Attempts at Opening Doors of Child Labour Laws On the Rise in Several States of the U.S.
Karma Global Aims to Find a Radical Approach for A Change in Mind-set, Methods and Employment Laws Beneficial to The Technological World of Today!
As late as April 2021, Karma Management Global Consulting Solutions Pvt Ltd. took a very bold step of venturing into foreign shores in terms of shoving up its business prospects in countries like US, UK, UAE, Canada, South East and South East Asia.
It has already made its mark in terms of providing excellent services in the areas of payroll, outsourcing, recruitment and talent acquisition, facility management services and regulatory compliances including immigration, negotiations and employment contracts in these foreign countries as well.
The major services provided by Karma Global include Regulatory Audit, Management Consulting, Strategy Consulting, Financial & Tech Advisory, Risk Advisory, and Legal.
Towards the end of April and the first fortnight of May 2023, Pratik Vaidya, MD & CVO of Karma Global was in the U.S. and Canada attending the Select USA Investment Summit 2023 which came to a close, marking the largest Investment Summit in Select USA history, with 4,900 attendees spanning 83 international markets that was well represented.
There was lot of interactive session at Bay Area Houston where the delegates were briefed about business divisions in Franchise, Business Brokerage, Consulting, Education, Technology and Business Immigration and assistance was also offered to the delegates in buying or selling businesses with more than 400 franchise opportunities.
This delegation in association with the Consulate General of India, US Commercial Service of Dallas, IACC of Greater Houston, the Greater Houston Partnership and Economic Development Offices is another step in IACC’s development of relations with the United States of America.
Attempts at Opening Doors of Child Labour Laws On the Rise in Several States of the U.S.
In the past two years, lawmakers in at least 11 states have sought to loosen child labour laws to help employers fill empty jobs, even as federal officials and news investigations suggest that many minors working in manufacturing, meatpacking and construction jobs are being exploited or hurt.
The unemployment rate sits at 3.5% – a level last reached in 1969 – and businesses of all types, from factories to restaurants to retail stores, are struggling to find workers.
Some state legislators, most of them Republicans, see teenagers as a partial solution. They also argue that relaxing the rules will prompt more teens to seek out valuable work experiences and make it easier for them to supplement their families’ incomes.
Child labour violations increase
The state-level push to loosen rules comes amid an increase in the number of child labour violations tracked by the U.S. Department of Labour.
Last year, there were 835 child labour violation cases involving 3,876 children. The number of minors illegally employed in fiscal 2022 was 37% higher than in fiscal 2021 and 283% higher than in fiscal 2015.
One major case concluded in February when Packers Sanitation Services Inc., one of the nation’s largest cleaning services for meatpacking plants, paid $1.5 million in civil penalties after the Department of Labour found that it had employed at least 102 children in hazardous jobs in eight states, including Arkansas, Minnesota and Tennessee.
Agency Investigators findings …………?
Agency investigators found that the company had children ages 13 to 17 working overnight shifts performing such jobs as using caustic chemicals to clean razor-sharp saws.
The state legislative push also comes amid a sharp increase in the number of unaccompanied minors arriving in the United States and joining the workforce, including middle schoolers working in roofing, meatpacking and other dangerous occupations, according to an investigation by The New York Times.
Auctioning role of Department of Labour, Department of Health & Human Services
Late last month, the Department of Labour and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a new collaboration to combat exploitation of children in workplaces.
“The Fair Labour Standards Act and its child labour protections apply in all states, and no state has the ability to limit these provisions,” U.S. Solicitor of Labour Seem Nanda said in a statement provided to Stateline. “The Department will vigorously enforce child labour protections in all states and is closely monitoring state action in this area
Statement given by former federal and union worker
Debbie Berkowitz, a former federal and union worker-safety official who is now a fellow at the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labour and the Working Poor at Georgetown University, said that for decades, policymakers generally have agreed on the need to protect minors in the workplace. Recently, though, she has seen a “pretty pronounced” shift in the states.
This is a push by certain industries to see if they can get away with hiring children so they can pay them less and disguise it as job training,” she said. “These entry-level jobs provide little in terms of skills.”
Berkowitz said there is a place for true apprenticeship programs and opportunities for minors to work in safe environments, but certain dangerous industries should be off-limits for children. She added that government workplace-safety regulators at the state and federal level are vastly underfunded, leaving most workplaces unchecked until a major injury or death occurs.
“There are certain low-road industries that are going to cut down on labour costs where they can,” she said.
‘A Youth employment bill’ says Head of IOWA Restaurant Association
Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association, said the legislation in her state is simply designed to open up more work opportunities for students who want, or need, to earn extra money.
Dunker said her group is most interested in provisions that would allow 14- and 15-year-olds to work later on school nights; allow some underage workers to obtain a driver’s license to drive to and from a job; and allow 16- and 17-year-olds to take and deliver alcohol orders at restaurants.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dunker said, the Iowa restaurant industry laid off about half of its workforce. In the years since, she said, “we were never able to recoup our workforce.”
“This is a youth employment bill,” she said. “There isn’t a youth job in the state that isn’t at least $10 an hour, and most are $15.
Industry groups are pushing state legislatures to weaken child labour protections
While federal agencies are ramping up enforcement of child labour protections in response to increasing violations, industry groups are working to roll back child labour protections via state legislation.
Already in 2023, eight bills to weaken child labour protections have been introduced in six Midwestern states (Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and South Dakota) and in Arkansas, where a bill repealing restrictions on work for 14- and 15-year-olds has now been signed into law. One bill introduced in Minnesota would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to work on construction sites.1 Ten states have introduced, considered, or passed legislation rolling back protections for young workers in just the past two years
Weakened state child labour protections contradict federal standards—and they’re intended to
Newly weakened state laws fly in the face of decades of research documenting that excessive work hours can jeopardize teens’ health and development and that youth are developmentally and biologically more vulnerable to workplace injuries and long-term harms from chemical exposures and other workplace hazards than older adults. They also jeopardize the futures of young people, as young adults who drop out of school to work have the lowest earnings and highest unemployment rates of all workers
Many proposed changes to state child labour laws also directly contradict federal standards designed to protect youth from well-documented dangers. The Fair Labour Standards Act (FLSA) sets a floor on wages, hours, and child labour standards; state laws can provide more protection than federal statutes mandate, but they cannot provide less. Where state standards are weaker than those provided in FLSA, federal law pre-empts the state standard.
Conclusion – Some Policy Recommendations Have Been Made, Let Us See What They Are:
Today’s young workers, both immigrant and native-born, are asking more of the workplace and economy than previous generations, not less. They want living wages, equitable and diverse workplaces, equal employment opportunities regardless of immigration status, and a collective voice at the table—and many are eager to organize and advocate to achieve these ends.
If employers hope to recruit and retain young workers, they should recognize and respond to these realities rather than lobbying to suppress wages and roll back existing minimal labour standards.
Policymakers should ensure that young workers’ reasonable expectations can become realities by enacting policies that begin to address the vastly unequal power of workers and employers.
Action is needed at both the federal and state levels. Recommendations for high-priority improvements at the federal level include the following:
Fully fund labour standards and their enforcement, and enhance penalties for violating the rules.
Eliminate the disparate treatment of agricultural workers under federal law.
Support the PRO Act. Lawmakers should strengthen all workers’ rights to organize through reforms.
Fix the United States’ broken immigration system, such as a path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants, etc.
Role of Karma Global in the U.S. and Canada
Karma Global with Pratik Vaidya as its founder, has entered the global scenario both as a leader and a moderator with a record level participation from 4900 attendees from 83 international markets and 55 States and Territories.
In person Networking and informative programs on key industry topics gave insightful details affecting FDI community and also helped to connect with industry experts and economic development organizations so as to seize every opportunity available for expansion of business and getting to know many global companies with similar interest.
Karma Global took every opportunity to connect with the U.S. Department of Commerce, which promotes and facilitates business investment into the United States by coordinating related federal government agencies to serve as a single point of contact for investors. Select USA assists U.S. economic development organizations to compete globally for investment by providing information, a platform for international marketing, and high-level advocacy. Select USA also helps investors find the information they need to make decisions; connect to the right people at the local level; navigate the federal regulatory system; and find solutions to issues related to the federal government.
Karma Global has its offices in Newark, Delaware, USA and in Canada at Toronto, Ontario where it has been offering business expertise and business drivers with solutions, experience and knowledge.
Proprietary blog of Karma Global Tech Management LLC
This blog has been collated and compiled by the internal staff of Karma Global with the knowledge and expertise that they possess, besides adaptation, illustration, derivation, transformation, collection and auto generation for its monthly newsletter Issue 13 of July 2023 and in case of specific or general information or compliance updates for that matter, kindly reach out to the Marketing Team – Kush@karmamgmt.com / firstname.lastname@example.org