The State of Washington passed a law which regulated the minimum wages paid to female and minor employees. Elsie Parrish (plaintiff) was employed as a maid at a hotel owned by the West Coast Hotel Co. (defendant). Together with her husband, Parrish brought suit in Washington state court to recover the difference between the wages she was paid by West Coast Hotel Co. and the minimum wage fixed under Washington state law. West Coast defended the suit on the grounds that the state law violated its Due Process right to freely contract under the Fourteenth Amendment. The Washington trial court held for the hotel, but the Washington Supreme Court reversed. West Coast Hotel Co. appealed to the United States Supreme Court.