The U.S. Department of Labor is going back to the drawing board on its controversial farm labor rule that would have prevented many young people from working on family farms. The department is stopping its plans to implement the new rules and has agreed to open a new dialogue with family farmers on the issue.
Senate Ag Committee chairwoman, Debbie Stabenow, agrees – there should be safeguards to protect children from dangerous situations, but there needs to be an understanding that many children in rural communities learn about safety by helping their family on the farm.
According to the DOL, a new “parental exemption” rule is expected to be proposed this summer. The exemption allows children of any age who are employed by their parent, or a person standing in the place of a parent, to perform any job on a farm owned or operated by their parent or such person standing in the place of a parent.