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New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions partners with U.S. Department of Labor for protection and enforcement of wage laws for child labor compliance

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) that will maximize and improve the enforcement of the laws administered by both agencies with greater coordination in regard to child labor.

“Governor Lujan Grisham has encouraged all of us to make sure we are doing everything we can to protect the health and safety of every child in our state. This expanded partnership with USDOL, focused on the Biden-Harris Administration’s increased enforcement of child labor laws, is a strong example of how we can make our state stronger,” said NMDWS Secretary Sarita Nair. “Our existing work with USDOL has had a strong united impact for enforcement of wage laws, education and awareness of those laws, and cross-training, and I look forward to continuing the collaboration between our agencies.”

Both agencies have agreed to coordinate and conduct joint outreach presentations, share training materials, provide child labor training of student workers, and share referrals of potential labor violations and other information as appropriate and consistent with applicable law. The goal is to mitigate potential child labor violations and increase the impact of compliance efforts.

The Department previously signed an MOU with USDOL in February 2020. From that time, NMDWS and USDOL Wage and Hour Division have worked closely together to protect employee rights, defend law-abiding employers against unfair competition, and maximize taxpayer resources. Under the MOU signed today, the agencies agree to work with each other to provide a side-by-side comparison of laws with overlapping provisions and jurisdiction.

NMDWS Labor Relations Division, Child Labor Section enforces the Child Labor Act and investigates possible violations concerning minors. This section issues and monitors work permits and age certificates issued by the schools to assure compliance. In addition, the section is responsible for notifying school officials of applicable laws and making presentations to students and employers. The Child Labor Section continues to work in partnership with the USDOL to expand the leverage of its enforcement and education initiatives. Education serves to promote voluntary compliance by informing employers, educators, young workers, and their parents about the child labor laws so that they may make informed decisions about when and where young workers should work.

More information on Child Labor Laws and Work Permit Certificates can be found on the NMDWs website https://www.dws.state.nm.us/Child-Labor.

NMDWS Secretary Sarita Nair
Pictured above left to right: USDOL Wage & Hour District Director Evelyn Ortiz, NMDWS Cabinet Secretary Sarita Nair


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The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS) oversees the New Mexico public workforce system. The department is committed to supporting the business community and assisting New Mexicans seeking employment opportunities by bridging the link between employer needs and the skilled workforce. The department administers programs to include business services; workforce training; Unemployment Insurance; labor law enforcement; veterans’ services; and labor market information.

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions is 85% Federally funded with ($106,960,200), and 15% ($18,543,600) financed by non-federal sources in state fiscal year 2024.
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