labor laws is common.13 A recent survey of health care providers who treat adolescents found that over three-quarters of them were unfamiliar with the child labor laws pertaining to prohibited jobs and hours.14

Efforts to educate the public about potential hazards to young workers have been mounted by federal and state government agencies. For example, in May 1995 the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) issued an alert on preventing deaths and injuries of working adolescents. The alert described child labor laws and potential hazards for young workers and provided suggestions for employers, parents, educators, and adolescents. A tear-off flyer, meant to be posted and distributed to workers, summarized the information. The U.S. Department of Labor created a web site in 1997 to provide information to adolescents about such topics as safety on the job, child labor laws, and the minimum wage.15 State agencies also produce flyers and posters aimed at publicizing child labor laws and tips for being safe on the job.

School-to-Work Opportunities Act

The purpose of the School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994 (20 U.S.C. §6101-6251) is to strengthen positive interactions between school and work. The Act calls for the creation of school-to-work systems containing three core elements: school-based learning, work-based learning, and connecting activities. School-based learning is classroom instruction and curricula that integrates high academic standards with career awareness, career exploration, and occupational skill standards established by employers and employees. Work-based learning ''means that work places become active learning environments by engaging employers as partners with educators in providing opportunities for all students to participate in high-quality work experiences" (U.S. Departments of Education and Labor, 1996:8). Connecting activities, which are meant to ensure that

13  

Personal communication from Art Kerschner, Jr., Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor and from Joan Parker, Massachusetts Attorney General's Office.

14  

Data from C. Mudgal, Massachusetts Department of Public Health; unpublished tabulations.

15  

The U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division Youth Page can be found at http://www.dol.gov/dol/esa/public/youth/home.htm.



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