Let’s establish this right out of the gate so as not to confuse issues: It is wrong when corporations use child labor. Forgetting the law for a moment, whether it is here in the U.S. or overseas, children are children, and corporations should not exploit children. Got it? With that said, this is not about corporations, this is about families and farms. More specifically, family farms and the overreach of the federal government.
For centuries, even before there was Willie Nelson and FarmAid, farming throughout the world (including here in the United States) has largely been a family affair. That is, parents and their children (when not in school) work from dawn until dusk to put food on the family table, and the tables of others.
Recognizing this, when child labor laws were developed in the last century, there was an exemption built in for family farms. Now, however, the concept of the family farm may be getting gutted if the Obama Labor Department has its way.
Under a proposed “dramatic updating” of the nation’s child labor regulations, the Department of Labor is considering eliminating many of the tasks that children and young adults do on their family’s farm.
Although the DOL’s website specifically states, “The proposed regulations would not apply to children working on farms owned by their parents,” the regulations would (presumably) apply to farms owned by grandparents and other, non-parental family members.
Moreover, as the Milwaukee’s Journal-Sentinel notes, many family farms are legally structured, which could remove it from the parental farm exemption:
Under the proposed rules, according to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, someone under 18 would not be allowed to do many chores for a neighbor or even their own family’s farm if it’s set up as a corporation or a business partnership.
Today, many family farms are legally structured as corporations or partnerships.
Under the DOL’s proposal [emphasis added], the following tasks would be outlawed….
Read more from Labor Union Report on RedState.com.