The impact of federal law, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, on child labor.

Omaha Company Loses Appeal of Federal Penalty

Omaha Company Loses Appeal of Federal PenaltyOMAHA, Neb.An Omaha food-processing company has lost its appeal of a $100,000 penalty for violating federal child labor laws.

Reporter: Associated Press

An Omaha food-processing company has lost its appeal of a $100,000 penalty for violating federal child labor laws.

A news release Wednesday from the U.S. Department of Labor says the department had cited Progressive Protein LLC after a 17-year-old worker died on a forklift accident in 2009. The department says the company had allowed Miguel Herrera-Soltero to operate the forklift, violating federal law.

The department said Progressive Protein knew the boy was in high school and should have checked his age.

The company appealed the civil penalty. Administrative Law Judge Stephen Purcell rejected the appeal.

Speaking for the company Wednesday, Bill Rhein said there would be no comment on the judge’s action.… Read the rest

State vs. Federal Child Labor Laws: Which Apply?

There are child labor laws, both state and federal, that regulate the hours of work, types of jobs, and working conditions of children and adolescents.

Every state has a child labor law, usually enforced by a state labor department.  These laws vary in the level of protection afforded young workers for both agriculture and nonagricultural employment.  In other words, there exists differences in the level of protection and the requirements of child labor laws from state to state.

Additionally, within any state law, there may be some provisions that are more or less restrictive than provisions of the federal child labor law.

Which law applies:

  • Be aware that there is often extensive overlap in coverage with the state and federal child labor laws.  Employers in a state are required to follow the state child labor laws.  Many businesses (not all) are required to follow the federal child labor law as well.
  • If both the state and federal child labor law applies to the same employment situation, the more stringent standard of the two must be obeyed.
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US Department of Labor announces publication of final child labor rules for non-agricultural work

News Release

WHD News Release: [05/19/2010]
Contact Name: Dolline Hatchett or Joseph De Wolk
Phone Number: (202) 693-4676 or (202) 579-7359
Release Number: 10-0666-NAT

US Department of Labor announces publication of final child labor rules for non-agricultural work

Department now to begin review of child labor in agriculture regulations 

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the publication of final regulations updating protections for young employees in non-agricultural work for the 21st century economy.

“Today’s regulations protect young employees from dangerous machines and tools, excessive work hours and other hazards at work,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “These rules incorporate recommendations from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and take a common sense approach to keeping young workers safe from harm.”

The new regulations give employers clear notice that there are certain jobs children are simply not allowed to perform. They also expand opportunities for young workers to gain safe, positive work experience in fields such as advertising, teaching, banking and information technology, as well as through school-supervised work-study programs.

“With the completion of these rules, I have asked my staff to turn their attention to strengthening the regulatory protections for children working in agriculture,” added Secretary Solis. “We cannot put a price on the health and safety of a child, or on the value of a positive work experience. This Labor Department will not rest in our efforts to ensure health, safety and opportunity for every worker in America.”

Click here for the Federal Register announcement.… Read the rest

The CLC Applauds the Introduction of the CARE Act Press Release

Sept. 16, 2009

Washington, D.C.—The Child Labor Coalition (CLC) applauds the introduction of the Children’s Act for Responsible Employment (CARE), H.R. 3564, introduced September 15th by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA). The legislation would close loopholes that permit the children of migrant and seasonal farmworkers to work for wages when they are only 12- and 13-years-old.

“Child farmworkers are exposed to many dangers—farm machinery, heat stroke, and pesticides among them—and perform back-breaking labor that is not fit for children,” said CLC co-chair Sally Greenberg, the executive director of the National Consumers League, a consumer advocacy organization that has worked to eliminate abusive child labor since its founding in 1899. “It’s time to level the playing field by closing these archaic loopholes and offering these children the same protections that all other American kids enjoy. We applaud Rep. Roybal-Allard’s leadership in introducing CARE.”

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