WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) -- An Iowa congressman wants tougher penalties for federal child labor violations including jail time and higher fines.
Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, has been an outspoken critic against a kosher meatpacking plant in Postville that was charged by the state this week with more than 9,000 child labor violations.
Braley notes that while any newly passed penalties likely wouldn't be used against Agriprocessors Inc., it's important to have them in place moving forward.
The congressman's office says fines for child labor violations haven't been changed since 1938. Braley's proposed bill would boost criminal penalties from $10,000 per violation to $50,000. Civil penalties would see similar increases.
Braley says his bill would also make six months jail time possible for first-time offenders.
He says it's unlikely Congress will act on the bill this year, but he hopes it can make it through committee before lawmakers adjourn.