OPPOSE HB 5159 – Weakens Child Labor Laws

HB 5159 passed the House on Feb 20 and is on Senate Workforce Committee  agenda today. It will likely go to Senate Judiciary after that.
Contact your Senators and tell them to OPPOSE this bill, OPPOSE weakening of child labor laws in West Virginia.
HB 5159 would permit a child aged 14 or 15 years to be employed or allowed to work and removes many current safeguards to ensure children are and remain in school. It also weakens parental consent requirements.
A 14-year-old is likely entering 9th grade, a critical starting point toward high school graduation. Poor school attendance and low educational attainment are problems in our state. This bill would take us in the wrong direction and tend to trap more West Virginians in low-wage jobs. Children who would be employed at such young ages are more likely to come from lower income families and may already be at risk of not finishing their education. Finally, putting 14- and 15-year-olds into the workforce is NOT the means to fix our state’s low labor force participation rate.