Law prohibits 17-year-olds in poultry operations
As part of the Fair Labour Standards Act regulations, the US Department of Labour (DOL) is proposing to prohibit younger workers from poultry operations.
Rules currently prohibit 14- and 15-year-olds from catching and caging poultry to be transported to market, however, the DOL says that some “employers still have questions” and violations still occur.
The DOL proposes that applicable regulations be amended to specifically prohibit 14- and 15-year-olds in these poultry activities. Also, even if the farmer employs the catchers, rather than the poultry company, the worker would be subject to the agricultural child labour provisions.
The rule will also prohibit 16- and 17-year-old from working in meat slaughter and processing plants, as well as rendering facilities. Currently, the rule does not include poultry, rabbits and small game. The proposal would include poultry primarily because of “extremely high” rates of disorders because of repeated traumas.
The DOL believes that the proposals are “important as they are essential to fulfilling its charge of keeping working youth safe by prohibiting occupations that are particular hazardous or detrimental to their health or well-being.”