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Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds Signs Bill Changing Child Labour Regulations

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Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds Signs Bill Changing Child Labour Regulations


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iowa governor kim reynolds, us child labour, child labour regulations trend, children at work, job laws in us

iowa governor kim reynolds, us child labour, child labour regulations trend, children at work, job laws in us

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, a Republican, has signed a bill that weakens child labor regulation in the sate. The legislation, which received support, rolls back restrictions on the number of hours children can work and the types of establishments they can work at.

The move is part of a broader trend in Iowa and other states to relax regulations on child labor, driven by complaints from businesses about workforce shortages. However, Democrats and labor groups have strongly criticized the changes, expressing concerns about the exploitation of children and their potential distraction from education.

Under the new law in Iowa, 14- and 15-year-olds are now permitted to work six hours per day during the school year, two hours more than previously allowed. They are also allowed to work in such areas as industrial laundry services, freezers, and meat coolers, which were previously off-limits.

Additionally, 16- and 17-year-olds can now work the same hours as adults and are eligible to serve alcohol in restaurants with parental or guardian permission. This legislation could potentially expose children to hazardous conditions, such as operating heavy machinery and participating in demolition projects.

“With this legislation Iowa joins 20 other states in providing tailored, common sense labor provisions that allow young adults to develop their skills in the workforce. In Iowa, we understand there is dignity in work and we pride ourselves on our strong work ethic.” Reynolds said in a statement.

The law requires two adults to be present when minors are serving alcohol, and it mandates that minor employees receive training on preventing and responding to sexual harassment. Furthermore, 16-year-olds can engage in manufacturing work if it is part of a work-based learning program and has approval from the Iowa Department of Education or Iowa Workforce Development.

Governor Reynolds defended the legislation, stating that it brings Iowa in line with 20 other states that have implemented similar labor provisions. However, critics argue that the new law compromises the well-being and education of young individuals, and it could potentially lead to more violations of child labor laws.

A father sitting next to his son - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.12.2022

Child Labor: How US is Failing Its Most Vulnerable for the Sake of Profit

The loosening of child labor laws in Iowa comes amidst high-profile cases of child labor law violations in other states. In Kentucky, a Department of Labor investigation found that multiple McDonald’s franchises had violated child labor laws by employing young children for unpaid labor until late hours.

In another case, over 100 children were found to be illegally employed in a slaughterhouse cleaning plant, where they were exposed to dangerous chemicals and equipment.





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