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Committee Requests Information on Proposed Farm Labor Rule

Dear Secretary Solis:

We write to request additional information on an issue of significant concern to many farmers and ranchers throughout the United States. On September 2, 2011, the Department of Labor published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to revise labor regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) for minors hired as farm workers. According to the department, this rulemaking was written based, in part, on recommendations from a decade old National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) study and the Wage and Hour Division's (WHD) enforcement actions, with an underlying goal of having similar regulations for agricultural and non-agricultural work.

As you know, more than 2.2 million farms and ranches operate in the United States. Since September, many family farmers and ranchers have expressed questions and concerns about the rulemaking. We are troubled that despite the rulemaking's potential consequences for such a large sector of the economy, the department held only one public hearing, in a single geographic area, lasting only two hours , after the NPRM was published.

To read the full letter, click here.

To read the department's March 7th response, click here.

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