According to the national media, New York labor officials pointed to a sharp increase in child labor law violations in New York, a 68% rise in 2022 compared to 2021.
The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) announced the plans to roll out a new public service campaign meant to inform younger workers of their rights and protections in the workplace regarding recent increases in child labor violations.
NYSDOL’s campaign further aims to remind employers about their responsibilities in hiring youth workers under state and federal labor law.
“As we see a rise in child labor violations, we are acting quickly to ensure young people know their rights and are protected in the workplace,” said New York Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “Violating labor laws is unacceptable, and it’s particularly egregious when it involves vulnerable workers who are just entering the world of work. This campaign will be essential to empowering and protecting New York’s workforce, and we are proud to lead the way.”
The U.S. Department of Labor last July found child labor law violations and injuries among young workers rising across the country. Labor statistics found 2,800 people under 18 employed violated the law in 2021.
In New York State, there were 464 child labor cases last year in which more than $270,000 in civil penalties were collected from employers breaking child labor laws.
The increase in child labor law violations has increased in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the violations stem from wage underpayments, hours of work, and prohibited employment.
NYSDOL’s new public service campaign kicked off in January and will continue throughout the year. The campaign will assist in educating young people on their rights in the workplace and how they can report violations to NYSDOL’s Division of Labor Standards.