– Victims of child labor law violations receive nothing from fines collected by the Department of Labor and Industry for the offense. To fix this injustice, Rep. Joe D’Orsie (R-Manchester) will introduce legislation to direct money paid through fines to go to the victims.
“When a company exploits child labor, the state gets a check to spend at its discretion without any remedy to the actual victims. That's simply unjust,” D’Orsie said. “I am preparing to introduce legislation to fix this impropriety and redirect this money to benefit the children who were victims of child labor violations.”
Currently, when the Department of Labor and Industry determines a child labor law infraction has occurred, a fine is imposed on the company, with money paid going to the state’s General Fund.
D’Orsie’s proposal would direct the Department of Labor and Industry to work with the state treasurer to make reasonable efforts to determine whether the child has one of the following accounts: a 529 account, an account used to pay for nonpublic school tuition, a long-term investment or savings accounts, or another depository account.
If an account is found, a portion of the fine would be deposited to it. If one is not found, the money would be provided to the child through his or her parent or legal guardian along with information on how to set up a 529 account to help the child save for future educational costs.
“When a company commits child labor violations, the fines should be directed to the benefit of the children who were taken advantage of,” D’Orsie said. “This money shouldn’t disappear into a bottomless pit in Harrisburg, it should support a child’s future through education.”