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The Lockean Project

Child labor law

“Child labor law,” Monterey Herald – May 6, 2023

While I appreciate the letter of May 3 pointing out a change at the Arkansas state level in their child labor law, I find it skews a basic fact in this matter. While the states can choose to issue “permits” it is ultimately the federal government’s FLSA that establishes “… both hours and occupational standards for youth.”  According to Axios, the Department of Labor reported a 69% increase in companies employing underage workers and in the last fiscal year, 835 companies employed more than 3,800 children illegally. Where has federal oversight been from our Democrat-led government over the last 2½ years? In addition, they have also failed to protect hundreds of underage migrants. According to a recent New York Times investigation (February), migrant minors in over 20 states described jobs that were “grinding them into exhaustion” and feared “they had become trapped”. In the “blue” state of Michigan, the Times found Hearthside Food Solution (makers of Chewy granola bars, bags of Lucky Charms, and Cheetos) was responsible for illegally employing underage migrants as young as 13 years old in appalling conditions. This type of child abuse is widespread and I’m afraid has very little to do with “trigger fingers.”

— Jane Ramirez, Salinas

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