LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (NBC) – Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed a measure this week loosening child labor protections in the state.
The Youth Hiring Act of 2023, which was signed on Tuesday, will allow children under 16 to work without obtaining permission from the division of labor.
Youth will no longer need to get an employment certificate that verified their age, described their work and work schedule, and included written consent from a parent or guardian.
The move comes as the Biden administration has sought to crack down on child labor violations.
Critics of the new Arkansas measure argue it would eliminate protections at a time when children are increasingly being exploited by companies.
Last month, the Labor Department announced it had found more than 3,800 children working at U.S. companies in violation of federal law.
Other states, including Iowa and Minnesota, are also considering legislation to unravel child labor protections.
© 2023 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.