(1881 - 1928)
Crystal Eastman is a true Legend in the field of Workers’ Compensation. In 1910, she published “Work Accidents and the Law” thereby earning a position with the New York State Commission on Employers’ Liability and Causes of Industrial Accidents. In her position, she drafted the first workman’s [sic] compensation law, which became a model for similar laws across the country.
Born in Marlborough, Massachusetts in 1881, she died in 1928 as the age of 47. Eastman was a graduate of Vassar College, earned a Masters in sociology at Colombia, and received a law degree from NYU in 1907. Both a lawyer and pioneer social worker, her first job was investigating labor conditions for the Pittsburg Survey, sponsored by the Russell Sage Foundation.
Following her work in New York on the State Commission, she continued to advocate for occupational safety and health for the U.S. Commission on Industrial Relations during the Woodrow Wilson Administration. Among her other published works are “Employers’ Liability, a Criticism Based on Facts” (1909). A labor lawyers, suffragist, feminist, journalist and co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, Crystal Eastman stands tall as a Legend in the field of Workers’ Compensation.