Is it considered child labor if a parent makes a kid do chores? One 14-year-old in China thought so. I’m Amy E. Feldman.
Chinese media reported the recent case of a 14-year-old who went to the police to report his parents for illegal child labor after his parents told him to put down his cell phone and do some housework. Sound familiar? When you think about it though, people do pay domestic workers to clean their house, so is it child labor if you force your own kid to do it?
Nice try, Emily. But no. US child labor laws do not apply to kids whose parents require them to do chores in the home or even work outside the home in a family business. Though there are limits, where the chores put a child in danger or prevent the child from attending school, but most parents and most authorities would have the same reaction that the Chinese police had to the 14-year-old—and that was to advise the parents to take away the cell phone and hand the kid the vacuum.