New Questions About Legality of 'Kate Plus 8' Work Permits

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By Kamika Dunlap on July 16, 2010 9:58 AM

The six stars of the TLC program "Kate Plus 8" could lose their spot on the reality television series.

A Pennsylvania state lawmaker is questioning the legality of work permits issued to Kate Gosselin's sextuplets for the reality show, the Associated Press reports.

Under Pennsylvania law, children under 7 can work in movies, but not television. Rep. Thomas Murt sent a letter to the state attorney general and labor secretary asking for clarification.

In April, Murt held a legislative hearing on the need to update child labor laws in the age of reality TV and Internet entertainment. Kate Gosselin's estranged brother testified that he worried about the psychological effects that constant filming might have on his nieces and nephews.

That same day, state regulators ruled that producers should have obtained labor permits for the Gosselins' children during the years of filming here.

No penalties were assessed however permits were obtained for future filming and a portion of "Jon & Kate" proceeds were placed in a trust fund for the kids.

The television show is filmed in Wernersville, Pa., about 55 miles northwest of Philadelphia. It features single mom, Kate Goselin who is newly divorced and her twins and sextuplets.

In general, Federal and state legislation that protects children by restricting the type and hours of work they perform.

The specific purpose of child labor laws is to safeguard children against harm generally associated with child labor, such as exposure to hazardous, unsanitary, or immoral conditions, and overwork.

Child labor legislation primarily applies to business enterprises, but in some states nonprofit activities are within the purview of the law.

Each state also has its own set of child labor laws that may further prohibit or restrict employment of children. The laws vary in detail from state to state, particularly for those states where seasonal or agricultural employment is high. However, federal law preempts state law, and so all state laws must comply with all federal minimum requirements.

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