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Bill eases Child Labor Restrictions in Maine

AUGUSTA, Maine—A bill to ease Maine’s child labor restrictions faces further House and Senate action after winning preliminary House approval.

Assistant Senate Republican Leader Debra Plowman’s bill would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to work longer hours and more often while school is in session.

Those teen-agers would be allowed to work as many as 24 hours rather than the 20 per week under current law. The bill would also increase from four to six the number of hours students can work on school days. The Sun Journal of Lewiston says the bill won preliminary House approval Wednesday.

A separate bill that sought to allow lower minimum wages for youths and remove limits on their school-week work hours has been killed.

Information from: Sun-Journal, http://www.sunjournal.comRead the rest

Maine’s Child Labor Laws Come Under Scrutiny

by Rob Poindexter

Augusta – Hearings began in Augusta Friday on a bill that would weaken some of Maine’s child labor laws.

Representative David Burns of Whiting is the sponsor of the legislation. It calls for limiting minimum wage for high school students to $5.25 per hour for their first six months on the job. It also would let high schoolers work more than the 20 hours per week they’re currently restricted to during the school year.

Opponents say if the bill passes it would open the door for employers to take advantage of the student workers. “This is nothing more than a shortsighted effort by certain employers to hire more of Maine’s teens for lower wages, for longer hours, later at night, during the school year,” said Sarah Standiford of the Maine’s Women’s Lobby.  Read more

Lunchroom Controversy Spurs Change in Idaho Law

[KTVB.com:]

http://www.ktvb.com/news/local/Lunchroom-controversy-spurs-change-in-Idaho-law-119366994.html

by Ty Brennan

KTVB.COM

MERIDIAN — A lunchroom controversy has ended up on the governor’s desk and spurred a change in Idaho’s child labor laws.

For more than two decades, the Meridian School District has allowed students to work in the lunchroom.  In return, middle and high school students are paid, as well as given a free lunch.  But that program came to a halt earlier this year after a parent complained the district was in violation of Idaho’s child labor laws, which states a child under the age of 14 cannot work during the hours that public school is in session.

But parents rallied in support of the program taking the matter all the way to the Idaho Statehouse. Read more

Proposed changes to child labor law spark concern in Maine

[from the Lewiston Sun Journal]:

By Steve Mistler, Staff Writer

Published Mar 10, 2011 12:00 am | Last updated Mar 10, 2011 12:00 am

AUGUSTA — Groups representing restaurants and hotels sparred with worker advocates on Wednesday over a bill that would ease work restrictions within the state’s 20-year-old child labor law.

The legislation is sponsored by Sen. Debra Plowman, R-Hampden, and backed by Gov. Paul LePage. Both believe high school-age students should be allowed to work longer hours and more often during the school year.

Opponents said the proposal would dial back child-labor protections enacted in 1991 to prevent employers from pressuring minors into working longer hours. They also worried the proposal would shift emphasis from education and school-sponsored, extra-curricular activities.

Currently, 16- and 17-year-olds can work a maximum of 20 hours per week when school is in session. On school days, students can work a maximum of four hours a day and no later than 10 p.m.

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