The 45-year-old prohibitions against doing certain types of work in homes will be lifted effective Jan. 9, 1989, according to U.S. Department of Labor officials.
At the same time the prohibitions are being lifted, new tougher enforcement requirements will become effective, Secretary of Labor Ann McLaughlin announced.Industries in which homework was formerly prohibited but now will be allowed are gloves and mittens, embroideries, buttons and buckles, handkerchiefs and jewelry production not involving hazardous processes or substances.
"Work-force flexibility is a critical element of our effort to create jobs, enhance the quality of work life for American workers and improve our competitive edge in world markets," McLaughlin said.
Changes in the work force demand that employment opportunities are provided to as many people as possible and that the alternative and flexibility of working in the home is part of that flexibility, she said.
"Our aim is to provide American workers the choice to work at home for pay while simultaneously assuring compliance with labor standards," she said.
Enforcement of labor standards includes Department of Labor certification of homework employers and employer identification of employees working at home; revised record-keeping requirements to facilitate keeping track of hours worked; stronger penalties for violations; and a homework handbook translated into six languages.
Enforcement authority has been given to the Wage and Hour Division of the department's Employment Standards Administration.