Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) today commented on the U.S. Department of Labor's recent decision to withdraw a new proposed regulation that would limit children who work in local agriculture.
"I am pleased that the Administration and Department of Labor has decided to scrap this ill-conceived new regulation. It's encouraging to see Washington bureaucrats finally listening to our nation's farmers. I am supportive of measures that protect children in the workplace, but this measure simply ran against common sense," said Dr. Benishek, a lifelong resident of Michigan's Upper Peninsula and a medical doctor for three decades.
First introduced by the Department of Labor on August 31, 2011, this new ruling would have applied child labor laws to children and family members of farmers. The regulation would have prohibited children from doing chores and basic agricultural tasks such as working with livestock, applying pesticides and operating tractors.
"While travelling in Northern Michigan, I have met with local farmers who have expressed their deep concern over this ridiculous proposed ruling. Northern Michigan young people have been intricately involved in family farms for generations and to threaten that relationship is simply wrong," added Dr. Benishek.
Last week, the U.S Department of Labor announced that it would be withdrawing the proposed ruling. During a public comment period late last year, the Department received feedback from more than 500 Michigan farmers regarding the ruling.
"Farmers in Northern Michigan and across America have spoken out against this idea and fortunately their voices have been heard. These types of ridiculous ideas from Washington are exactly the type of federal regulations that limit our freedom and hurt our country's economy," stated Dr. Benishek.