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Letter to the House Education and Workforce Committee on CARE Act

June 25, 2013

Dear Representative: 

On behalf of the three million members of the National Education Association (NEA), we urge you to support on the Children’s Act for Responsible Employment (CARE) Act (H.R. 2342), introduced by Representative Roybal-Allard (D-CA).  This legislation would end the dangerous double standard that allows children in agriculture to work at younger ages and for longer hours than children working in all other industries.  

While retaining current exemptions for family farms, the CARE Act would bring age and work hour standards for children in agriculture up to the standards for children working in all other occupations. This means teenagers would need to be at least 14 years of age to work in agriculture and at least 18 years of age to perform particularly hazardous work.  Currently, the agriculture industry is the only industry that allows children as young as twelve to work with no restrictions on hours. 

The CARE Act reflects the very best in our country’s values. The decision to literally protect children on farms throughout the country should be an easy one for every member of Congress. We applaud Congresswoman Roybal-Allard’s leadership and advocacy for the equal protection of all children through the CARE Act, and urge your support of this important legislation.  


Mary Kusler
Director of Government Relations