“Today in Augusta, members of the Legislature’s Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee voted ought not to pass on a bill that would have rolled back decades of bipartisan support for child labor protections. The Maine Women’s Lobby lauds their decision – for Maine teens – and Maine’s economy,” said Sara Standford of the Maine Women’s Lobby.
L.D. 1346, introduced by Representative David C. Burns (R – Whiting), would have abolish minimum wage protections for high school students 20 and under – limiting their income to just $5.25 in the first six months. It would have also eliminated any cap on the number of hours a 16 year old could work on a school day.
On May 6, 2011 the entire committee voted to kill the bill.
“There was so much overwhelming testimony and evidence that LD 1346 was a bad idea that all committee members grew to oppose it. No one, regardless of party, could justify supporting this legislation that created a training wage for minors,” said Rep. Erin Herbig who serves on the LCRED committee. “However, another bill still exists. LD 516, which would increase the amount of hours a minor could work during the school year, reported out of committee divided down party line. I have the same concerns for this legislation.”
The LCRED committee previously voted ‘ought to pass’ on this proposal to loosen protections for Maine’s teen workers, L.D. 516, which would permit employers to schedule teen workers up to 24 hours during the school week, up to six hours on a school day and keep them working until 11 o’clock on a school night.