Proposed Department of Labor rules hurt family farms

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Michigan Farm News reports that the details of the new U.S. Department of Labor work regulations limit youth employment, restricting the work tasks sons and daughters can complete on family farms.

The Department of Labor proposed Rules 29 CFR Parts 570 and 579. Craig Anderson, Agriculture Labor and Safety Services division manager at Michigan Farm Bureau, calls the rules “downright oppressive.”

"The DOL assumes that youth under age 16 lack the 'cognitive ability' to herd animals on horseback, use battery-powered drills, put hay bales on a bale elevator or use any equipment except if powered by hand or foot,” Anderson said.

The DOL says children of farm owners are exempted from the restrictions, but the Michigan Farm Bureau encourages everyone to read the document (federal register Vol. 76, No. 171 ag youth) and submit comments to the DOL by the Nov. 1 deadline.

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Source: Michigan Farm News



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