Missouri Senator Cunningham Doesn’t Care About Kids

State Senator Jane Cunningham wants to weaken the child labor law in Missouri. Why? Well according to her; current restrictions are “implying that the government can make a better decision than a parent."

Current Missouri law bars regular employment of children younger than 14 -- except in specific professions such as acting -- and imposes strict restrictions on employed children age 14 and 15, including the hours they are allowed to work. Children age 14 and 15 must obtain signed permits from the school they attend.

Cunningham said that she believes it's improper to saddle schools with the responsibility of deciding whether a child younger than 16 should be allowed to work. She also says that many parents and their children already are violating the state's current labor laws, which she says are "so over the top'' and prevent parents from "teaching a work ethic to their children."

Here is the bill’s official summary:

"This act modifies the child labor laws. It eliminates the prohibition on employment of children under age 14. Restrictions on the number of hours and restrictions on when a child may work during the day are also removed. It also repeals the requirement that a child aged 14 or 15 obtain a work certificate or work permit in order to be employed. Children under 16 will also be allowed to work in any capacity in a motel, resort or hotel where sleeping accommodations are furnished. It also removes the authority of the director of the Division of Labor Standards to inspect employers who employ children and to require them to keep certain records for children they employ. It also repeals the presumption that the presence of a child in a workplace is evidence of employment."

Cunningham objects to the current law’s requirement that children 14 or 15 years old work no more than three hours a day on school days, no more than eight hours on a non school day, and that they can’t work before 7 AM or after 9 PM.
"The hour restrictions are so tight,'' she said. "There are many jobs where you can work after 9 p.m.,'' such as restaurants.

Did Senator Cunningham forget WHY there are child labor laws in the first place? Maybe someone should give her a quick refresher course in history. Child labor laws exist to protect our children from working in dangerous conditions, working long hours, and working instead of getting an education- to name a few things.
I think companies would abuse the “lift” of child labor laws. They will take full advantage of children and not care in the least. Kids will be cheap labor too- the minimum age for people under the age of 18 is a mere $4.25/hr.

Let’s hope this bill is just wishful thinking for Cunningham!

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it's a shame to have a world where children may end up being the only ones working -

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There is nothing wrong with teaching your children a strong work ethic at a young age.

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If we are going to keep jobs in America we need to compete for wages. Corporate America knows this the best way to continue to not pay people what they are worth. This means more profits for the company! Great! More profit means higher bonuses for the Board Members. Now, if I can only figure out how that "trickle-down" philosophy works in reality, I can get on board with sending our 8+ year-olds to work. ;)

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