Maine Governor Proposes Loosening of Child Labor Laws

The Paralegal Resource
December 12, 2013 — 1,510 views  
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Maine governor, Paul LePage, has proposed a new law by which children under the age of 16 will be allowed to work a fixed number of hours per week. The new law has come under a lot of criticism, but it also has its promoters. The law is still being discussed and has not been passed yet.

Many American states have made child labor illegal. This has also been the case in Maine for many decades. Children under the age of 12 have not been allowed to work. Currently, children under the age of 16 can do some work as long as they meet the necessary requirements such as school enrollment and demonstrated need.

The New Law

The new law will allow children of any age to do a maximum of 40 hours of work per week. Only certain kinds of approved occupations are allowed under this law. Dangerous and hazardous occupations will not be allowed under this law. The children will also need to obtain the permission of their parents before they perform the work. The children will not be allowed to miss out on school due to their work.

Impact of the Law

The law could have a major impact upon the lives on the youth of the state. Owing to the recent economic downturn, the economic prospects of the state have been quite dim. The state has seen a contraction of its GDP and the unemployment rate has increased. It has become difficult for the youth to obtain employment. This has made them more dependent upon their parents.

But under the new law, the youth of the state could achieve some measure of economic independence and could make a decent living in the economy. Most children will still need to attend school and finish college if they want to earn a higher salary, but the work that they do in their youth will also come in handy to supplement their parents’ income.


As long as the children meet all the necessary requirements and have the permission of their parents, this could just work out for some families. The law is still being debated, but there is no doubt that it could provide major benefits to the youth.

The Paralegal Resource