On Labor Day Weekend, Iowans Across The State Hearing About How Iowa’s New Child Labor Law Violates Federal Law
“Iowans spent their Labor Day weekend reading articles in the news about how Iowa Republicans have pulled our state out of sync with federal child labor laws. From allowing 16 year olds to work in demolition, not requiring apprenticeships nor student learner roles to be registered as per federal law, or allowing teenagers under 16 to work six hour days after school – it’s clear these changes aren’t in our children’s best interests,” said IDP Chair Rita Hart. “As a farmer, former teacher, and mom, I know the importance of making sure our children have the experience and knowledge they need to enter the workforce and live successful lives. We must do better to set the framework so that teenagers are able to get work experience without compromising their safety or education.”
Here’s some of the articles and news clips Iowans have been seeing recently:
The Iowa law allows 16- and 17-year-olds to operate dangerous power-driven machines — including hoisting apparatuses and metal forming, punching and shearing machines — and engage in heavy manufacturing and work in demolition. All are prohibited under federal child-labor laws.
The new Iowa law also does not require 16- and 17-year-olds working in apprenticeship or student-learner roles to be registered by the U.S. Department of Labor or a state agency, which federal law requires.
“The first thing and probably the most important thing is federal law is there to protect children from dangerous workplaces,” said Iowa State Senator Nate Boulton, (D), District 20, from Des Moines. “And so these aren’t, we’re not talking about kids shouldn’t be able to have work experience or learning experience. We’re just saying it has to be done the right way, in a safe way.”
The Dept. of Labor sent a request to the Iowa Commissioner of Labor that the language on the Iowa Department of Inspection, Appeals and Licensing should include specific language on their website. So that it is clear and explains to employers that only comply with Iowa’s less restrictive law, are still subjects of federal policy.
“I’m hopeful we can work together on some collaborative fixes on this and actually start from a good place of trying to find ways to keep kids safe in these occupations if there are things we can allow,” said Boulton.
KCCI: (Headline) “Department of Labor: New Iowa child labor laws are ‘inconsistent’ with laws at federal level”
Iowa Capital Dispatch: (Headline) “Federal officials: Iowa child labor law conflicts with national restrictions on dangerous workplaces”
KCAU: “The US Department of Labor says an Iowa child labor law violates federal law.”
Des Moines Register: (Headline) “Iowa child labor law conflicts with national restrictions on dangerous workplaces, feds say”
KCRG: (Headline) “Iowa’s new Child Labor Law ‘inconsistent’ with federal law”