ERIC Number: ED335452
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Feb
Children at Work: Peril or Promise?
Cole, Paul F.
A 1990 U.S. Department of Labor strike force found child labor violations in more than 1,760 of 3,776 businesses investigated. Data from the American Youth Work Center, the National Consumers League, and the New York State Department of Labor also indicate increased numbers of child labor violations. Child labor has a long history in the United States. In 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act raised the full-time working age and put limitations on labor conditions for 14- and 15-year-olds. Every state, including New York, has passed laws regulating child labor. Employed teens have been reported to have lower grades and fail to complete homework; on the other hand, they may learn good workplace habits and practical skills and gain self-confidence. The challenge to public policy makers is to develop a set of conditions that allows adolescents to gain from their work experience while avoiding the pitfalls that teenage employment entails. Although efforts are currently underway at both state and federal levels to tighten child labor laws, the laws will be meaningless unless they are effectively enforced. Since enforcement is essentially "complaint" driven, teenagers must be informed of their rights. A New York State curriculum project has been designed to acquaint teens with state labor law provisions. Schools and employers must work together to protect children and ensure that their work experiences enhance their educational experiences. (YLB)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Career Awareness, Career Education, Child Labor, Child Welfare, Compliance (Legal), Curriculum Development, Education Work Relationship, Employment Practices, Labor Legislation, Law Enforcement, Public Policy, School Business Relationship, Secondary Education, State Legislation, State Programs, Statewide Planning, Youth Employment, Youth Problems
Publication Type: Reports - General
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: New York State AFL-CIO, Albany.