DOL Reexamines Child Labor Law and Raises Penalties
Murphy, Betty Southard, Barlow, Wayne E., Hatch, D. Diane, Personnel Journal
EFFECTIVE June 16, 1994, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will assess higher penalties for child labor violations leading to serious injury or death of a minor.
The maximum fine will increase from a flat $10,000 per minor child to $10,000 for each violation involving death or serious injury. Separate monetary penalties can be assessed for violations of occupational and health standards.
According to a summary provided by DOL, the following definitions of a "serious" on-the-job injury will incur the penalties imposed after June 15, 1994:
* "Any permanent anatomical or physiological injury to any body system ... or any permanent psychological injury";
* "Any injury requiring five days under medical care following the injury";
* "Any injury requiring five days off work following the injury as confirmed by appropriate medical certification."
In a related development, on May 13, 1994, the DOL published a Federal Register notice requesting comments on whether the Department's existing child labor regulations, effective for 50 years, should be revised in light of changes in workplace technology and the types of jobs youths now hold.
Calling the effort a "comprehensive review of the criteria for child labor employment," the Department of Labor is seeking comments on a number of areas, including whether there is a need for changes to accommodate student participation in school-to-work programs, and if changes are needed in standards governing permissible hours, times of day and types of jobs 14-and 15-year olds may work.
The Department of Labor specifically has requested comments on whether "contemporary circumstances may warrant new or different protections for minors under the age of 18. …