Most Parents Would Restrict their Teens More than Current Laws
Washington, DC – The vast majority of American consumers do not believe 12- and 13-year-olds should be allowed to perform agricultural work for long hours in the fields and would not allow their own children to work on a commercial farm at ages that the government currently allows, according to a survey released today. The survey, commissioned by the National Consumers League (NCL), the organization largely responsible for passing many of the nation’s first laws restricting child labor, reveals that most consumers—four out of five—agree that child labor laws should protect children equally no matter what industry they work in. Two in three survey respondents “strongly agreed” that protections should be equal. Only 1 in 7 favored unequal protection for agriculture.
Only 3 percent of those surveyed would let their own children under the age of 14 works more than 40 hours a week in the fields. Yet, federal law allows farmworker children to work unlimited hours in the fields outside of school hours and many farmworker children report working 60 or 70 hours a week.