The Washington Post
Gov. backs loosening child labor protections
Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) signed into law this week legislation that rolls back significant portions of the state’s child labor protections.
The law eliminates requirements for the state to verify the age of children younger than 16 before they can take a job.
Sanders believes the provision was “burdensome and obsolete,” spokeswoman Alexa Henning said in an emailed statement. Remaining state and federal regulations are still in effect, she said. Sanders signed the Republican-backed bill on Tuesday.
Federal officials have pledged to crack down on child labor law offenses after regulators discovered hundreds of violations in meatpacking plants.
The Labor Department fined Packers Sanitation Services, a subcontractor for meatpacking plants, $1.5 million in February for illegally hiring children.
Other states are also considering loosening child labor protections. A bill advancing in Iowa would allow 14- and 15-yearolds to work certain jobs in meatpacking plants and would shield businesses from civil liability if a youth worker is sickened, injured or killed on the job.