Archive for the ‘Child Labor’ Category

For those of you who are under the age of eighteen or or have children under eighteen, you all should be aware of the changes in child labor regulations going into effect next week. The Department of Labor states that these are the most far reaching changes in child labor laws in thirty years.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets wage, hours worked, and safety requirements for minors (individuals under age 18) working in jobs covered by the statute. The rules vary depending upon the particular age of the minor and the particular job involved. As a general rule, the FLSA sets 14 years of age as the minimum age for employment, and limits the number of hours worked by minors under the age of 16.

Also, the FLSA generally prohibits the employment of a minor in work declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor (for example, work involving excavation, driving, and the operation of many types of power-driven equipment). The FLSA contains a number of requirements that apply only to particular types of jobs (for example, agricultural work or the operation of motor vehicles) and many exceptions to the general rules (for example, work by a minor for his or her parents). Each state also has its own laws relating to employment, including the employment of minors. If state law and the FLSA overlap, the law which is more protective of the minor will apply.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), youths 14 and 15 years old may work outside school hours in various non-manufacturing, non-mining, non-hazardous jobs under certain conditions.
Permissible work hours for 14- and 15-year-olds are:
3 hours on a school day;
18 hours in a school week;
8 hours on a non-school day;
40 hours in a non-school week; and
between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., except from June 1 through Labor Day, when nighttime work hours are extended to 9 p.m.

So what has been changed in the new Rule?

Well the rule now strengthens child labor laws to protect against workplace hazards. Although these restrictions are probably not normally coming into application, some examples of new prohibitions impacting the employment of youth under the age of 18 years include:

Working at poultry slaughtering and packaging plants;
Riding on a forklift as a passenger;
Working in forest fire fighting, forestry services, and timber tract management;
Operating certain power-driven hoists and work assist vehicles;
Operating balers and compacters designed or used for non-paper products; and
Operating power-driven chain saws, wood chippers, reciprocating saws, and abrasive cutting discs.

In addition, until recently children aged 14 and 15 were required to only work in retail, food service and gasoline industries. The rule now expands youth workplace opportunities that have been judged to be safe for young workers. Examples include:

By removing a 40-year-old provision that generally limits the employment of 14- and 15-year-olds to jobs in retail, food service, and gasoline service establishments, the rule opens up safe and positive employment opportunities in industries such as advertising, banking, and information technology. The Final Rule allows 14- and 15-year-olds to perform work of an intellectual or artistic nature in establishments that were previously prohibited. Such work includes computer programming, drawing, and teaching. The Final Rule also incorporates into the regulations two long standing Departmental enforcement positions that permit 16- and 17-year-olds to operate, under specified conditions, power-driven pizza-dough rollers and portable, countertop food mixers.

If you believe you or a child you know is being worked in violation of these rules, you should contact the U.S. Department of Labor or speak to a qualified employment law attorney.

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