Lis & the Single Girl: Kid Nation Pushes Legal Limits

Single and fabulous? Well then this is the column for you!

Ever wish you had your own personal Carrie Bradshaw to answer your questions — not just about what to do if your boyfriend dumps you via text message — but serious issues that confront us? This special daily edition of “Lis on Law” will address topics that single women are faced with and that everybody wonders about — but no one has time to figure out.

Between work, working out, dating and maintaining a social life, it’s tough to find time to do much else. So, read up and prepare to be fully armed for brunch this weekend with your friends with some super conversation topics! Your pals will be amazed!

E-mail Lis * Scroll to the bottom for disclaimer information

I am a divorced parent of 3 kids. I recently read about this new show called "Kid Nation" set to start on CBS network. Doesn't that violate child labor laws, or some other laws?

Answer: For those of you who haven't heard yet, "Kid Nation" is a controversial new reality show where 40 kids will live without adult supervision for 40 days. These kids — aged 8 to 15 — live on their own, cook their own meals, clean up their own messes and run their own businesses. Through it all they're filmed as they deal with ordinary childhood dilemmas, from homesickness to peer pressure. But how may you ask are they going to live without adult supervision? And what parent would leave their 8-year-old alone to fend for him or herself?

CBS gave parents of participants in the show a nearly 22-page liability waiver to sign. This document releases the network and television show producers of liability for almost any situation imaginable. Parents who signed the waiver gave up their rights to sue if their child dies, is severely injured or contracts a sexually transmitted disease during the show's taping! The waiver also gave consent to CBS and its production partners to make medical treatment decisions on the minor's behalf without even promising a certain level of medical qualifications. Additionally, parents also signed away their child's rights to privacy. During the course of filming participants will have no privacy, except when they are in the bathroom.

Not surprisingly, this show has stemmed much controversy. Even allegations of child abuse and violation of child labor laws have been raised, because the children were filmed under such harsh conditions. However, CBS denies any mistreatment of the children, claiming that the children were always under good care and their safety monitored. They likened the process to summer camp rather than equating the children to working actors.

But these kids really do seem to have been exploited. If "work" is defined as submitting to conditions that are set by employers in order to generate profit for those employers. Thus, the only reason CBS can say these kids are not working is because they're not being compensated for their services. I can't imagine what these parents were thinking when they signed away their children's rights for a measly $5,000. Call me crazy but I think my child's safety is worth more than reality stardom could ever offer!

Only time will tell if this controversial program will hit the fall TV lineup. I have a feeling I might be answering a few more questions down the road about legal implications of this new 'reality'!


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* Disclaimer

The information contained in this Web site feature entitled “LIS ON LAW,” is provided as a service to visitors of, and does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney client relationship. FOX NEWS NETWORK, LLC makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this web site feature and its associated sites. Nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of your own counsel.

• E-mail Lis With Your Legal Questions!

Lis Wiehl joined FOX News Channel as a legal analyst in October 2001. She is currently a professor of law at the New York Law School. Wiehl received her undergraduate degree from Barnard College in 1983 and received her Master of Arts in Literature from the University of Queensland in 1985.In addition, she earned her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1987.

Lis is also the author of The 51% Minority — How Women Still Are Not Equal and What You Can Do About It . ( Watch the Video ) and Winning Every Time: How to Use the Skills of a Lawyer in the Trials of Your Life

To read the rest of Lis's bio, click here.