Labor laws are intended to protect workers from harsh or dangerous conditions and to ensure that workers' have rights to protect their safety and welfare. Despite the known dangers of farm work, children throughout North Carolina continue face grave dangers, long hours and unsafe work conditions. Many of these children are not given the same protections due to loopholes in labor law.
Though Gov. Pat McCrory has set aside "Farm Health and Safety Week" in North Carolina, there are a number of hazards faced by child farmworkers that must be addressed by legislators. The governor acknowledges that the young workers are at a significant risk of injury. Our Spartanburg workers' compensation attorneys are dedicated to helping all workers protect their rights and recover financial support for lost wages and medical costs related to an accident or illness. We are dedicated to protecting workers' rights throughout the region and stay abreast of labor issues impacting North Carolina residents and communities.
Recent reports indicate that some workers, as young as 12, begin working 10 hour days as farmworkers. Their job duties may include planting seeds, pulling tops of tobacco plants and harvesting new crops. Many child farmworkers have reported rashes and other skin problems related to chemical exposure. In addition to surface exposure, children are also at risk because their bodies are still in development. Long-term exposure or effects of chemical exposure may lead to cancers, reproductive health issues and neurological problems.