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Missouri Republican Wants to Do Away with Child Labor Law

February 17, 2011

Now this is just wrong. Can you say unethical? Children need to be getting an education, playing and enjoying their childhood.

In a move that is raising plenty of eyebrows, Missouri state Senator Jane Cunningham has proposed a bill that would “modify” child labor laws, eliminating the prohibition on employment of children under 14. The proposal has sparked an outcry in the state but Cunningham defends the bill, saying that it’s important to cultivate a work ethic in young people and emphasizing that kids are still prohibited from working in dangerous professions.

“It’s kind of a common sense thing,” she tells The Huffington Post. “Right now, it’s so over the top with regulations — what businesses have to do, schools have to do. Parents should be in charge, deciding on the work ethic of their children.”

Cunningham says that children are still protected by law from working in “dangerous jobs, like coal mines, with animals, with blades or involving dangerous stunts.” She says that her bill simply loosens an overly broad prohibition on child labor and would allow kids to work at movie theaters, to babysit or to cut lawns, blaming the hysteria on union “misinformation” and politics.

SB22 is the bill number. Here is the language of the bill:
This act modifies the child labor laws. It eliminates the prohibition on employment of children under age fourteen. Restrictions on the number of hours and restrictions on when a child may work during the day are also removed. It also repeals the requirement that a child ages fourteen or fifteen obtain a work certificate or work permit in order to be employed. Children under sixteen will also be allowed to work in any capacity in a motel, resort or hotel where sleeping accommodations are furnished. It also removes the authority of the director of the Division of Labor Standards to inspect employers who employ children and to require them to keep certain records for children they employ. It also repeals the presumption that the presence of a child in a workplace is evidence of employment.

Source: Huffington Post

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