Pressure From Farmers Leads To Rethinking Of Youth Labor Laws

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Succumbing to angry backlash from agriculture groups and family farmers across the U.S., the Administration of President Barack Obama announced it would scale back proposed new rules that would have limited the amount of work young Americans can do on farms, The Washington Times reported.

According to the newspaper, communities across the Midwest had attacked the rules, saying that they threatened a traditional way of life for people in the American heartland and could undermine the viability of many family farming operations.

The Times reported that the Labor Department announced it would “repropose” the new regulations, as the agency wanted to allow for more public comment regarding whether children could engage in farm-related jobs.

“It’s a positive step,” Paul Schlegel, director of public policy for the American Farm Bureau, told the newspaper. “We felt that what they were doing was wholly inconsistent with the way the law had been interpreted for decades.”

The Associated Press reported that the American Farm Bureau noted that the laws need to be sensible and within reason, as teenagers shouldn’t be prohibited from performing functions like operating a battery-powered screwdriver.

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