Workers at a Tyson Foods factory in Springdale, Arkansas, where a protest took place earlier this week. 
Credit: Gregory Smith / Corbis / Getty

Child labor violations have been soaring in the US, but efforts to render solutions through legislation have received little support, and Republicans at the state level continue pushing bills that would roll back current child labor protections.

In most recent fiscal year, the US Department of Labor wage and hour division reported 835 cases of child labor violations affecting 3,876 minors, and 688 minors employed in violation of hazardous occupation, a 283% increase since 2015. Civil penalties against employers totaled just under $4.3m.

The Department of Labor has pushed to ramp up enforcement against child labor and the exploitation of migrant child labor, but the wage and hour division remains too underfunded and too understaffed to protect workers adequately.

At the state level, labor departments also saw sharp increases in child labor violations last year. A record number of employers were cited for child labor violations in Washington and in New York, the state labor department […]

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