DOL (Department Opposed to Labor) Strikes Again
I received an email the other day from a friend…an email that at first I thought was a joke, a spoof, one of those emails that once you read part way down says something to the effect of “Gotcha! Things aren’t really as bad they seem.”
I read through the synopsis…waiting to come to the “Gotcha” part…it wasn’t there…this was a legitimate proposal by the Department of Labor.
I was dumfounded at first…then a state of disbelief…followed by a wave of legitimate anger.
How could anyone seriously propose these new regulations for agricultural employment of children?
What is even worse, is that it will negatively impact and make illegal, many of the routine activities considered by the department to be “work” that occur on a daily basis on all farms and ranches.
Implications spread far and wide and should be closely looked at by 4-H, FFA, Grange and other organizations that are so instrumental in training and teaching responsibility to children.
The proposed regulations would make it illegal to allow a child under the age of 16 to do all of the following:
- Herd animals on horseback;
- Sort animals on horseback;
- Operate any equipment;
- Operate any vehicle, tractor, feed truck, ATV;
- Operate any tool that is not powered by hand;
- The list goes on.
It is obvious that the “brilliant” folks we have in DC have absolutely no idea what impact this will have on multi-generational and extended family farms and ranches.
What does our government have against teaching children the value of family, responsibility and a strong work ethic?
These new regulations do not just apply to “paid” children, but also makes it “illegal” for children under the age of 16 to do any of these activities if they are done as “work” without pay.
That means my son can’t help his grandparents move cattle from field to field on horseback. It is illegal for my son to help his grandparents change water. It is illegal for my son to drive the feed truck for his grandfather in the winter. I could continue.
The proposed rule changes site that there were 12 farm related deaths of children from 1995 to 2001. While the loss of any child is a tragedy, we are talking an average of 2 deaths per year on the farm or ranch.
To put this in perspective, in California alone, in 2005, there were more than >100 homicides, >200 attempted homicides, >1500 aggravated assaults, >50 attacks on police officers, >1500 robberies, >150 shots into inhabited dwellings, >25 kidnappings, >20 rapes, >500 criminal threats and >100 carjackings…all by children and gang related.
Remind me what our countries priorities are again….
I am sorry, but this new proposed regulation is flat-out asinine.
There is a well written article on these proposed changes in the Michigan Farm News.
I encourage all who feel strongly about these new ridiculous proposed regulations ( DOL Proposed Rules 29 CFR Parts 570 and 579) to comment online at http://www.regulations.gov.