child labor

Rep. Virginia Foxx

US House Dems seek to stiffen penalties for employers violating federal child labor law

BY: - July 3, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee Democrats on Thursday announced the introduction of a bill to increase civil and criminal penalties for employers who knowingly violate child labor laws. The measure would also prevent states from easing federal child labor standards. The bill, The Protecting Children Act, comes as multiple states have passed […]

a meat packing factory building

U.S. House Democrats push for congressional hearing on child labor violations

BY: - June 9, 2023

WASHINGTON — Top Democrats on the U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee are urging Republican Chair Virginia Foxx of North Carolina to hold a hearing this month on the uptick in child labor violations. Democratic Reps. Bobby Scott of Virginia, the ranking member of the committee, and Alma Adams of North Carolina, the ranking member […]

A McDonald's restaurant sign

At a McDonald’s in Kentucky, 10-year-olds worked past midnight, Department of Labor finds

BY: - May 3, 2023

WASHINGTON — Children as young as 10 were found working past midnight at a McDonald’s restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, the U.S. Department of Labor said in announcing numerous civil penalties levied on fast-food franchises. As part of an investigation into federal child labor law violations in the Southeast, the Department of Labor said that three […]

Child laborers

Kids at work: States try to ease child labor laws at behest of industry

BY: - April 8, 2023

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers in 11 states have either passed or introduced laws to roll back child labor laws — a push that’s come from industry trade organizations and mostly conservative legislators as businesses scramble for low-wage workers. In the past two years, those states have moved to extend working hours for children, eliminate work permit […]

a meat packing factory building

Food sanitation company fined $1.5 million for illegal child labor

BY: - February 21, 2023

A company responsible for cleaning meatpacking plants across the country has paid $1.5 million in civil penalties for making children as young as 13 work in dangerous conditions. The fine, announced Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor, followed an investigation by the agency into Packers Sanitation Services Inc., at 13 plants in eight states, […]

Feds: Kansas-based sect with NC ties physically, mentally exploited children to operate business empire

BY: - October 29, 2021

TOPEKA, KAN. — Five men and three women indicted for allegedly coercing minors to work without compensation were inspired by a leader who claimed to have attained god-like status after traveling with angels through the galaxy and who twisted the Islamic faith to support a business empire in Kansas and other states. Federal prosecutors said […]


Yet another powerful op-ed makes the case for raising the minimum wage

BY: - September 4, 2018

Vicki Meath, the executive director of the western North Carolina nonprofit Just Economics, had a great Labor Day essay in the Asheville Citizen-Times entitled “Honoring Labor: workers deserve higher wages.” After reviewing the history of Labor Day, the labor movement and the brave men and women who helped end child labor and bring on the […]


Children continue to work in NC fields

BY: - December 11, 2015

Although agriculture is one of the most hazardous occupations in the U.S., federal and North Carolina law continue to allow the employment of minors in farmwork.  This week, Human Rights Watch issued a follow up to their 2014 report on the dangers to children employed in tobacco.  The new report, Teens of the Tobacco Fields, features interviews […]


A challenge to North Carolina’s tobacco-loving governor

BY: - October 21, 2014

Gov. Pat McCrory took a rather startling and troubling position the other day when he spoke at the behest of a tobacco lobbyist against efforts in France and Ireland to further restrict cigarette packaging to promote public health. Apparently, kowtowing to the hometown industry is more important than protecting the lives and well-being of a […]


How to end child labor in state’s tobacco fields

BY: - October 3, 2014

As has been reported on this site on multiple occasions (and as amazing and discouraging as the truth is), the scandal of child labor in one of the country’s most dangerous professions remains a reality in modern America. Children as young as seven are still trooping into America’s (and North Carolina’s) tobacco fields to harvest […]


It’s amazing that this is still going on in modern America

BY: - August 28, 2014

If you missed it this morning, be sure to take a few minutes to read this morning’s lead story over on the main Policy Watch site: “Twenty-first Century children, Nineteenth Century laws.” The article features a powerful interview with a young woman who describes the pain and hardship she endured for years as a child […]

Report: Child abuse in the fields of North Carolina

BY: - May 14, 2014

Instead of thinking up new and creative ways to downsize and privatize government, shred the social safety net and just generally make life harder for the 99%, here’s the kind of issue that North Carolina lawmakers ought to be addressing forcefully during the 2014 legislative session: A new report is out that once again highlights […]