Thursday, August 21, 2008

Federal Child Labor Law Changes

The federal child labor laws have been strengthened by one aspect of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) that was overlooked by many employers.

According to the amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, if employers violate federal child labor laws, the US Department of Labor can impose hefty fines. Under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, employers may be fined up to $100,000 for a child labor violation that results in the death or serious injury of a worker under 18 years of age .

Section 302 of GINA makes the maximum penalty for repeated violations of the FLSA child labor laws double, from $50,000 to $100,000. The US Department of Labor is charged with enforcing federal child labor laws, although many states also have their own laws or regulations regarding workers under the age of 18.

“We are pleased that the Congress has enacted the administration’s proposal to strengthen the nation’s child labor laws and to provide today’s teenagers with safe employment opportunities,” Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao said.

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