EXCLUSIVE: "Jon & Kate Plus 8" Could Be Shut Down By State Investigation

Jun. 1 2009, Published 9:38 a.m. ET

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Jon and Kate Gosselin could be criminally prosecuted and their show faces being shut down as a result of an ongoing child labor law investigation by the state of Pennsylvania, has exclusively learned.

Timothy M. Kolman, a Pennsylvania attorney specializing in labor and employment law for more than 20 years, told that last season's 41 episodes of Jon & Kate Plus 8 could be considered the equivalent of temporary employment for the Gosselin kids. "The (state) law forbids temporary employment. The state does not authorize temporary employment under any circumstances for children this young," Kolman told

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And if the state investigation categorizes the 41-episode as temporary employment, the Gosselins and the show face possible stiff penalties. (The Department of Labor will make the determination about temporary employment, says Kolman.)

"If it's found that there is a problem, the Department of Labor can sue the parents," Kolman told Under Pennsylvania child labor laws, he says, "the parents can be prosecuted by the Department of Labor and Industry. Under those circumstances (they) could face a criminal proceeding."

They would not face prison time but could be subject to a fine.

Kolman, of Timothy M. Kolman and Associates, also says that the Gosselin twins and sextuplets must have a work permit in order to work on the show. "If the Gosselins failed to get the required work permit they could be facing charges in front of a local magistrate," Kolman told "The work permit would have to be authorized by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. The Department must review the permit (application) and ensure the children's welfare, education, safety, and health are properly being taken care of before issuing the permit."

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A spokesperson for the state refused to tell if the children have work permits. The spokesperson did confirm that the investigation is ongoing.

Said Kolman: "If the Gosselins failed to get the required work permit they could be facing charges in front of a local magistrate."

Kolman said that under Pennsylvania law these work permits cannot exceed 6 months and can only be used for a single artistic endeavor, not for temporary employment or any long-term arrangements. The permits are renewable.

Kolman said if the Department of Labor finds the Gosselins are violating the Pennsylvania statute, the parents can be criminally prosecuted under Pennsylvania Child Labor Law. Even worse for TLC, the show could be shut down and the Gosselins' case could be referred to social welfare agencies in Pennsylvania, who could potentially remove the kids from the home!

The good news for TLC and the Gosselins is that case law is almost non-existent on this issue. "There is almost no case law on the interpretation of this," attorney Kolman told "It will be up to the department" to make a determination. (Photo: INF)


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