laws were passed to make our food and medicines safe. Upton Sinclair’s book, The Jungle, was partially responsible for passing the Meat Inspection Act to begin the federal inspection of the meat industry. The Pure Food and Drug Act also made it illegal for companies to falsely label food and medicine.