The scandal continues for Jon and Kate Gosselin.
On Friday, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor confirmed that an investigation is underway to determine if the hit TLC show Jon & Kate Plus 8 is violating child labor laws after receiving a complaint against the show. "We're not saying that they are not complying with child labor laws. We're investigating a complaint," Troy Thompson of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor tells Usmagazine.com. "We're not saying that there was or was not a violation, just that we're conducting an investigation." In a statement, a TLC rep said: "TLC fully complies with all applicable laws and regulations. Jon and Kate + 8 is no exception. 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."
The reality show -- for which Jon and Kate earn $50,000-$75,000 an episode -- features their eight children, including 8-year-old twins and sextuplets who just turned 5. (Monday's season five premiere drew a record 9.8 million viewers.) Being on the show means the kids might be exempt from standards such as how many hours they can work per day. Ellen Dannin, law professor at Penn State Dickinson School of Law, tells Us: "It's not like acting. They're just going about their regular lives."
Earlier this week, Kate's brother and sister-in-law said they fear the emotional toll the show is taking on the children. "They're being viewed as a commodity," Kevin Kreider, Kate's younger brother, said on CBS' Early Show Wednesday. Added his wife Jodi, "They're being exploited, and it's time for America to see the situation for what it really is."
Despite Kate's claims, Jodi said the kids do not like the cameramen in their home all the time. "They don't want the cameras around. They have told me personally," said Jodi. "They would say, 'Aunt Jodi, I don't like the cameras on every vacation with us.'"
"Kids have bad moments, and they cry," Jodi added. "Having a camera zoom in on a crying child... this should not be a form of entertainment."