Maryland has decided the state can no longer afford to investigate reports of child labor law violations.
The Employment Standards Service in the Division of Labor and Industry was abolished in two stages beginning in July, and nearly all of the 28 employees lost their jobs.
A recorded message at the state office refers callers to the federal Wage and Hour Division office.
"It's certainly increased our workload. Our telephone traffic has increased at least 25 percent since mid-October," said Travis Campbell of the U.S. Labor Department's Baltimore office, which enforces federal wage, hour and child labor laws. "We've tried to service the calls the best we can, but we have gained no more employees to handle it."