The U.S. Department of Labor announced that it will be re-proposing the portion of its regulation on child labor in agriculture interpreting the "parental exemption." The decision was prompted by responses from the public and members of Congress who requested that the agency allow for more input on this aspect of the rule.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack commended the announcement. "I want to applaud Secretary Solis and the Department of Labor for their decision to re-propose this portion of the rule to ensure kids across the nation have the opportunity to learn the value and reward of good old-fashioned farm work, while still providing protection to children from the most dangerous aspects of farming," he said.
USA Rice Federation and a coalition of more than 30 agriculture groups submitted comments on this rule in December 2011. The coalition is pleased that the Department of Labor took into consideration the perspective of many agriculture organizations in determining that the parental exemption should be further examined.