This year, child labor laws returned to the spotlight for the first time in decades. Amid a shortage of workers due to the pandemic, lawmakers in at least 14 states have loosened or attempted to loosen laws governing teen workers. Proponents, led by conservative activists, contend that easing restrictions would provide more opportunities to youths, setting them on a path for career success. Opponents cite skyrocketing violations of existing federal and state laws that resulted in deaths and injuries of young workers. They say relaxing labor laws would endanger the youngest workers, especially newly arrived child migrant workers who may urgently need money but are not familiar with what recourse they may have if they are injured. They also may not have family members nearby ...

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