President Donald Trump was accused of breaking child labor laws on Friday after the White House let an 11-year-old Virginia boy assist in cutting the White House lawn.
Who is the kid?
Young Frank Giaccio sent Trump a letter earlier this year offering his lawn care services. Giaccio told Trump he started his own lawn care business and would even work on the White House’s lawn for free.
Frank became somewhat of an internet sensation on Friday after he was pictured with Trump.
— Natalie Strom (@NStrom45) September 15, 2017
Frank is hard at work in the Rose Garden and doing a great job! pic.twitter.com/u4f2DtLvu6
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) September 15, 2017
Frank even did multiple interviews with major media outlets like Fox News and CNN. He also talked to the media in the White House press briefing room.
Why the accusations
Frank’s story went viral Friday, mostly because it was a super cool, feel good story. With all of the negative news in the press these days, who doesn’t love a story about a young boy wanting to cut the White House lawn — and then actually getting to do so?
But not everyone was enthusiastic about Frank’ endeavors:
I didn't know that the white house advocates unpaid child labour
— Paul (@Archer_toursfc) September 15, 2017
Lol still employing child labor even in the White House. Guess it’s not limited to the 6 year olds that make his and Ivanka’s clothes.
— Casey Thomas Snyder (@caseynotkc4) September 15, 2017
IMPEACH HIM! – Trump Violates Child Labor Law for Photo Op https://t.co/YhiUOAhbTj
— Gary Legum (@GaryLegum) September 15, 2017
Does Ivanka know about this? She has a position for him in a sweatshop!
— FLP (@orptica1) September 15, 2017
So a kid is taking away some adults full time job. How is it that he is allowed on WH grounds and other ppl are not?
— JoK (@99MorningCoffee) September 15, 2017
Not sending a great signal on child labor, minimum wage & occupational safety >> Trump White House lets a 10-year-old volunteer mow its lawn https://t.co/uj7N9Mr8Yi
— Steven Greenhouse (@greenhousenyt) September 15, 2017
How is the White House paying an underage boy to work with power equipment that could hurt him? This is so fake
— Homeopathicredpill (@dps1879) September 15, 2017
Guess Trump doesn't understand about child labor laws
— Jules (@BaittyJulie) September 15, 2017
Did Trump really violate child labor laws?
The Fair Labor Standards Act, which includes child labor laws, says that children under 14 can work chore-like jobs, including lawn care. The laws also outline a laundry list of other jobs young teenagers can work. As long as the work “is safe and does not jeopardize their health, well-being or educational opportunities,” the job is fair game.
So good on Frank for embracing the American spirit and a solid work ethic at such a young age. If more kids took Frank’s approach to work, we’d really be getting somewhere.