Idaho lawmakers: Minors should be allowed to work on family farms (UPDATED, 4:13 p.m.)

UPDATED, 4:13 p.m., to reflect status of U.S. Labor Department rule. (H/T, via Facebook, to Sisyphus Idaho.

Idaho's four Republican lawmakers have signed on to legislation billed as an attempt to allow minors to continue working on their families' farms.

"It is absolutely outrageous that an agency of unelected bureaucrats wants to tell America’s farming families that they cannot instill in their children the virtues of hard work and responsibility taught by performing agricultural chores,” Rep. Raul Labrador said in a news release today.

Labrador and Rep. Mike Simpson are among House co-sponsors of the "Preserving America's Family Farms Act." Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch have signed on to similar legislation in the Senate.

The rule does not sound like it's a done deal. According to a Feb. 1 U.S. Labor Department news release, the feds were "re-proposing" its rule.

"The Department of Labor appreciates and respects the role of parents in raising their children and assigning tasks and chores to their children on farms and of relatives such as grandparents, aunts and uncles in keeping grandchildren, nieces and nephews out of harm's way," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Today's announcement to re-propose the parental exemption means the department will have the benefit of additional public comment, and the public will have an opportunity to consider a revised approach to this issue."

Here's the Labrador news release:

Congressman Raúl Labrador (ID-01) announced today that he has co-sponsored H.R. 4157, or “Preserving America’s Family Farms Act.” Sponsored by Congressman Tom Latham (IA-04), this legislation would preempt the Department of Labor’s proposed regulations that would ban young people under the age of 18 from conducting farm chores on their own families’ land.

These new rules would also blacklist several places of employment, including “country grain elevators, grain bins, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.” The regulation would also forbid young people under the age of 18 from participating in the “storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials.”

“I wish I could say I was surprised by yet another regulatory overreach by the Obama Administration, but I sadly am not. It is absolutely outrageous that an agency of unelected bureaucrats wants to tell America’s farming families that they cannot instill in their children the virtues of hard work and responsibility taught by performing agricultural chores,” Congressman Labrador said. “The preservation of Idaho’s rich agricultural heritage is dependent upon teaching our children how to care for our land and our livestock. Attempts by the Obama Administration to change labor laws must be balanced against the needs and traditional practices of farmers, not Washington politics.”

Congressman Labrador joins more than 60 co-sponsors of the legislation, including his colleague from Idaho, Congressman Mike Simpson (ID-02). The bill is complemented by a companion bill in the U.S. Senate, S. 2221, sponsored by Senator John Thune (R-SD). Idaho Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo are co-sponsors of the Senate measure.

And here is a Feb. 1 U.S. Labor Department news release:

The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division today announced that it will re-propose the portion of its regulation on child labor in agriculture interpreting the "parental exemption." The decision to re-propose is in part a response to requests from the public and members of Congress that the agency allow an opportunity for more input on this aspect of the rule. Following the president's historic executive order on regulation, issued in January 2011, this re-proposal reflects the department's careful attention to public comments and its conclusion that it is appropriate to provide the public with further opportunities to participate in the regulatory process.

The parental exemption allows children of any age who are employed by their parent, or a person standing in the place of a parent, to perform any job on a farm owned or operated by their parent or such person standing in the place of a parent. Congress created the parental exemption in 1966 when it expanded protections for children employed in agriculture and prohibited their employment in jobs the Department of Labor declared particularly hazardous for children under the age of 16 to perform.

The department recognizes the unique attributes of farm families and rural communities. The re-proposal process will seek comments and inputs as to how the department can comply with statutory requirements to protect children, while respecting rural traditions. The re-proposed portion of the rule is expected to be published for public comment by early summer. The department will continue to review the comments received regarding the remaining portions of the proposed rule for inclusion in a final rule.

Until the revised exemption is final, the Wage and Hour Division will apply the parental exemption to situations in which the parent or person standing in the place of a parent is a part owner of the farm, a partner in a partnership or an officer of a corporation that owns the farm if the ownership interest in the partnership or corporation is substantial. This approach is consistent with guidance the Wage and Hour Division has provided to the public on its website for the past several years.

"The Department of Labor appreciates and respects the role of parents in raising their children and assigning tasks and chores to their children on farms and of relatives such as grandparents, aunts and uncles in keeping grandchildren, nieces and nephews out of harm's way," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Today's announcement to re-propose the parental exemption means the department will have the benefit of additional public comment, and the public will have an opportunity to consider a revised approach to this issue. We will continue to work closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure that our child labor in agriculture rule generally, and the parental exemption specifically, fully reflect input from rural communities."

"I want to applaud Secretary Solis and the Department of Labor for their decision to re-propose this portion of the rule to ensure kids across the nation have the opportunity to learn the value and reward of good old-fashioned farm work, while still providing protection to children from the most dangerous aspects of farming," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "The Labor Department listened to farmers and ranchers across the country. This announcement and the additional opportunity for comment represent a common-sense approach to strengthen our agricultural economy while keeping farm kids safe. It reflects the Obama administration's commitment to the American values that will keep our rural and agricultural economies growing, and keep rural communities and families prosperous."

The department published and invited public comments on its proposed rule on child labor in agriculture on Sept. 2, 2011. The proposed rule aimed to increase protections for children working in agriculture while preserving the benefits that safe and healthy work can provide.

The Wage and Hour Division was driven to update its 40-year-old child labor regulations by studies showing that children are significantly more likely to be killed while performing agricultural work than while working in all other industries combined. The department's child labor in agriculture statutory authority extends only to children employed in agriculture who are 15 years of age or younger.

The department will continue to consider feedback from the public, Congress and the Department of Agriculture on portions of the rule outside of the parental exemption before it is finalized.

Get Twitter updates on my blog and column and Statesman editorials. Become a follower. You can also get updates on Facebook's Idaho Statesman Opinion Page.

1335392005 Idaho lawmakers: Minors should be allowed to work on family farms (UPDATED, 4:13 p.m.) Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Nice to see Labrador and

Nice to see Labrador and Simpson ginning up low information rural taters with blatant misinformation and anti-government political propaganda.

If you can read………read the regulation…...it’s not as described by the anti-government republicans seeking reelection.

Yes, the new rules would limit the work that children under 16 as employees of non-family farms can do.

The regulations intent is to forbidding farmers, ranchers from hiring non-family children under 16 to do certain agricultural labor duties deemed too dangerous.

Fact…………the Labor Department clearly indicates that children working on their parent’s farm would continue to be exempted from safety rules.

Fact……………the rules would prohibit children from working in capacities for employers that are not family ….key words……not family………

Fact.........regulation is intend to stop a troubling trend that is occurring with agricultural industry, the use of underage child labor to cut costs and replaced the missing immigrant workers the GOP has driven away.

Fact…………..The regulations are clear………………those under 16 could no longer handle tobacco crops, due to health concerns; drive tractors that don't come with rollover protections; or work inside grain silos and bins. …

Fact…………………….The rules would not change a long-standing family-farm exemption that's been in place since 1966 and allows a child to do any kind of work on a farm owned by his or her parent, according to the Labor Department.

Fact…………………..It would not eliminate the 4-H programs that teach kids agricultural skills.

Fact…………………Children 16 or older would still be allowed to work for any farmer in any capacity.

Fact………………Safety regulations for children working in agriculture haven’t been updated in over 40 years

So… before you go believing the political propaganda of two anti-child safety and anti-government republicans Labrador and Simpson, please read the real world facts and not be duped by desperate politicians seeking to incite Idahoans for reasons of reelection.

The question is why are these two republicans against agricultural safety regulations to protect children in agricultural jobs.

resume

When I was under 16 I worked on a farm that was not my family's farm.

What's wrong with that?
Any Facts about that?

Yes pimp, we should set all public policy based entirely

and only on your experience...

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

Slave Labor

i83701 is right. The congressmen behind the family farm act should be ashamed. They know the truth and are using the "family farm" argument to cloud a very ugly issue. If any of them actually left their air conditioned cars and walked out to see what's going on in the fields, they would find kids under the age of 16, many Hispanic, working for less than minimum wage. Slave labor still exists in America and will probably continue. All the rules are designed to do is to try and keep those kids safe.

Saving lives

The DOL is trying to reduce the death count off children killed on farms.. In 2009, 117 adolescents were killed in farrming accidents.

Farming is dangerous. Kids need legal protection since not all farmers and ranchers are benevolent family loving patriotic god-fearing, god-loving, safety comes first, , patriarchs and matriarchs of the American Dream. In fact most farmed land is controlled by mega-corporations.

117

Interesting stat. Of course it doesn't say if those were kids riding ATVS for if hay bales dropped on their heads.

For such a unique stat that ought to be easily found in the Google world. Not.

So, what's your source BRR?

Update

In 2004, an estimated 27,600 children and adolescents were injured on farms; 8,100 of these injuries were due to farm work.

On average, 113 youth less than 20 years of age die annually from farm-related injuries (1995 -2002), with most of these deaths occurring to youth 16-19 years of age (34%).

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/aginjury/

16-19

117 Adolescents.
So this bill won't do ANYTHING for most of those deaths, right?
And based on the data, those could be family farm injuries/deaths.
How many of those children died on a nonfamily farm?

Based on "the facts" presented above this bill prohibits 16 and under on a nonfamily farm.

Granted, even 1 is too many. But your information is moot related to this bill.

How many children under 16 died while walking to school?
Shall be prohibit that too so we can save 3 children?

***
Thanks for the reference.

more

This is also from your source:

In the 8-year period, 1995 through 2002, 907 youth died on farms-
13% of these deaths were work- related.

Do the math here BRR,
13% of 907 = 118. That's pretty close to YOUR citation of 117.

But this if for EIGHT years. That is 14.7 per year. And it says most were between 16-19- 34%. Although that's not 'most'. So perhaps the 20 years are reckless..

This conflicts with your stat of "on average".
By this tally, on average 113 die on farms, BUT only 13% of those deaths are work related- 14.7.

Conclusion: your stats are W E A K.

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2009-117/pdfs/2009-117.pdf

***
Leave the farm kids alone. They have parents. And if the kids are working that early that's a good thing and the family probably NEEDS the money.

Check farm subsidies

pimp, check out farm subsidies and see if you still think farm families need the money. They don't. There is a website which lists those receiving farm subsidies by county and by name. Most interesting.

try again

I said the family NEEDS the money.
If a kid is working on a corporate farm or some one else's farm, THAT kids needs the money as does his family.

It has nothign to do with subsidies.

bull whacky

what the family "needs" is subjective and like most farmers, whether corporate or not, farm subsidies are a gravy train readily utilized. Need has nothing to do with it. Its a freebie and readily applied for and obtained.

wacky

soooo what you are really saying is you are against farm subsidies.
It has nothing to do with this topic...

yes, wacky.

lot of legislators on that list, too

The Idaho Reporter did a story on it a few months back, which mysteriously disappeared.

Under age farm workers

There are definitely hispanic farm workers under age working on farms who should not be and they are definitely working to supplement their respective family incomes. They are at the mercy of the farm owner and whatever he choses to pay and how many hours they work. Sometimes they work 6 hour days and sometimes 10 hr days without getting paid for weeks. And I can tell you the farm owners family who should be helping with the work isn't any where around but driving a hot pickup cruising town. BTW, the gas is paid for through farm expenses --- a tax deduction for cruising Main.