The United States Department of Labor is a Cabinet department of the United States government responsible for occupational safety and wage and hour standards, including enforcing the nation’s child labor laws. In carrying out this mission and other responsibilities, the Department of Labor administers and enforces more than 180 federal laws. These mandates and the regulations that implement them cover many workplace activities for about 10 million employers and 125 million workers.
REMARKS BY JIM LEONARD AT THE
CELEBRATION OF CLAIRE WHITE’S LIFE
Jim Leonard, retired attorney with the US Department of Labor and a long-time colleague of Claire White made the following remarks at a ceremony celebrating her life on September 10, 2016:
The most important thing about Claire White, as I see it, and as I think all of you see it, if that you just couldn’t help loving her. Her human warmth, her many kindnesses, and her amazing empathetic eyes were, to me at any rate, what most endeared her to all of us.
This gathering is a very emotional time. But the emotion we are focusing on here is not our profound sorrow at Claire’s passing, but instead the pleasure we feel in recalling and celebrating her life.
Quite a few others will be talking today about Claire, so I want to keep my remarks short. So here are two scenes from Claire’s life that some or even all of you may not recall or even know about.
The first scene dates from the late 1970s, when Claire came to the Department of Labor for a job interview in the Fair Labor Standards Division of the Solicitor’s Office. I was the first person to interview her. She also had interviews some other lawyers, and I did not have the final say on whether to hire her, but I was glad that we made her an offer and that she accepted. Many years later, Claire wrote me a letter saying that she loved the “comfort level” and the “non-threatening environment” that she felt during the interviews. … Read the rest
For immediate release: August 3, 2016
Contact: Reid Maki, Child Labor Coalition, (202) 207-2820, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, DC—A letter signed by 110 groups, representing tens of millions of Americans, is urging President Obama to protect the most vulnerable workers in America by banning child labor in U.S. tobacco before he leaves office. “Children should not be harvesting a crop that routinely makes them sick from nicotine poisoning,” said Sally Greenberg, co-chair of the Child Labor Coalition (CLC) and the executive director of the National Consumers League. “In 2012, under strong pressure from the agriculture lobby, the Obama administration withdrew long-overdue occupational protections for child farmworkers that would have banned child labor in tobacco while providing a host of life-saving protections. We call on President Obama to rectify this decision and at last protect child tobacco workers from the dangers of nicotine poisoning.”
Consistent with our efforts, on May 5, the Federal Drug Administration announced new regulations prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to children. In announcing the new regulations, the Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell stated, ‘We’ve agreed for many years that nicotine does not belong in the hands of children.” Despite this concern, the Obama Administration has not yet taken appropriate steps to protect child tobacco workers from nicotine poisoning in the fields.
“If Brazil and India can ban child tobacco work, the U.S. can too,” said Norma Flores López, chair of the CLC’s Domestic Issues Committee. “We call on the Obama Administration to take action on behalf of powerless child tobacco workers because it is the right thing to do.… Read the rest
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