249643 Strengths and Limitations of the Agricultural Child Labor Regulations

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 11:15 AM

Mary E. Miller, MN, RN , Employment Standards Program, Washington State Dept of Labor and Industries, Olympia, WA
Art Kerschner Jr. , Wage and Hour Division, US Department of Labor, Washington, DC
Barbara Marlenga, PhD , National Farm Medicine Center, Marshfield, WI
Background and Objective The agricultural child labor regulations are promulgated under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and administered and enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division. Many states also have their own regulations which in some cases exceed the federal rules, such as Washington State. Following recommendations by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and additional extensive analyses, the Wage and Hour Division proposed the first substantive update of the federal child labor laws that regulate hazardous work activities in agriculture since 1970. The objective of this session is to review the historical underpinnings of the regulated activities for children working in agriculture and the differences in protection for youth working in similarly hazardous work activities in non-agricultural jobs.

Methods A review of the background of key legislative and regulatory milestones of the initial laws limiting hazardous work by children in agriculture, to the more recent developments contributing to the current revisions will be presented. The significant differences between agricultural and non-agricultural regulations will be highlighted.

Results Strengths and limitations of the protections under the agricultural regulations will be summarized and recommendations for further action will be discussed. Despite new updates, groups of children remain outside of the protections of federal regulations. A review of these exemptions will be included.

Conclusion The range of strategies necessary to protect children from dangerous activities, including political; regulatory and enforcement; and outreach and education strategies are needed and will be summarized.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to: 1. Differentiate between agricultural and non-agricultural child labor regulations 2. Describe historical background to the agricultural child labor regulations 3. Identify strengths and weaknesses of the agricultural child labor regulations.

Keywords: Agricultural Work Safety, Children and Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have many years of experience reviewing and enforcing child labor regulations and associated policies.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.