Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0680
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Full Text of HR0680  97th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes
3federal child labor standards for agricultural and
4non-agricultural employment; and
5    WHEREAS, The agricultural child labor rules have not been
6revised since they were first promulgated in the 1970s; and
7    WHEREAS, The FLSA charges the United States Secretary of
8Labor with prohibiting employment of youth in occupations which
9the Secretary finds and declares to be particularly hazardous
10for the employment of young workers; and
11    WHEREAS, The Act establishes a minimum age of 18 for
12hazardous work in non-agricultural employment and 16 in
13agricultural employment; the Act also provides a complete
14exemption from these rules for a youth who is employed on a
15farm owned by his or her parent; and
16    WHEREAS, On September 2, 2011, the United States Department
17of Labor published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to update
18the agricultural child labor regulations based upon
19recommendations made by the National Institute for
20Occupational Safety and Health, its own enforcement
21experience, and a commitment to bring these rules in line with



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1the more stringent rules that apply to employing children in
2non-agricultural workplaces; and
3    WHEREAS, A few of the revisions proposed by the NPRM would
4require all tractors operated by 14 and 15-year-old student
5learners to be equipped with proper rollover protection
6structures and seatbelts and require that student-learners use
7the seatbelts, remove the 2 certification programs that allow
814 and 15 year-olds to operate most tractors and farm
9implements without supervision, revise the type of farm
10implements that 14 and 15 year-old student-learners may operate
11after successfully completing the academic units addressing
12each type of implement, and revise and expand the current
13prohibitions against working with animals; and
14    WHEREAS, The U.S. Department of Labor recently concluded
15the public comment period for the proposed regulations that
16would define restricted farm activities for workers under the
17age of 16; while these proposed regulations may not affect
18children working on their parents' farm, they would apply to
19children under the age of 16 who are hired by farming
20operations or are working on farms owned by other family
21members, such as grandparents, uncles, and cousins; and
22    WHEREAS, Many in the agricultural community are concerned
23that the Department of Labor's proposed regulations could



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1increase farm families' legal liabilities, as well as force
2them to change the way they operate their farms; the proposed
3regulations would also limit training for future farmers by
4reducing the exposure they have to the agricultural industry;
6    WHEREAS, Many young people use livestock as part of 4-H,
7FFA, and other programs, but under the proposed rules,
8individuals under the age of 16 would be prohibited from being
9near certain animals without adult supervision; and
10    WHEREAS, The proposed rules would also prohibit youth from
11operating most power equipment, including power-driven
12equipment such as riding lawnmowers; and
13    WHEREAS, The proposed regulations would hinder the ability
14of some youths to earn money during the summer by limiting the
15number of jobs that are available to them; and
16    WHEREAS, Any implemented rule changes should maintain the
17integrity of the family farm exemption approved by Congress;
19    WHEREAS, Considerable changes should be made to the
20proposed regulations before they are finalized; therefore, be



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3we urge the United States Department of Labor to carefully
4consider all of the comments submitted on their proposed
5regulations for youth in agricultural employment before
6finalizing any rule changes; and be it further
7    RESOLVED, That we further urge the U.S. Department of Labor
8to revise the proposed regulations before they are finalized so
9as to not create a barrier to young people learning about the
10agriculture industry and entering agricultural careers; and be
11it further
12    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
13delivered to U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and to each
14member of the Illinois congressional delegation.