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Are child labor laws changing?

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2023 | Wage And Hour/Overtime

Many New York teenagers have jobs. However, work should not come at the expense of their safety or academic pursuits, which is why labor laws put limits on the types and amount of work minors can do. But could these laws be changing?

A troubling trend emerging?

In recent years, lawmakers in several states have been trying to modify child labor laws in order to let young people work longer hours and in more dangerous occupations. Industries backing these efforts include those notorious for utilizing child labor, such as:

  • Construction
  • Food service
  • Farming
  • Logging
  • Hospitality
  • Retail

Proponents of modifying child labor laws in these industries argue that doing so provides valuable opportunities for young people; some compare working a job to participating in extracurricular activities.

Backed by these parties, lawmakers in at least 11 states have introduced proposals to roll back protections for young workers. The measures range from extending allowable working times from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. to allowing children as young as 14 to perform dangerous jobs.

Whether lawmakers approve these proposed changes or not remains to be seen, as does the impact such changes may have on New Yorkers.

As it stands now, the child labor laws in this state remain the same. These measures reduce the risk that companies that hire young people will overwork or underpay them.

Protecting your child on the job

If your child is working a full- or -part-time job, or plans to start one this summer, now is a good time to familiarize yourself with the child labor laws that relate to their employment. As a parent, you should feel confident that an employer is not exploiting your child, paying them unfairly, or putting them in danger.

If you suspect that your child’s rights or safety are in jeopardy, you should speak with an attorney right away. Doing so can help protect your child and hold parties violating their rights accountable.

Dedicated Litigators And Knowledgeable Legal Advocates

The Attorneys of Katz Melinger PLLC