Bill Would Change Child Labor Law

HATBORO, Pa. - There may soon be a new reality for film crews working in Pennsylvania.

And while one show with a Berks County backdrop wasn't mentioned specifically, relatives of Jon and Kate Gosselin were front row when the proposed legislation was unveiled.

Whether children are signing autographs or appearing at a mall or a car dealership opening, that's work time, said Pa. Rep. Tom Murt, (R) Montgomery/Philadelphia. Those children are working.

Under Murt's bill, even in a reality show showing time at home, if cameras are rolling on kids, it would be considered work.

The bill amends the Commonwealth's current child labor law to include limits on work hours for any child involved in the entertainment industry, and that includes reality TV.

It's positive change, said Jodi Kreider. It's keeping current with the reality format that's out there now.

Kevin and Jodi Kreider are the brother and sister-in-law of Berks County's reality TV queen, Kate Gosselin.

They've championed the bill and claim their nieces and nephews, the eight in TLC's hit Jon and Kate Plus 8, were overworked and underpaid.

We had the unique perspective, said Kevin Kreider. So now we want to use that perspective for something very positive.

The bill, which was unveiled at the Hatboro Borough Hall in Montgomery County, also calls for something called set teachers to be involved with any production involving children. They would be state certified teachers who also act as child advocates.

We would anticipate a teacher that would serve in that role to be knowledgeable about the various aspects of code relating to entertainment, as well as have current certification in their content area, said Murt.

And then there's the matter of money.

If passed, the bill would make all earnings the sole property of the working child.

But it would also require the employer to put 15% aside in a trust fund that even parents couldn't touch unless a court decided otherwise.

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Allentown, PA 18102




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