The Kid Gloves Are Off

I kid you not. Many states are taking off the kid gloves when it comes to putting kids to work at jobs usually reserved for adults. These laws are not isolated trends, they’re part of a longstanding and unified effort to remove child labor laws. William Finnegan in the New Yorker with an overview. Child Labor Is on the Rise. “This surge is being propelled by an unhappy confluence of employers desperate to fill jobs, including dangerous jobs, at the lowest possible cost; a vast wave of ‘unaccompanied minors’ entering the country; more than a little human trafficking; and a growing number of state legislatures that are weakening child-labor laws in deference to industry groups and, sometimes, in defiance of federal authority.”

+ PBS Newshour: Why several states are pushing to loosen child labor restrictions.

+ There are several groups who have been pushing to limit child labor laws for different (but related) reasons. Vox with a deeper look at the push to weaken child labor laws. “Some conservatives have long seen child labor laws as government overreach, dictating rules for minors that should be left up to individual families. Others simply oppose most forms of government regulation. And still others see youth labor restrictions as an unnecessary barrier at a time when companies are struggling to hire workers.” (My kids threaten to hire a lawyer when I ask them to clean their rooms.)

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