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Legislation - Proposed Legislation CARE Act

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Proposed Legislation


The Children’s Act for Responsible Employment (CARE Act) was introduced to congress by US Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard for the 6th time on June 16th 2011. “It is unacceptable that children who work in agriculture, one of this country’s most dangerous occupations, are less protected under U.S. law than juveniles working in other occupations,” Congresswoman Roybal-Allard said when introducing it. “The CARE bill addresses this inequity by raising labor standards and protections for farmworker children to the same level set for children in occupations outside of agriculture.”

The CARE Act seeks to

  1. Bring the age and work hour standards for children working in agriculture up to the standards set under FLSA for all other working youth. This would:
    • Prohibit children below age 14 working for hire in agriculture
    • Limit the number of hours that 14- and 15-year-olds can work to 3 hours a day on a school day; 18 hours a week during a school week; 8 hours a day on a non-school day, and 40 hours a week during non-school weeks
    • Set 18 as the minimum age for hazardous jobs
  2. Raise the labor standards for pesticide exposure to the levels currently enforced by the EPA
  3. Serve as a strong deterrent for employer violations:
    • Impose a minimum penalty of $500
    • Increase the maximum civil monetary penalty for child labor violations from $11,000 to $15,000
    • Increase the maximum penalty to $100,000 and impose a criminal penalty of up to 5 years imprisonment for willful or repeat violations that lead to the death or serious injury of a child worker
  4. Require greater data collection by the Department of Labor on the industries in which minors are employed (specifically agriculture); require them to record the types of violations found; and issue an annual report on child labor in the U.S. It also requires employers to report serious work-related injuries or illnesses of minors:
  5. Preserve the current exemptions for children working on their family farms

Visit http://roybal-allard.house.gov/ to learn more about Roybal-Allard and her work on the CARE Act.

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