Working on the family farm has long been an important tradition in North Carolina, but the agricultural workplace has changed a lot since our child labor laws were written in the early 1900’s. Children shouldn’t have to risk their lives or their health for a summer job growing our food. Take action today to update our child labor laws for the 21st century!
Today, 20% of all farm deaths are children, even though children make up only about 8% of the agricultural work force. One reason for this terrible statistic: Children as young as 10 years old may be hired legally to work on a farm – the limit is 14 years old in all other occupations, even though farm work is one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Pesticides, heat stress, heavy machinery, and safety equipment designed for adults are all among the factors that make farm work too dangerous for young children.
H 838, Protect Youth/Family Farm Employment: Representative Jordan (R-Ashe, Watauga) has filed a bill to update North Carolina’s child labor laws so that agriculture is treated the same as all other industries, allowing children to begin working limited hours at age 14, and protecting them from working hazardous tasks until age 18. The bill would exempt children working on their own family’s farm.
Take Action - Rep. Jordan needs to hear from you!
Contact Rep. Jordan today and remind him that we support his effort to help end child labor. Farming has changed dramatically since our child labor laws were written nearly 100 years ago. It’s time to update our child labor laws to reflect reality. Youth deserve the opportunity to work, and they should do so in a safe environment protected under the same laws, whether they work serving our food, or helping to grow it.
The clock is running down on this legislative session, and the child labor bill deserves a hearing before it's too late.
Representative Jordan (R-Ashe, Watauga)
Office: 418C Legislative Office Building