ABANDONED CHILD LABOR PROPOSAL SPELLS VICTORY FOR AMERICA’S FARM FAMILIES
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) formally withdrew the proposed rule that would have limited children’s involvement in agriculture April 26, marking an end to regulatory overreach that would have crippled the future of America’s farm families.
|In addition to farm families and members of the Alabama Farmers Federation, several members of Alabama's congressional delegation worked together to fight for America's agriculture sector. |
According to DOL officials, the withdrawal was made in response to thousands of comments expressing concerns about the effect of the proposed rules on small family-owned farms, including provisions to define the “parental exemption.”
Alabama Farmers Federation National Legislative Programs Director Mitt Walker said the DOL’s action is a victory for farm families everywhere.
“The Department of Labor’s decision to abandon efforts to revise these regulations is a direct result of farm families speaking through organizations like the Alabama Farmers Federation and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF),” said Walker. “Congress also delivered a clear message to the agency by introducing bills in both chambers and sending letters in opposition to the proposed rule.”
In an effort to curb the DOL’s restrictions, U.S. Sens. Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions recently cosponsored a bill, the Preserving America’s Family Farm Act, which prevented the DOL from unilaterally imposing controversial rules that affect the ability of family farmers to work together. Several members of Alabama’s congressional delegation including Reps. Robert Aderholt, Spencer Bachus, Mike Rogers and Martha Roby also signed letters addressed to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis voicing opposition to the rule revisions.
Moving forward, AFBF President Bob Stallman said the Farm Bureau will continue working to protect the parental exemptions important to agriculture.
“We will continue our work to help educate families about the importance of farm safety,” said Stallman. “We also look forward to working with the Departments of Agriculture and Labor and rural stakeholders to develop a program to promote safer agricultural working practices.”