Employment Law

Essay by CerberusUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, January 2006

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

Employee Safety, Health and Welfare Law Paper

Child Labor

The role that children play in today's economy is nothing compared to what it was in the age of early America. Childhood is revered in today's society. However, a little more than two centuries ago, it was not so. The role that children played in the labor force was quite different then. It was customary to have children work, either on the family farm and quite often they were hired out to other farms as well. It was an intrinsic part of the farming and handicraft economy. As America changed with age, the face of child labor also changed. With the birth of the industrial revolution, and the opening of many factories, there were new employment opportunities. Eventually immigrants and women took these jobs in the textile mills. This did not mean, however that children did not work in factories.

Employers favored child labor because they were much easier to manipulate and did not have the ability to organize into unions as adults did.

In the mid-nineteenth century several states established some child labor laws as well as minimum requirements of school attendance. This was brought about when children of immigrants who were now parents were convinced of the necessity of education for the children's personal benefit and the benefits to society as well by education reformers. Unfortunately these laws did little if no good since there were many loop holes and enforcement was almost nonexistent. The efforts were also further hampered by the incursion of immigrants between 1840 and 1880 when the Irish and many others from all over Europe settled in America. They came with a whole new group of children to be exploited. Unfortunately the parents of these children did nothing to stop this because their...