An In-Depth Look at Minors in the Workforce

From the dawn of the industrial revolution, work in masses has always been an important factor in our society. And of course, along with that, comes it’s downsides. For as long as labor has existed, illegal practices in overworking minors have been infiltrating our job force, and still can be seen today.

In the modern world, with many labor laws in place, the exploitation of minors isn’t nearly as obvious as it used to be. Companies find loopholes in the system, allowing them to work minors to unhealthy extents. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), over 160 million minors throughout the world are working illegal hours and sometimes in dangerous conditions. Even in modern, developed countries, we can still see these illegal and immoral practices being put into place.

Jessica Feinberg, a guidance counselor at Wayne Valley High School, shared some of her opinions on the exploitation of minors, and even informed us of a personal experience she had with the subject. 

When asked about her feelings on the exploitative nature of corporations abusing their power, she heartily expresses her dismay. “It’s awful,” she replies. She strongly emphasizes the point that these minors, working minimum wage jobs, don’t usually have the voice, as well as the means to speak up against these highly influential companies. This is a very big problem, not just in the workforce. Minors aren’t taken as seriously as if they were adults, leading for numerous problems to go unnoticed. They aren’t given the proper means to express their concerns, causing many things to be swept under the rug.

As the interview continues, a very important question is posed to her: “Do you think that there’s potential for us to be able to permanently put a stop to this practically illegal exploitation?” Without hesitation, she immediately responds, “I do think it’s possible.” 

She brings to light that, in the current situation, many people are leaving their jobs because of these conditions. If people group together and speak up, there’s a high chance that a change will be able to be put into place.

The interview begins to wrap up, and she decides to share a final anecdote about her personal experience with being overworked in the job field. Working for $8.50 an hour in a retail job, she was constantly piled with more and more work that she couldn’t handle. After a few months, it became too much, and she quit the job.

Through this interview, it can be learned that no one, and nowhere, is exempt from the grasp of large modern corporations, and their immoral choices, including child labor. It is a very serious problem that our country must work towards fixing every day, if we truly want to be a country of freedom.