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Labor Secretary Calls Batboy Rule ‘Off Base’

May 28, 1993

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Labor Secretary Robert B. Reich declared Thursday the child-labor rule that got a 14-year-old batboy fired is ″off base″ and suspended enforcement for the rest of the baseball season.

The Savannah, Ga., Cardinals of the South Atlantic League said they planned to hire back 14-year-old Tommy McCoy who had been sidelined by the Labor Department regulation.

″Tommy McCoy can go back to the ball park,″ Reich said in a statement.

Under the rule, youngsters under 16 years old must finish work by 7 p.m. on school nights and 9 p.m. on other nights.

McCoy had been batboy of the Georgia team until May 20 when he was fired after the Labor Department told Cardinals general manager Ric Sisler that he was in violation of the child labor laws.

Reich said in his statement that ″after a preliminary review, the current child labor policy, as it has been applied to batboys and batgirls, seems off base.″

″While we consider revisions, I am today suspending the enforcement of this federal regulation for the remainder of this baseball season,″ Reich said. ″I wish Tommy and the Savannah Cardinals well.″

Earlier, U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., wrote Reich a letter asking that the Labor Department make a waiver for youth ″who are doing the right thing, who are showing initiative, and who have a summer job which was not provided for them by the government.″

Georgia Labor Commissioner David Poythress said Thursday he granted a waiver of state laws at the request of Marcia McCoy, Tommy’s mother. He

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