It should be noted that section 12(a) does not directly outlaw the employment of oppressive child labor. Instead, it prohibits the shipment or delivery for shipment in interstate or foreign commerce of goods produced in an establishment where oppressive child labor has been employed within 30 days before removal of the goods. Section 12(c), on the other hand, is a direct prohibition against the employment of oppressive child labor in commerce, or in the production of goods for commerce. Moreover, the two subsections provide different methods for determining the employees who are covered thereby. Thus, subsection (a) may be said to apply to young workers on an “establishment” basis. If the standards for child labor are not observed in the employment of minors in or about an establishment where goods are produced and from which such goods are removed within the statutory 30-day period, it becomes unlawful for any producer, manufacturer, or dealer (other than an innocent purchaser who is in compliance with the requirements for a good faith defense as provided in the subsection) to ship or deliver those goods for shipment in commerce. It is not necessary for the minor himself to have been employed by the producer of such goods or in their production in order for the ban to apply. On the other hand, whether the employment of a particular minor below the applicable age standard will subject his employer to the prohibition of subsection (c) is dependent upon the minor himself being employed in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, or in an enterprise engaged in commerce or in production of goods for commerce within the meaning of the Act. If such a minor is so employed by his employer and is not specifically exempt from the child labor provisions then his employment under such circumstances constitutes a violation of section 12(c) regardless of where he may be employed or what his employer may do. Moreover, a violation of section 12(c) occurs under the foregoing circumstances without regard to whether there is a “removal” of goods or a shipment or delivery for shipment in commerce.
[36 FR 25157, Dec. 29, 1971]