Senator Brian Munzlinger Announces Comment Period Extension for New Child Labor Laws


Jefferson
City — State Sen. Brian Munzlinger,
R-Williamstown, announced today that the U.S. Department of
Labor
(DOL) has extended its
comment period on proposed changes to child labor laws on
farms.

“Child labor laws have been
around since the 1930s, and DOL is recommending the first sweeping changes in 40
years,” Sen. Munzlinger said. “Unfortunately, the proposed recommendations
essentially make it illegal for anyone under 18 to do anything on a
farm.”

DOL’s proposal could affect
Missouri farming operations by:


Restricting the
“Parental Exemption” rule so that farms operated by partnerships and
corporations may not benefit. As a result, the rule does not take into account
the ownership patterns and operations of family farms because many family farms
involve different members and generations of the same family working on the
farm. DOL wants to limit the “family farm” exemption solely to the children of
the owner or operator of a farm. Other family youth — nieces, nephews or
grandchildren — would be restricted in what jobs they could do on the family
farm by this rule.


Affecting standard
education and training for future farmers by reducing on-the-farm learning
opportunities. A student-learner on a farm must satisfactorily complete at least
90 hours of systematic school instruction in agricultural education at or above
the 8th grade level before working on the farm — and even then the exemption
would only apply to power-driven equipment.


Prohibiting young hired
workers from engaging and assisting in many animal husbandry practices to
include those that inflict pain upon the animal and/or are likely to result in
unpredictable animal behavior such as, but not limited to, branding, breeding,
dehorning, vaccinating, castrating and treating sick or injured animals. The
prohibition would also include herding animals in confined spaces, such as feed
lots or corrals; on horseback; or using motorized vehicles, such as trucks or
all-terrain vehicles.

“As far as I’m concerned,
this is an attack on 4-H, FFA and all family farms. This is another example of a
Washington, D.C. bureaucracy making changes they want without going through the
legislative process,” Sen. Munzlinger said. “As a father and family farmer, I
put the safety of my children and others at the top of list. However, these are
rules coming from people who don’t understand rural agriculture or the
traditions built through family farming.”

Comments may be submitted by
U.S. mail to: Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S–3502, 200
Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20210. Please include identification
number RIN 1235-AA06 in the letter.

To submit comments
electronically, please go towww.regulations.gov and type WHD-2011-0001-0001 in the “Enter Keyword
or ID” box to find the proposed rule and comment page. It will be the only
proposed rule that appears. Please click on “Submit a Comment” on the right side
of the screen.

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