Beltway Beef Audio News
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced Feb. 1, 2012, the agency’s intent to reconsider a portion of its proposed rule related to on-farm child labor. Specifically, the department will reconsider the “parental exemption” portion of the proposal. The proposed rule would have prevented youth under the age of 15 years from working on farms or ranches owned by anyone other than their parents.
While the DOL announcement is good news, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) says DOL is still moving forward with many provisions that would have a direct impact on farm and ranch families. Furthermore, Sen. Moran says the DOL plans to undercut programs like 4-H and FFA and replace them with some sort of national DOL program. Sen. Moran says the agricultural community must continue to speak out against these rules and pressure DOL into taking another look before impacting the next generation of U.S. agriculturalists. He says some of DOL’s proposal looks more like an animal rights agenda than a valid labor concern.
The department said it expects to re-propose a rule in early summer 2012. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association believes the agency did not go far enough and should scrap the provision completely.