TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Joseph V. Doria which would require any work notices concerning employees under the age of 18 to be posted in both English and Spanish was approved today by the Senate by a vote of 34-0.
“Child labor laws in this country are in place not just to protect those who speak fluent English, but to protect everyone,” said Senator Doria, D-Hudson. “But, those laws only remain effective if workers know their rights. We have sizable Spanish-speaking population in New Jersey, and as they enter the workforce, they need to know that they are protected by the same rights and regulations as everyone else.”
The bill, S-1124, would require all notices that outline legal rights of employees under the age of 18 to be posted in English and Spanish, to make those rights known to a broader population of workers. In New Jersey, many immigrant workers and non-native speakers under the age of 18 are not properly educated on their employment rights, and the most frequent child labor law violations involve 14 and 15 year olds working inappropriate hours, such as late at night or too many hours during a school day. Senator Doria noted that his bill would increase education, and put pressure on employees to abide by current child labor laws.
“The first step to ensuring greater compliance with child labor laws is to educate employees of their rights,” said Senator Doria. “Too many workers are disadvantaged because they do not understand their rights under the law. This bill would make the employment rights afforded under U.S. law to all employees under 18 accessible to a greater number of workers, and would put employers on notice that laws are intended to be followed.”
The bill now heads to the Assembly for consideration.