Rep. Ellison To Acosta: Why Do You Want to Roll Back Child Labor Protections?
A proposal in the Department of Labor’s Spring Regulatory Agenda would expand Hazardous Order exemptions for minors in apprenticeship programs
WASHINGTON — Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) today sent a letter to Labor Secretary Alex Acosta requesting an explanation for the Department's plans to relax protections for teenagers working in dangerous jobs:
“Rolling back these regulations could jeopardize the safety of America’s youth,” Rep. Ellison said in his letter. The letter notes that workplace safety laws have reduced the number of teen deaths from work-related injuries from 72.5 teen deaths in 1999 and 2000 to 27 teen deaths per year in 2015 and 2016.
“Given this data, expanding exemptions for hazardous jobs—especially without adequate oversight—will undoubtedly reverse the progress we have made over the last two decades to ensure our young people live safe and healthy lives,” the letter goes on to say.
Rep. Ellison asks for a response by June 6 to a series of inquires, including details of requests the Department has received from industry groups or outside parties to change the Hazardous Order apprentice exemptions.