Wisconsin Wants to Repeal Child Labor Laws, Too

Now that Wisconsin has that pesky “collective bargaining” thing taken care of, it’s time for the next logical step in making sure employers don’t have to pay a living wage — repealing child labor laws.

To show how happy the Republican majorities are to make the state “business friendly” the legislature asked key business leaders what could be done to help them grow.  The response?  Repeal laws blocking teens from working more hours.

Via the Cap Times:

According to an analyst with the Wisconsin Fiscal Bureau, the new law would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to work an unlimited number of hours per week. Current law caps the number of hours they can work at 32 hours on a partial school week; 26 hours during a full school week; and 50 hours during non-school weeks, such as over spring break or during the summer.

The proposal would also allow 16- and 17-year-olds to work unlimited hours per day, except when they are supposed to be in school. Currently they are restricted to working eight hours on Saturday, Sunday and the last day of the school week — which is typically Friday — and five hours a day on school days.

The motion would also repeal the state law that prevents 16- and 17-year-olds from working more than six days a week. And 14- and 15-year-olds would be allowed to work until 9 p.m. on a school day, but only on the few school days that fall between June 1 and Labor Day (currently they can only work until 8 p.m.). Teens of all ages would still be banned from working during school hours.

Much like the laws being passed in Maine, businesses are claiming it will help students be “competitive” when it comes to fighting adults for low wage jobs.  Which is true, since now the industries don’t need to offer a pesky “livable” wage that a person can support him or herself on, and can instead offer a minimum wage that only a child being supported by his or her parents can afford.

Keep the Republicans in power long enough and maybe we can bring back sweatshops, too!

photo from wikimedia commons


Scott haakon
Scott haakon5 years ago

Remember that this is cyclic. if the economy was doing well none of these changes would see light of day. But many people have the need for every member of the family to bring in money. Many blame the unions for the loss of jobs and the great pension plans that the union members have. They blame the mismanagement of corporate and governmental funds on the unions. They are jealous. Their fear is to be unemployed and with the cruel regulations deprived of any recourse.

Steve Carraway
Steve Carraway5 years ago

@dan b. Damn! Is that websters definition of Republican?

Jane Barton
Jane Barton6 years ago

Suzanne, we Americans have elected those Repubs and Dems to work together for a peaceful solution and to date they have hatefully spouted blame on each other and just caused a crash in our stock market and those around the world. I respect a politician who works together and solves problems but none of them did, so I don't respect any of them. I watched TV every day and saw them lying, deceiving, pointing fingers, name calling and spewing hatred. They are the ones who have OUR lives in THEIR hands so they are totally responsible for America's future. I merely pointed out that our Congress is screwing all
of us. If you can't see that then your head must be in a dark place. :)

Suzanne M.
Suzanne M6 years ago

I am a registered Democrat but I am not blinded by party lines or fooled by thoughtless rhetoric. For those. Who can only gripe that all Republicans are evil or whatever critism you have for all Denocrats why not try arguing an issue according to the issue instead ofblanket gripes about poarty lines? Some gal, Martha tells me all Repubs are a blight but the true blight on this land is griping and name calling without lifting a finger to be part of a solution to what you think needs addressing. I don't agree with the author of this piece but at least there was some action and some thought to explain her position and that deserves some respect because someone is trying. Don't bother messaging me with meaningless chatter and unfounded opinion that is nothing more than name calling. I left grade. School behind years ago. I tried toturn off replies by email but the Care2 site doesn't do it. If you leave me a spiteful comment because I think families should have freedom and options to climb out of or avert poverty, I have no respect. If you have a valid point to argue a different view, that I can respect. Debate is good for people are searching for solutions to problems, but spouting blame or hatred of all Dems or Repubs is nothing more than antagonism and equivelant to bigotry. Go ahead and gripe, but then get up and work to make this nation stronger. I respect the politician willing to scrap party lines to work with everyone toward peaceful resolution. Come together respectfully

Jane Barton
Jane Barton6 years ago

Martha, the repubs and the dems and ALL our elected leaders are a blight on the face
of our land. They are all screwing us and they are all in the pockets of rich corporations.
What's new?

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

The repubs are a blight on the face of our land.

Jane Barton
Jane Barton6 years ago

Maarja, the key word in your post is "allow". No one's forcing them to work too much so
they won't do well in school. Are there really that many irresponsible parents in America
today who force their children to work long hours and forget about school? My experience
is, and the statistics are in, that there is a 50% dropout rate in my area schools where there
are huge numbers of illegal aliens. None of the dropouts ever worked and they aren't
dropping out to work. They are children of gangbangers and they are dropping out to become
gangbangers and drug dealers and car thieves. It's a fact and I find that completely sickening because American taxpayers are not only giving them a free education, free housing and free food and free medical care, but they are paying for their incarceration and none of them appreciate it one bit. If kids want to work, I say give them the freedom to
do it, it's better than drug dealing.

Jane Barton
Jane Barton6 years ago

How can you tell what the future will hold? If abuses occur employers will be found out
and somebody will come down on them. This is the information age. People can't get
away with abuses like they used to. Although I must admit Catholic Priests got away
with child abuse for a couple thousand years. How did they do that?

Cheryl L.
Cheryl L6 years ago

Patrick F.: ------ The "smile" you refer to on that child looks more like someone following orders to smile for the photograph. It looks less like a smile than a "grimace". Take a GOOD look at those boys who look like TIRED, OLD MEN. And where did they drag them out of? Coal mines? Just lovely .... if we don't kill them with the chemicals we put in vaccinations and all the heavy metals and pollution from the environment, plus those same things that we pass from mother to fetus, then we'll send them to work at the oil wells and in the coal mines. Maybe we could send the kiddies 15 stories up on the girders of new buildings being constructed. Hand them some blow torches.