New State Laws Are Rolling Back Regulations On Child Labor : 1A Lawmakers in Republican-led states are proposing and passing legislation to roll back child labor regulations.

In states like Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, and Arkansas, newly passed or pending laws allow companies to hire children without work permits and allow children to work longer hours under more dangerous conditions in places like construction sites, meat packing plants, and automobile factories.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is struggling to enforce existing federal regulations on child labor.

We discuss how child labor laws are changing from state to state.

Want to support 1A? Give to your local public radio station and subscribe to this podcast. Have questions? Find out how to connect with us by visiting our website.

1A

New State Laws Are Rolling Back Regulations On Child Labor

New State Laws Are Rolling Back Regulations On Child Labor

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1172544561/1200107254" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

A Construction worker lowers their head as they direct traffic on a construction site in New York City. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

A Construction worker lowers their head as they direct traffic on a construction site in New York City.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Lawmakers in Republican-led states are proposing and passing legislation to roll back child labor regulations.

In states like Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, and Arkansas, newly passed or pending laws allow companies to hire children without work permits and allow children to work longer hours under more dangerous conditions in places like construction sites, meat packing plants, and automobile factories.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is struggling to enforce existing federal regulations on child labor.

The Department of Labor reported a 69 percent increase in the number of children, many of them undocumented migrants, employed illegally by companies since 2018.

How are child labor laws changing from state to state?

Joining us for the conversation is Terri Gerstein, director of the Project on State and Local Enforcement at Harvard Law School's Labor and Worklife Program. Also with us is Reid Maki, director of child labor advocacy at the National Consumers League, and Beth English. Beth is the executive director of the Organization of American Historians and a historian of the 19th and 20th century United States.

Like what you hear? Find more of our programs online.