NDFB encourages comments on labor regulations

Created: 2/07/12 (Tue) | Topic:


The U.S. Department of Labor announced it will re-propose rule changes on the “parental exemption” as it relates to the child labor regulations for agriculture. The action is a result of public comments lambasting the DOL because the current rule change would not allow children of partnerships, LLCs, etc. to work on the farm. Only children whose parents wholly-own the farm would be exempt. The re-proposal is expected later this year.
While this is good news, Farm Bureau still believes other parts of the proposed rules are still fundamentally flawed. Farmers and ranchers need to make sure DOL officials understand how farm families work together, and young people work on their grandparents or aunts/uncles farms. DOL has a lack of understanding how farm communities operate. Neighbors help neighbors. Families work together. 
As it stands today, young people under 16 would not be able to use an electric screwdriver or operate a tractor. Common farm-related tasks like rounding up cattle on horseback or cleaning out stalls with a hose would be restricted.
Last fall, NDFB sent an Action Alert asking members to submit public comments to the Department of Labor regarding its proposed changes to the child labor regulations for agriculture. The deadline for comments has expired and we thank all of you who responded. However, we need to do more. 
Submit more comments through website
U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (KS) is leading the charge to pressure the Department of Labor to drop its rule changes. He has established a website with an opportunity for farmers and ranchers to submit their personal stories. The Senator will then deliver these to DOL Secretary Hilda Solis. American Farm Bureau Federation is cooperating with his efforts.
Therefore, we are asking Farm Bureau members, their family and friends to submit comments on the website. Simply tell your story about how young people help out on your farm. Talk about the family tradition and the lessons young people learn by helping on the farm. Talk about how, without these youth experiences, we won’t have farmers and ranchers in the future. Please tell the Department of Labor what it is like to live and work in rural America.
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