It is estimated that there are only 5 full-time enforcement
officers charged with finding child labor violations in the 100,000
workplaces in New Jersey. Because the problem of child labor is
still with us, Consumers League of New Jersey supports A.1711
(Asw. Nilsa Cruz-Perez and Asm. Kenneth Lefevre). This bill would
increase the penalties for breaking the child labor laws, establish
the Child Labor Law Enforcement Fund, and also appropriate $1
million extra to ensure enforcement of the child labor laws.
If you doubt the need for child labor enforcement, we point out that on May 14, 1999 Sears Roebuck & co agreed to pay $325,000 in fines because U.S. investigators discovered 227 children working on heavy machinery, or at excessive hours, in violation of the child labor laws. If Sears was doing it, New Jersey needs investigators to uncover what small businesses are doing.
Consumers League of New Jersey was founded in 1900, when child labor was common in the USA. Such practices did not become illegal until 35 years later. Exploitation of children, and disregard of the laws, are still with us. CLNJ does not approve of child labor in foreign countries, CLNJ does not approve of excessive hours for anyone, CLNJ does not approve of minimum wages here or abroad which are not enough for support life's basic needs.