'Jon & Kate Plus 8' being investigated for child labor laws violations
By Reality TV World staff, 05/29/2009
Jon & Kate Plus 8 stars Jon and Kate Gosselin now have an new woe to deal with in addition to their tabloid problems and marital issues: a child labor laws investigation.
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor has confirmed that it is investigating whether Jon & Kate Plus 8 is violating child labor laws after receiving an unidentified complaint against the popular TLC reality series.
"We're not saying that they are not complying with child labor laws. We're investigating a complaint," Pennsylvania Department of Labor employee Troy Thompson told Us Weekly. "We're not saying that there was or was not a violation, just that we're conducting an investigation."
The department is declining to reveal any details about who filed the compliant, when they filed it, or what specific allegations they are alleging.
"Because the case is ongoing I can't discuss the content of the investigation," Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry spokesman Christopher Manlove told People.
TLC immediately released a media statement insisting Jon & Kate Plus 8's production fully complies with the state's labor laws.
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"TLC fully complies with all applicable laws and regulations. Jon and Kate + 8 is no exception," the network stated. "For an extended period of time, we have been engaged in cooperative discussions and supplied all requested information to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor. We will continue to engage the appropriate officials and meet any standards or regulations that are applicable to TLC productions."
Earlier this week, Kevin and Jodi Kreider, Kate's brother and sister-in-law, publicly alleged Jon and Kate are exploiting their eight children and treating them like commodities by having them to continue appear on the show.
"We're speaking out now because we want to be the voice of our nieces and nephews and we're seeing it turn tide that they're being viewed as a commodity," Kevin told The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith during a Wednesday interview on the CBS morning show.
"They're being exploited and it's time for America to see the situation for what it really is," Jodi added. "Unfortunately there are no laws protecting children in reality TV shows and its time for the public to be aware of this and that these children are very aware of the cameras in their home. Their home is their workplace and this is not a healthy environment for kids to be raised in."
According to Kevin and Jodi -- who occasionally appeared in Jon & Kate Plus 8's initial seasons but have since become increasingly outspoken critics of the show -- Jon and Kate have repeatedly brushed off their concerns, leaving them no choice but to speak out publicly in an attempt to protect the couple's 5-year-old sextuplets and 8-year-old twins.
"We have talked to them, many times. about the subject and they have often said 'Hey, this is kind of our lives, this is what we chose, this is how we're going to provide for them,'" Kevin said. "And we feel they have chosen this path with disregard to their children's safety [and] security."
According to Jodi, the children are already feeling the effects of the show's cameras.
"They don't want the cameras around. They have told me, personally,' she said. "We watched them quite a bit about a year ago and further back and they would say 'Aunt Jodi, I don't like the cameras on every vacation with us, I don't like them.' And too, kids have bad moments -- they cry -- and having the camera zoom in on a crying kid, I mean this should not be a form of entertainment."
"Unfortunately I think it has come down to all about the ratings and no one is looking at these children as what they are going through and the life consequences they are going to have as they get older," Jodi added later in the interview.