The Gosselins and the Fair Labor Standards Act
I’m not going to pretend to be a labor law attorney, but I did hear some news reports that Jon and Kate are being investigated for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) as it relates to their eight children. That’s pretty intense. I mean, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, it is illegal to employ children under the age of 14. I don’t think that any of the Gosselin kids are older than age 10. So what gives?
Well, I am sure there is some loophole they are depending on to get them out of any legal soup. I mean, the Olsen kids have been working since birth and there was no violation of the FLSA. So obviously, there are some exceptions and loopholes to the general rule. About the FLSA:
“The FLSA was enacted in 1938 to deter and eliminate oppressive child labor by placing limits on the ages of employment, the hours children work, and the type of work they perform. It was initially an attack on such abuses as employing young children for long hours in coal mines, cotton mills, and garment factories. Today, however, employers engaged in much less severe employment practices may find themselves in violation of the FLSA and/or the target of a DOL investigation.” By Michael Blickman and Pamela Keller.
Well. Okay. First of all, if I were there attorney, I would probably be thinking about the definition of “work”. I mean, are the kids really engaged in “work” with a camera following them around 24/7? Or are they being captured just being kids? Is it work? Or is it living? That’s my big question.
I guess when you start to pay the kids, then it is work. And I am pretty darned sure the kids are getting a salary each. That is why Kate’s brother and her sister in law came out and said the kids are being “exploited.” I frankly was not particularly moved by their testimony. I just wonder if to some extent, the millions the Gosselins are raking in because of their cute kids may not be getting on the nerves of the sister in law, who then sets up her husband (the brother) to rat on his sister? I mean, people are jealous. And sometimes they are evil. So I am taking their testimony with a grain of salt.
Okay. But. If it is work, then the FLSA applies. And so, where does that leave us? I mean, Jon and Kate?
My big question is whether Kate and Jon have acted illegally and have run afoul of the federal statute forbidding and/or regulating the type of work that the Gosselin youngsters are engaged in? I mean, I don’t know anything about labor law, as I generously stated as a disclaimer above, but obviously, the Olsen kids and other kids work legally. So there is a loophole in there somewhere with respect to the general rule that children under the age of 14 cannot be employed. And if so, I wonder how their attorneys will get them out of the mess? Cause obviously, they will. And it shouldn’t be all that hard. I mean, Dakota Fanning just turned 15 and she’s been working for years and years…..so little kids can work….
Boy oh boy. Those poor kids. Those poor, poor little babies.
More on Jon and Kate here: http://www.divorcesaloon.com/index.php?s=Jon+and+Kate