Department of Labor Proposed Child Labor Laws Will Affect the Horse Industry


Important news from the American Horse Council
Earlier this year the Department of Labor (DOL) proposed new child labor regulations applicable to agriculture. The proposed new rule, if adopted, would place new limitations on the ability of young people to work for pay on farms or ranches not owned solely by their parents and would effectively bar young workers, under 16, from working in most capacities in agriculture, especially around livestock, such as horses. The safety and well being of young workers are of paramount importance; however, this rule is overly broad, does not respect the traditional status of agriculture, and would sharply limit opportunities for young people to become involved in agriculture and with horses.

More information on the proposed rule can be found here.

Right now, Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Ben Nelson (D-NE) are circulating a letter to Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis asking her to withdraw the proposed rule and either maintain the current regulations or draft a new proposed rule that protects young people and preserves the traditional ability of youth to work in agriculture.      

The American Horse Council urges you to call your Senators and ask them to sign the bipartisan letter to Secretary of Labor Solis regarding the proposed child labor rule being circulated by Senators Moran and Nelson.

You can reach your Senators by calling the Congressional switchboard at (202) 225-3121.  Ask for your Senators' offices and then ask to speak to the staff person who handles agriculture or labor issues.

The deadline for your Senators to sign the letter is Friday, December 16.

Call  them and tell them:

"Young people are very important to the horse community and agriculture.  Now more than ever it is important young workers are given the opportunity to learn about and become interested in agriculture and horses.  Congress, for over 70 years has explicitly allowed young people to work in agricultural because of its unique and family nature. This new proposed rule would place new limitations on the ability of young people to work for pay on farms or ranches owned by their families and effectively bar all other young workers, under 16 from working on farms and ranches.  Please sign the letter to Secretary Solis being circulated by Senators Moran and Nelson asking her to withdraw the proposed rule and either maintain current regulations or draft a new proposed rule that protects young people and preserves the traditional ability of youth to work in agriculture."    

If you have any questions please contact the American Horse Council.




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