Murt Offers Bill to Update Pennsylvania’s Child Labor Laws

Bill would protect children involved in television and film production 

Rep. Thomas P. Murt (R-Montgomery/Philadelphia) today unveiled House Bill 2515, his legislation to address deficiencies in Pennsylvania’s child labor law as it relates to television and film productions in the Commonwealth. 

“Pennsylvania is becoming home to a growing number of television and film productions,” said Murt.  “As more productions come to the Commonwealth, we have a responsibility to examine our laws to ensure they are sufficient to enable these productions to occur safely and that the interests of all involved are protected.” 

Murt noted that between 2002 and 2008, 922 productions took place all or in part in Pennsylvania.  In 2002, 31 films that were released took place in Pennsylvania.  By 2008, that number increased to 175.  That represents an average annual growth rate of 33 percent over that period. 

“This is a growing industry in the Commonwealth and current law is not adequate to address the particular issues that come with it,” Murt added.  “That is why I hosted a public hearing on this issue back in April. 

“Based on the testimony we heard at the hearing, I have developed House Bill 2515,” Murt continued.   “This bill is aimed at addressing several holes in the current law which were identified at the hearing.” 

Murt said his legislation would: 

  • Require all minors to have a work permit issued by the state Department of Labor and Industry to ensure all adequate provisions have been made for the minor’s educational instruction, supervision, health and welfare. 
  • Restrict minors to work between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. and set guidelines for amount of hours for work, recreation, school work, and activities per work day.  
  • Require the presence of a “set teacher” on the set of any production.  This person will serve as an advocate for the minor to ensure the minor’s health, education, and moral safety on the set.  In addition, this person will monitor the working conditions, the minor’s mental health, and the demands placed on the minor to ensure they are appropriate to the minor’s age, strength, and stamina.  
  • Require that 15 percent of a minor’s gross earnings be set aside by the employer in a trust for the minor.  At least one parent or legal guardian shall be trustee of these funds unless otherwise determined by a court. 

Murt said his bill has been introduced and he is hopeful it will receive consideration by the full House and Senate before the end of the legislative session. 

Rep. Thomas P. Murt
152nd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

(215) 674-3755
(717) 787-6886
Contact:  Sean Yeakle
(717) 787-3406
Member Site:
Caucus Site:

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