New York labor officials pointed to a steep increase in child labor law violations in New York, a 68% rise in 2022 compared to the prior year. 

The state Department of Labor on Tuesday announced plans to roll out a public service campaign meant to inform younger workers of their rights and protections. 

“As we see a rise in child labor violations, we are acting quickly to ensure young people know their rights and are protected in the workplace,” said New York Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “Violating labor laws is unacceptable, and it’s particularly egregious when it involves vulnerable workers who are just entering the world of work. This campaign will be essential to empowering and protecting New York’s workforce, and we are proud to lead the way.”

The U.S. Department of Labor last July found child labor law violations and injuries among young workers rising across the country. Labor statistics found 2,800 people under 18 employed were in violaiton of the law in 2021. In New York, there were 464 child labor cases last year in which more than $270,000 civil penalties were collected after employers were found to be in violation. 

The increase in child labor law violations has increased in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the violations stem from wage underpayments, hours of work and barred employment. 

The new PSA effort will begin this month and run through the end of the year. In addition to informing workers of their rights, it will also show them how to report potential violations.