Child labor laws in the United States


Child labor laws in the United States

Child labor laws in the United States include numerous statutes and rules regulating the employment of minors. According to the United States Department of Labor, child labor laws affect those under the age of 18 in a variety of occupations.[1][further explanation needed]

Contents

History of children's labor for wages


As the US industrialized, factory owners hired young workers for a variety of tasks. Especially in textile mills, children were often hired together with their parents. Many families in mill towns depended on the children's labor to make enough money for necessities.[2]

Activism against child labor

The National Child Labor Committee, an organization dedicated to the abolition of all child labor, was formed in 1904. By publishing information on the lives and working conditions of young workers, it helped to mobilize popular support for state-level child labor laws. These laws were often paired with compulsory education laws which were designed to keep children in school and out of the paid labor market until a specified age (usually 12, 14, or 16 years.)

In 1914 the Arkansas state Federation of Labor placed a child welfare initiative on the ballot prohibiting child labor, which the voters passed.[3]

In 1916, the NCLC and the National Consumers League successfully pressured the US Congress to pass the Keating-Owen Act, the first federal child labor law. However, the US Supreme Court struck down the law two years later in Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918), declaring that the law violated a child's right to contract his or her own labor. In 1924, Congress attempted to pass a constitutional amendment that would authorize a national child labor law. This measure was blocked, and the bill was eventually dropped.

It took the Great Depression to end child labor nationwide; adults had become so desperate for jobs that they would work for the same wage as children. In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act, which, among other things, placed limits on many forms of child labor.

Currently

Human rights organizations have documented child labor in USA. According to a 2009 petition by Human Rights Watch: "Hundreds of thousands of children are employed as farmworkers in the United States, often working 10 or more hours a day. They are often exposed to dangerous pesticides, experience high rates of injury, and suffer fatalities at five times the rate of other working youth. Their long hours contribute to alarming drop-out rates. Government statistics show that barely half ever finish high school. According to the National Safety Council, agriculture is the second most dangerous occupation in the United States. However, current US child labor laws allow child farmworkers to work longer hours, at younger ages, and under more hazardous conditions than other working youths. While children in other sectors must be 12 to be employed and cannot work more than 3 hours on a school day, in agriculture children can work at age 12 for unlimited hours before and after school." They would work two to three jobs depending on their age.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Chapter: Child Labor (Nonagricultural Work)", Compliance Assistance Employment Law Guide. U.S. Department of Labor. Retrieved 8/25/07.
  2. ^ Cathy L. McHugh (1960), Mill family: the labor system in the Southern cotton textile industry, 1880-1915, New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0195042999, 0195042999, http://openlibrary.org/books/OL2379324M/Mill_family ; Jacquelyn Dowd Hall (November 1989), Like a Family: the making of a Southern cotton mill world, W W Norton & Co Inc, ISBN 9780393306194, 0393306194, http://openlibrary.org/books/OL7452809M/Like_a_Family 
  3. ^ http://www.ncsl.org/LegislaturesElections/ElectionsCampaigns/BallotMeasuresDatabase/tabid/16580/Default.aspx


External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Labor history of the United States — involves the history of organized labor, as well as the more general history of working people in the United States of America. Pressures dictating the nature and power of organized labor have included the evolution and power of the corporation,… …   Wikipedia

  • Labor federation competition in the United States — A labor federation is a group of unions or labor organizations that are in some sense coordinated. The terminology used to identify such organizations grows out of usage, and has sometimes been imprecise. For example, nationals are sometimes… …   Wikipedia

  • History of education in the United States — The history of education in the United States, often called foundations of education, is the study of educational policy, formal institutions and informal learning from the 17th to the 21st century.HistoryThe first American schools opened during… …   Wikipedia

  • Definitions of whiteness in the United States — The cultural boundaries separating White Americans from other racial or ethnic categories are contested and always changing. David R. Roediger argues that the construction of the white race in the United States was an effort to mentally distance… …   Wikipedia

  • History of the United States (1865–1918) — The history of the United States (1865–1918) covers Reconstruction and the rise of industrialization in the United States.At the conclusion of the Civil War, the United States remained bitterly divided. Reconstruction and its failure left the… …   Wikipedia

  • Economic history of the United States — The economic history of the United States has its roots in European settlements in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. The American colonies progressed from marginally successful colonial economies to a small, independent farming economy, which… …   Wikipedia

  • Human rights in the United States — In 1776, Thomas Jefferson proposed a philosophy of human rights inherent to all people in the Declaration of Independence, asserting that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that… …   Wikipedia

  • Education in the United States — of America U.S. Department of Education Secretary Deputy Secretary Arne Duncan Anthony Miller …   Wikipedia

  • Culture of the United States — Enthusiastic crowds at the inaugural running of the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis The Culture of the United States is a Western culture, having been originally influenced by European cultures. It has been developing since long before… …   Wikipedia

  • List of smoking bans in the United States — Map of current and scheduled future statewide smoking bans as of 18 June 2011 (2011 06 18)[update] …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.