The FELA at 100+ A LANDMARK LAW
In 2008, ARLA produced a video to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the enactment of the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). Today it is as relevant as it was in 1908. The video production, which underscores the FELA’s century plus of service to rail workers, is entitled “The FELA At 100 – A Landmark Law.”
The 11-minute video features seldom-seen archival footage to help illustrate the inherent dangers associated with railroading . . . in both historic and contemporary contexts. The human toll of railroading prompted Congress to take action more than a century ago and the video stresses that Congress has repeatedly stood fast against efforts to weaken or repeal the FELA which, as the production notes, is first and foremost a safety statute.
Strong statements of support from then U.S. Senate Assistant Majority Leader Richard Durbin of Illinois and Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, who has served as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, punctuate the prevailing sense that FELA continues to work just as effectively today as it did more than a century ago when Congress approved the law.
As the video’s closing narration aptly notes . . . “When the Federal Employers’ Liability Act was approved, it was landmark legislation. Today, a century later, it remains as relevant as ever . . . Fair, efficient and first and foremost a law that promotes safety. That is FELA at 100 … a time-tested, landmark law that still works as Congress intended.”