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March 17, 2023

House Advances Bill to Prevent Child Labor Violations

DENVER, CO - The House today passed legislation on a preliminary vote to prevent child labor violations.

“Currently, underage employees are only able to pursue legal action for workers compensation violations, meaning that victims of child labor violations like dangerous working conditions and illegal working hours can’t seek accountability in court,” said Rep. Sheila Lieder, D-Littleton. “Teens across the state find part-time work for many reasons, such as gaining work experience or saving for college expenses. This bill expands legal options for underage workers to hold their workplace accountable for child labor violations and unsafe working conditions that no child should be subjected to.”

Current Colorado law only allows a child worker to pursue legal action against a company for workers’ compensation. HB23-1196 amends language in the Colorado Youth Employment Opportunity Act of 1971 to expand the legal action that a child, or a parent of a child, can take to hold a company accountable for breaking child labor laws. 

The bill is in response to many recent child labor law violations, including a food sanitation corporation with Colorado facilities that was fined $1.5 million in penalties. Teens have twice the risk of nonfatal on-the-job injuries than older workers, making it especially necessary for this legal expansion for underage workers.

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