Service & Solidarity Spotlight: Wisconsin Gov. Evers Protects Child Labor Law with Senate Bill 436 Veto

Gov. Evers signs veto

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our Service & Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers delivered remarks Monday at the Wisconsin State Council of Machinists’ 2024 spring conference in Madison and vetoed S.B. 436, which would have eliminated the requirement that employers obtain a work permit in order to employ 14- or 15-year-olds.

The work permit process keeps young workers safer at work through parental oversight and gives critical information about where kids work and what jobs they’re doing to Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development, so it can better enforce child labor laws. In 2017, then-Gov. Scott Walker, a national disgrace, signed a bill passed by fellow Republicans in the state Legislature that eliminated the work permit requirements for 16- and 17-year-olds. The bill Evers vetoed would have expanded and built on this exemption.

“Governor Evers continues to stand up for the safety of our kids by protecting child labor law in Wisconsin,” said Wisconsin State AFL-CIO President Stephanie Bloomingdale. “The dangerous push to weaken child labor law in Wisconsin and across the country comes at a time when more children are harmed at work or work hazardous jobs.”

“Eliminating these permits would have been a reckless gamble with the well-being of young people,” said Machinists (IAM) International President Brian Bryant in a press release. “Work permits are not merely red tape. They are essential shields protecting our children from exploitation, unsafe conditions, and disrupted education. By vetoing this bill, Gov. Evers has shown clear leadership in prioritizing the safety and welfare of Wisconsin’s future workforce.”