Florida House votes to loosen child labor laws a year after tougher immigrant employment law
Florida House votes to loosen child labor laws a year after tougher immigrant employment law The Associated Press
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida House Passes Bill to Extend Working Hours for 16- and 17-Year-Olds
On Thursday, the Florida House passed a bill that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to work longer and later hours, one year after the state enacted a law making it more difficult for employers to hire immigrants in the country illegally. This move comes as part of ongoing efforts to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.
Supporters and Opponents
Supporters of the bill argue that teenagers and their parents are best equipped to manage their time and activities. They believe that lifting employment restrictions will provide opportunities for teenagers to build careers and earn money, especially in light of the current labor shortage. However, opponents express concerns that these changes may lead to the exploitation of children by employers and negatively impact their schoolwork.
Republican Rep. Linda Chaney, who sponsored the bill, stated, “Nearly 1 million searches have been performed for ‘How can I get a job as a teen.’ They want to work. This bill gets government out of their way to choose a path that’s best for them.”
The Bill’s Provisions
The bill aims to remove restrictions that currently prevent 16- and 17-year-olds from working more than eight hours when they have classes the next day and from working more than 30 hours a week when school is in session. The House passed the bill with an 80-35 vote.
Opposition and Concerns
Opposing Democrats argue that the existing law already allows students sufficient time to work and attend school. Rep. Anna Eskamani raised questions about whether this measure was being proposed due to the state’s immigrant employment restrictions, which have made it challenging to fill certain jobs.
Eskamani stated, “The elephant in the room is that we see a labor shortage in different parts of the economy, and part of that is tied to decisions this Legislature has made when it comes to immigration.” She also emphasized the importance of employers paying adults more for less desirable jobs instead of relying on child labor.
“I have concerns with saturating the workplace with cheap labor, which will make it harder for every person to be paid a wage they can live on,” Eskamani added.
The Senate’s Perspective
The Senate has a similar bill, although it does not go as far as the House version. Republican Senate President Kathleen Passidomo expressed concerns raised by parents regarding “young people working all hours of the day and night and not sleeping and not getting an education.” The Senate bill must receive approval from two more committees before reaching the full chamber.
“We want to allow students or kids that want to work to do that, but our number one priority is to make sure that they don’t sacrifice their education,” Passidomo emphasized.
SDGs, Targets, and Indicators Analysis
1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?
- SDG 4: Quality Education
- SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
The issues highlighted in the article are connected to SDG 4 as it discusses the potential negative impact of longer working hours on schoolwork and education. It is also connected to SDG 8 as it addresses the employment restrictions for teenagers and the labor shortage.
2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?
- SDG 4.4: By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs, and entrepreneurship.
- SDG 8.8: Protect labor rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment.
The article’s content relates to SDG 4.4 as it discusses the potential benefits of allowing teenagers to work longer hours to build careers and earn money. It also relates to SDG 8.8 as it raises concerns about the potential exploitation of children by employers.
3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?
- Indicator for SDG 4.4: Proportion of youth (aged 15-24 years) employed or in education or training
- Indicator for SDG 8.8: Proportion of children aged 5-17 years engaged in child labor
The article does not explicitly mention any indicators, but the proportion of youth employed or in education or training can be used as an indicator for measuring progress towards SDG 4.4. Additionally, the proportion of children aged 5-17 years engaged in child labor can be used as an indicator for measuring progress towards SDG 8.8.
SDGs, Targets, and Indicators Table
|SDG 4: Quality Education
|4.4: By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs, and entrepreneurship.
|Proportion of youth (aged 15-24 years) employed or in education or training
|SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
|8.8: Protect labor rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment.
|Proportion of children aged 5-17 years engaged in child labor
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