Sending Office: Roybal-Allard, Lucille
Cosponsor the Children’s Act for Responsible Employment and Farm Safety (CARE) of 2019
Deadline for Original Cosponsors, End of Day, Wednesday June 19th.
115th Congress Cosponsors (41): Bass, Barragan, Blumenauer, Capuano, Cardenas, Carson, Chu, Cicilline, Clarke, Clay, DeLauro, Ellison, Eshoo, Evans, Gallego, Grijalva, Gutierrez, Hastings, Jackson Lee, Bernice Johnson,
“Hank” Johnson, Kaptur, Khanna, Lee, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Lynch, McGovern, Moore, Napolitano, Norton, Pallone, Pocan, Sablan, Schakowsky, Schiff, Serrano, Sires, Takano, Wasserman Schultz, Wilson
116th Congress Cosponsors (27): Barragán, Bass, Cardenas, Cicilline, Clarke, DeLauro, Gallego, Garcia, Haaland, Jackson Lee, Johnson, Kaptur, Lee (CA), Levin, Lowenthal, Lynch, McGovern, Moore, Napolitano, Norton, Pocan, Sablan,
Schakowsky, Schiff, Serrano, Sires, Wilson
I write to ask for your support in ending a dangerous double standard that persists in United States child labor laws.
Agriculture is the only American industry that permits child workers as young as twelve to work without restrictions on the number of hours they spend in the fields outside of the school day. Children farm laborers receive no legal protection
for how early they start working during mornings, how late they work on school or weekend evenings, and the total number of hours they can work during the day. In part due to long, unregulated work schedules, half of children who regularly perform farm work
do not complete secondary education; high-school drop-out rates of child farmworkers quadruple the national average.
Child farmworkers also endure serious threats to their health and safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, agriculture is the most dangerous industry for young workers.
Working long hours in hot temperatures with sharp tools and heavy machinery, climbing up tall ladders, and lugging heavy sacks and buckets, child farm workers risk serious injury and even fatality. Because of their early physical development, children are
also at heightened susceptibility to acute poisoning and other health problems associated with long-term pesticide exposure including cancer, brain damage, and reproductive problems. In fact, a recent GAO report found
that over 50% of all the work-related child fatalities occur in the agriculture industry.
This must stop: children who work on farms deserve the same rights and protections as children working in every other industry. Because of this, I am planning to reintroduce the Children’s Act for Responsible Employment and Farm Safety (CARE) of 2019.
While retaining current exemptions for family farms and educational programs like 4-H and Future Farmers of America, the CARE Act would:
- Bring age and work-hour standards for children in agriculture up to the standards for children working in all other industries;
- Establish a minimum penalty for child labor violations;
- Increase the maximum civil monetary penalties and maximum criminal penalties for child labor violations;
- Provide children with greater protections against pesticide exposure in agriculture by raising the labor protections to EPA standards. Currently, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, which govern the use and application of pesticides, make
no special consideration for children.
- Mandate employer reporting requirements on work-related serious injuries and fatalities.
- Require DOL to report to Congress annually a summary of data collected on work-related child injuries, illness, and fatalities and an analysis of this data.
For more information or to co-sponsor the CARE Act of 2019, contact José Miranda in my office at (202)225-1766 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Member of Congress
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