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Things You Should Know about

Child Labor Laws

Child labor laws are designed to protect the educational

opportunities of youth and prohibit their employment in jobs
that are detrimental to their health and safety. Child labor
laws are applicable to employees under the age of 18. These
laws specify and define various aspects of employment such
as payment of wages, number of workable hours, and safe
and healthful workplace environments. Compliance with,
child labor laws is mandatory for employers. In this article,
we will discuss things you should know about these laws.

Child labor laws

The objective of child labor laws is to protect the rights of
working individuals under the age of 18. These laws create
standards for employers to comply with so that the child
workers are treated without bias.

Restricted jobs
For children under 14-15 years
Rules under child labor laws do not permit children to be
employed in certain types of jobs. For example, they are not
permitted to be employed in jobs operating motor vehicles,
loading/unloading trucks, or working as public messenger
Working in the manufacturing or mining industries or in any
hazardous occupation is prohibited.

16-17 years
Children in this age group cannot be employed in hazardous
Laws prohibit children in this age group from working in jobs
that require excavation operation, roofing operation and all
work on or about a roof, operation of power driven circular
saws, band saws, abrasive cutting discs and wood chippers,
balers, or compactors, meat and poultry slaughtering,
packing/processing, power driven metal-forming, pouncing
and shearing machines and power-driven woodworking
machines, operating motor vehicles and forest firefighting.

Hours and days of work permitted

Child labor laws specify the number of hours that are
permitted for employment of children. The number
depends on the age group and type of the industry.

14-15 Years
School going children in the age group 14-15 are permitted
up to 18 hours a week (in work that is permissible under the
laws) when school is in session, and up to 40 hours when
school is not in session.
Further, meals periods and breaks are regulated by state law
but generally minor workers are not permitted to work more
than five hours continuously - without a break of half an hour.
When school is in session, a child can work not longer than
three hours a school day.

When school is not in session because of holidays, child can

work no longer than eight hours.
Work is prohibited before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. on any day,
except from June 1st through Labor Day, when nighttime work
hours are extended to 9 p.m.
16-17 years
For children aged 16-17 years, there is no limit on the number of
workable hours a week. However, the job must not be declared
as hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.

Exempted children
There are certain exemptions under child labor laws. These
exemptions apply in terms of the number of workable hours and
age restrictions.
Minors (below 16 years old)enrolled in approved school
administered and school supervised programs may be able to work
beyond the minimum workable hours threshold.
Minors (below 16 years old) working in vocations other than an
agriculture business/company (declared non-hazardous) solely
owned by their parents are exempted from child labor rules. Such
children can work anytime around the clock and for any number of

In certain states, a minor looking for employment must get a
work certificate (work permit).
Such work permit must be issued by an accredited high school or
Department of Labor, depending on state child labor provisions.
The employer must obtain the appropriate work authorization
such as a work permit from the youth worker.

Minimum wage
Under federal labor laws, working minors must be paid at
least the federal minimum wage per hour. However, if the state
minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum wage,
employers must pay the state minimum wage, which differs
from state to state.
Employers are also permitted to pay youth under the age of
20 $4.25 per hour for the first 90 consecutive calendar days of

Penalties for violation of the laws

Non-compliance of any type constitutes a violation of the laws
and attracts liability in the form of heavy fines, penalties and
possible criminal prosecution.
The amount of fine per violation differs from state to state. For
example, the amount in Florida is $2,500, whereas in California,
it is at $10,000. And, under the FLSA, the penalty is $11,000.

Child labor laws are important for employers, especially

those employing children in the workplace. For accurate
compliance with these laws, make sure to hire reputable
service providers who could make the job easy and simple.

Labor Law Center specializes in providing compliance labor

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