Children had to work in the past to help raise money for the family. The parents could not raise enough on their own to support a whole family so children had to basically support themselves. They worked in dangerous jobs such as factories and coalmines. If those weren't available they would take whatever they could find. The children would work 10-12 hour days that are longer than a current high school academic day. They would receive almost no food and wouldn't get a break. The jobs that the children had to do were difficult and physically straining. The children that worked in the coalmines would have to carry bags of coal up hills and some children would become ill due to malnutrition.
Child labor had become a big issue and the government decided to pass provisions or laws to limit the work of children or stop the child labor for good. Each state tried to regulate their own laws but it was unsuccessful and the national government had to get involved. Some attempts to end child labor were the "Keating-Owen Act in 1916, which banned interstate commerce produced by child labor". The law served for a short two years until in 1918 the Supreme Court considered the law unconstitutional. In 1938 new national efforts were made. The Fair Labor Standards Act was put into action, which is now the basic child labor act still today.
The New York State Labor Law (1993) defines exactly when children can work and for how long. It also specifies the specific jobs a person under 18 is allowed to do. For example a 14 and 15 year old can work 3 hours a day after school and 8 hours on non-school days. They can only have a maximum of 18 hours a week, can only work 6 days a week and cannot work earlier than 7am or later... [continues]
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