Today, Congresswoman Roybal-Allard released the following statement:
I am disappointed to learn that the Department of Labor has decided to withdraw proposed rulemaking to update child labor regulations for young workers employed in agriculture.
The proposed regulations were modest, common sense changes that would have prohibited children between the ages of 12 and 16 from performing only the most hazardous tasks that have been proven to be dangerous and even lethal. Withdrawing these critically needed regulations means children will continue to be at risk of drowning in grain silos, being crushed by tractors or being maimed by heavy machinery. This decision does not reflect how we as Americans value our children.
Despite this setback, I am continuing to fight for the safety of children employed in the agriculture industry. This Congress, I introduced the Children's Act for Responsible Employment. This bill would end the double standard that allows children in agriculture, an industry with a fatality rate nearly eight times higher than the national average, to work at younger ages and for longer hours than those working in all other industries. I will continue to fight for the passage of the CARE Act so that children who work in agriculture can have the fundamental protections they deserve and so desperately need for a better life.