A Treat for all the History Buffs: Microhistory of Employee Benefits and Compensation in the United States, 1636-2009

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Did you know . . .

The first private pension plan was developed by the American Express Company in 1875?

Massachusetts passed the first minimum wage law in 1912?

The first major medical group insurance contract was issued to General Electric’s management personnel in 1949?

The microhistory linked to below highlights the major events and legislation that Hewitt Associates believes influenced the growth and quality of employee benefit plans and compensation practices in the United States from 1636 to 2009. Historical sources are sometimes contradictory and unclear and, therefore, this timeline may be imperfect. However, this list provides a valuable tool to examine developments and trends in employee benefits and compensation over the past 350-plus years.

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