Kidfluencers and Child Labor Laws
We’ve all seen and heard about the “kidfluencers,” who unwrap new toys, play new games and get paid to do so. Like PAID, PAID. So much so, that some of their parents have quit their jobs to become the next Kris Jenner (aka their children’s momager). People are starting to wonder, whether or not child labor laws apply to kidfluencers; who should keep the money, children or parents; and what are the work life balance requirement if any. We’re here to answer that for you!
Kidfluencer compensation should go in a Coogan Account!
You see, the first child labor law was put into place in 1939 after Jackie Coogan, the nation’s first child star, was unable to obtain his hard earned money when he reached adulthood. Before the law was put in place, the common law practice was that the parents owned the earnings of the child. The Coogan Account was created so that parents would be required to place only 15% of the earnings into an account for the minor until they reached the required age. Luckily since then, there have been MANY child labor laws put into place, to give kids their coins. But with technology always changing and new jobs popping up, as a result, the laws haven’t quite kept up with the times.
Who should get paid, kidfluencers or momagers?
Besides admitting that these kids are working (even if it is something as harmless as opening up a toy), we also have to remember that typically these videos are being recorded in their home, so no one is able to regulate the number of hours worked; confirm if rest and recreation time is being given; that the child’s education isn’t being interfered with; and most importantly, that the child’s health and welfare is being looked out for.
To be on YouTube or Instagram, you have to be 13yrs or older.
Here’s where the technicalities come in. Platforms such as Instagram and YouTube require that you be a minimum of 13 years old in order to have an account. Basically none of these kids should even be on these platforms, but usually, they aren’t the ones setting everything up. If the parent/guardian is the one managing the account, then they are most likely the person negotiating influencer deals and getting paid directly when the money should be going into a Coogan account for the child’s future. The parents can use the other 85% to take care of the child, buy a house and even pay themselves a salary for managing the child, BUT the money is still technically the child’s. See how things could get a little messy?
We’re living in a time where the idea of “work” is no longer a noun. We’re referring to it more and more as a verb and less as a place we go to 5 days a week. It’s now simply the act of being productive while being compensated. Introducing new ways to do business is never an easy task, but with the changes in technology, the way we shop and many other components, we are definitely changing the way we do things to accommodate our lifestyles. Just because a child isn’t being taken into a Hollywood studio doesn’t mean they don’t deserve protection or regulation. It just means that we need to add and tweak our current laws to evolve with the times. After all, the kids that are starting their careers now will probably be some of the first to help get the blurry lines ironed out for the next generation of kidfluencers!