Wednesday, March 4, 2020

IN: Child Labor Is Fun

Some legislators in Indiana are boldly taking on one of the great problems of their state-- too many restrictions on child labor.

The bill intends, among other things, to do away with the requirement for student work permits for teens. Because the fact that a teenager is flunking high school should not stand in his way when it comes to serving as a useful meat widget for employers.

Full day of school, full shift of work, then homeworkkkzzzzz
Rep. Randy Lyness (R) is stumping for the bill, which is advancing through the legislature. In civilian life, Lyness is the owner of Randy Lyness Builders, and he thinks that it should be "more attractive" for employers to hire minors, which means, apparently, being able to get plenty of work out of the little buggers. The bill proposes that students be allowed to work forty hours a week during the school year (and, as mentioned above, that the student's performance in school not be a factor). On holidays, students could put in a 48 hour week. Also, it gets rid of mandated rest breaks.

Lyness thinks it would also help to pretty up some of the language involved. So the Bureau if Child Labor would be renamed the Bureau of Youth Employment. Says Lyness, "its term now, child labor, gives it a bad connotation to start with. We want to change it to employment of minors. Sounds a lot better."

This will affect 16-18 year olds in the state. It's a dumb idea. Teens already are on the short end of the stick when it comes to employers who exploit them; a law limiting them to less-than-full-time hours and giving the school veto power over their work permit insured that there were limits to how badly employers could exploit them. It's an employers dream; widgets that are not only inexpensive, but don't push back when you make lousy demands of them.

Here's hoping the bill is stopped short of passage.

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