Senators Opposed Farm Youth Labor Rule Changes
Numerous U.S. Senators and House members have written yet a second letter to U.S.Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis asking that the proposed new rules that would forbid young people under the age of sixteen from operating certain farm machinery and participating in other farming activities be withdrawn. This second letter reiterates concerns about how the proposed new rules would ultimately affect farm families, agricultural education programs, and other family farm structures. In a rather strong tone, the letter asks the Department of Labor to cease and desist in pursuing such changes to the existing regulations regarding agricultural child labor provisions, stating that the DOL’s claims that “the proposed agricultural revisions would in no way compromise the statutory child labor parental exemption involving children working on farms owned or operated by their parents are false based on existing regulations and the Department’s own interpretive documents”. Farming is a dangerous business, but a blanket regulation creating parity between agricultural and nonagricultural child labor will only result in penalizing family farms.