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To: The City of Jackson

From: Bianca McIntyre


Date: March 10, 2015

Subject: A proposal of lowering the minimum employment age.

I write this letter to propose a solution to adolescents who would like to attain a job, but
employment age jeopardize and surpass the given requirements. The problem is that the
minimum age requirement, age sixteen, is interfering with adolescents who wishes to better
themselves, their families, and most importantly, their city. The age requirement is not as
effective as the past since there is an increase demand for jobs ranging from the age thirteen to
fifteen and now it is not like how it use to be over a thousand years ago. With the increase of
demands, young teenagers will continually become frustrated because it is becoming frustrating
to know that they cannot become responsible young adults without crossing the line. Thus, I
suggest that the City of Jackson should lower the minimum employment age so that young
adolescents can fulfil their potential, need of being responsible, and preoccupy their minds to
keep them out of trouble. I know it seems impossible since there are laws prohibiting young
people to work, but I am willing to take a shot to help out my fellow peers.

There are many young teenagers out there in the city of jackson whom seek employment.
Their reasons for employment varies from escaping poverty, learning responsibility, or simple to
help out their family. Either way, it is beneficial in some form or fashion. From the article, A
History of Child Labor, reviewed by Milton Fried states In the United States it took many
years to outlaw child labor. By 1899, 28 states had passed laws regulating child labor. Many
efforts were made to pass a national child labor law. The U.S. Congress passed two laws, in 1918
and 1922, but the Supreme Court declared both unconstitutional. In 1924, Congress proposed a
constitutional amendment prohibiting child labor, but the states did not ratify it. Then, in 1938,
Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act. It fixed minimum ages of 16 for work during
school hours, 14 for certain jobs after school, and 18 for dangerous work. Today all the states and
the U.S. government have laws regulating child labor. These laws have cured the worst evils of
children working in factories. ("Child Labor." Reviewed by Milton Fried. The New Book of
Knowledge. Grolier Online, 2014. Web. 10 March 2015).

The United States Federal Child Labor Law either declared jobs as the following:
Non-Agricultural Employment

Agricultural Employment

Minimum
Age for
NonHazardous
Employment

14 years old

10 and 11-years-old, with parental


consent, on farms not covered by
minimum wage requirements

Minimum
Age for
Hazardous
Employment

18 years old

16 years old

Maximum
Hours of
Employment
for youth
under 16years-old

No work during school hours.


Additionally:

No work during school hours.

*Exceptions include: newspaper


delivery, performing in radio, television,
movie, or theatrical productions, and
12 and 13-years-old, with parental
work for parents in family business
consent
(except manufacturing or hazardous
14 and 15-years-old, no restrictions
jobs)
on non-hazardous work

On school days: 3 hours/day, 18


hours/week maximum
When school is out of session: 8
hours/day, 40 hours/week
Labor Day to May 31: work must occur
between 7 am-7 pm
June 1-Labor Day: all work must occur
between 7 am-9 pm

Federal
Minimum
Wage and
Overtime

Federal Minimum is $7.25 per hour as


of 7/24/09
Youth Minimum is $4.25 per hour for
employees under 20 years of age during
their first 90 consecutive calendar days
of employment with an employer

Many agricultural employers are


exempt from federal minimum
wage requirements
For agricultural employers who are
not exempt from minimum wage
laws, the same federal and youth
minimum discussed in the non-

Overtime (1 1/2 regular pay) must be


paid after 40 hours/week

agricultural section would apply.


Agricultural employees are exempt
from overtime requirements under
federal law

(Chart cited from "U.S. Laws." - The Child Labor Education Project. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.
<http://www.continuetolearn.uiowa.edu/laborctr/child_labor/about/us_laws.html>)
The chart given have so many restrictions. This means that if any teenager would want to
pursue a job, there will be a hole in the road to getting there. It is amazing how so many young
people would like to work now. Why take that from them? Technology has advanced so that
training a young person should not be such a hassle since most young people understand
electronic gadgets faster than anyone. Being quick, diligent, young learners allow a teenager to
be adequate for a job. However, the age restriction and laws surrounding jobs are clearly
interfering the progress of young people and this city. Because of Child Labor Laws, it hinder
our city and the young people of it. Discouraging young people is a huge understatement. We
should change this before it is too late. Keeping the young people preoccupied would benefit our
city, lower dropout rates since they would be working, and increase their skills to showcase their
true potential. Almost everything a job has to offer is beneficial, and it is quite difficult to refuse
something that benefits our city of Jackson.

The solution is to at least allow young people as young as thirteen to work part-time jobs.
With this being said, it will allow young people to not be over worked, deprived from school
work, or derived from the urge of responsibility calling. I propose the city of Jackson should only
allow young people who are serious about working to actually get a job. Those young people will
lead our city in the right direction since young people are our future and we must do anything in
our power to make our future as bright as possible.
In conclusion, I believe lowering the age requirement of employment would empower
our city. It would jumpstart such an amazing future that awaits. Allowing young people to work
would make the generations to come eager to work just like this generation now. Why repress
these young minds? Lower the age requirement of employment and I promise you, you will not
be sorry. Thank you for taking your precious time out of your day to read and consider my
proposal.