WASHINGTON — High Democrats on the U.S. Home Training and Workforce Committee are urging Republican Chair Virginia Foxx of North Carolina to carry a listening to this month on the uptick in baby labor violations.
Democratic Reps. Bobby Scott of Virginia, the rating member of the committee, and Alma Adams of North Carolina, the rating member of a panel on office security, outlined their issues that the Division of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has proven “a close to quadrupling of the variety of youngsters concerned in baby labor violations since 2015.”
“This surge in baby labor violations is going on whereas WHD has had steadily lowering assets to put money into enforcement,” the lawmakers wrote in a June 6 letter.
Throughout fiscal 2022, there have been 835 firms that employed greater than 3,800 youngsters in violation of labor legal guidelines, in accordance with knowledge from the Wage and Hour Division. That’s a rise from fiscal 2015, when 542 firms employed greater than 1,000 youngsters in violation of labor legal guidelines.
Scott and Adams are asking for a listening to in order that members of the committee can perceive the “scope of the kid labor downside confronting the nation and the legislative options to handle it.”
In an announcement to States Newsroom, Foxx mentioned Democrats’ request for a listening to is “all for present,” and that Republicans on the committee grilled Appearing DOL Secretary Julie Su on Wednesday about stories on baby labor violations for migrant youngsters. Su has been nominated by President Joe Biden as labor secretary.
Foxx mentioned the problem will seemingly come up once more when Well being and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra testifies earlier than the committee on June 13.
“DOL must reply for a 37 % enhance in baby labor violations within the earlier yr alone,” she mentioned.
“While you weigh the seriousness of Committee Democrats’ request for a listening to on baby labor violations, contemplate this: they spent 4 hours sitting in a room with Appearing Secretary Su and never as soon as did they ask a pointed query concerning the DOL’s failure to handle this downside,” Foxx continued. “Why would we count on their listening to to be any totally different?”
Laws within the states
A number of states have both handed or launched laws to roll again baby labor legal guidelines, a push that’s come from companies and conservative lawmakers, States Newsroom has reported. A current federal investigation discovered a McDonald’s in Kentucky had youngsters as younger as 10 working previous midnight and working deep fryers.
Republicans and Democrats on the U.S. Home Oversight & Accountability Subcommittee on Nationwide Safety, the Border, and International Affairs raised issues throughout an April listening to about a number of stories on unaccompanied migrant youngsters exploited as staff in U.S. meatpacking vegetation and elsewhere.
Of their letter to Foxx, Scott and Adams added that Democrats are engaged on their very own piece of laws “to toughen penalties for baby labor violations and unsafe workplaces that hurt youngsters, increase analysis and experience on these points, replace requirements about occupations too hazardous for the employment of kids, and observe the statistics on the scope of kid labor violations.”
They quoted the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a 1937 message to Congress asking for passage of the Honest Labor Requirements Act, which was enacted and regulates baby labor in the US: “A self-supporting and self-respecting democracy can plead no justification for the existence of kid labor.”
Scott and Adams added: “However, as we close to the eighty fifth anniversary of that landmark legislation later this month, the ‘existence of kid labor’ nonetheless looms massive.”