US states consider allowing children to work at bars to fill labor shortages


Several US states are considering loosening child labor laws, including several which are considering letting children serve alcohol in bars.

The recent wave of child labor legislation began in Arkansas, where Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed into law a bill that removed the requirement for children under the age of 16 to get work permits from the state’s Division of Labor.

‘The Governor believes protecting kids is most important, but this permit was an arbitrary burden on parents to get permission from the government for their child to get a job,’ a spokesperson for the Republican governor said.

But more Republican-lead initiatives in other states have moved to expand the types of work children are allowed to do and allow businesses to employ them for more hours, including on school nights.

In April, the Republican-controlled Iowa legislature passed a bill that would allow children ages 14 and 15 to work in industrial laundromats, meat freezers, and perform ‘light assembly work’ in some factories.

Minors aged 16 and 17 would also be permitted to serve alcohol at restaurants and bars, so long as the establishments are also serving food.

It would also expand the hours children under the age of 16 are allowed to work, from four to six hours per day.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has until June 3 to sign the bill into law. She has previously indicated support for the…


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