Children’s Opinions Are Sought On A Bill That Would Amend Florida’s Child Labor Regulations


Florida’s Hillsborough County Child activists claim that two proposals filed during Florida’s legislative session might undo decades of progress made in the area of child labor legislation.

Employers in Florida would be able to increase the working hours of minors between the ages of 16 and 17 if House Bill 49, Employment and Curfew of Minors, and Senate Bill 1596, Employment of Minors, are approved. The bill’s backer, Florida House Representative Linda Chaney of St. Pete Beach, claimed that it would give youths greater freedom.

Isis Mack is enrolled at Florida Virtual School in AP courses. The 16-year-old is on pace to study law after skipping a grade and currently being a junior. She credits her parents for helping her succeed academically and relieving her of the burden of a steady job.

She remarked, “It’s better for me not to have to work because I don’t have to deal with it if my boss calls me right now.”

Isis acknowledges that not many teenagers are as wealthy as she is.

“Some individuals must work while pursuing their degree,” the speaker stated. “Those without formal education are bound for low-paying jobs.”

For this reason, the youth activist has opposed HB 49, which, if it passes, would let companies to assign 16 and 17-year-olds in Florida to work earlier shifts, longer shifts than eight hours on school nights, and longer shifts than six days without a break.

Isis’ mother, Laquita Beal, stated, “You should not be working a job and paying bills in your years where your brain is developing the most.”

Beal is worried about responsibility and general child wellbeing.

A protest was organized by the Youth Action Fund in front of Chaney’s office. The group was started by Cameron Driggers to support the voices of young people like Isis.

Driggers stated, “This bill is about youth freedom to exploit, not freedom to work.”

Isis asserts that young people can still have an influence and contribute whether or not they are of voting age.

“Their goal is to support young people who are leading the fight so they won’t have as many fires to put out when they get old enough to vote,” the spokeswoman stated.

Republican state representative Linda Chaney, the bill’s sponsor, stated that the goal of the legislation is to assist people who are looking for employment opportunities.

There have been almost a million searches. How can a teenager like me acquire a job? Their desire is to work. However, these limitations deter firms from employing them. During the bill’s debate, she stated, “This bill gets the government out of their way to choose the path that’s best for them and their families.”

The Florida State Legislature will now hear committee hearings and evaluations of the bill.

The bill will go into effect on July 1, 2024, if it is passed into law.

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