OSHA Safety Regulations and Labor Law Guide OSHA Safety Regulations & Labor Law Guide

Email us at   
 

Categories
OSHA
Labor Laws

Archives
July 2006

Federal Labor Law
Fact Sheets
General Information
News Articles

OSHA
FAQ
News Articles
OSHA Standards Development
OSHA Act
Draft Proposed Safety and Health Program Rule

Additional Info
Wage Pay and Benefits
FMLA
Workers Compensation
Child Labor
Record Keeping and Notices
Labor Law Center
Links

Resources
Labor Law Poster
OSHA Safety Posters
California State Labor Laws
Florida State Labor Laws
Legal services in Orange County
Labor Law Posters
Legal Law Terms
 


 
Child Labor

What is the youngest age at which a person can be employed?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets 14 as the minimum age for most non-agricultural work. However, at any age, youth may deliver newspapers; perform in radio, television, movie, or theatrical productions; work in businesses owned by their parents (except in mining, manufacturing or hazardous jobs); and perform babysitting or perform minor chores around a private home. Also, at any age, youth may be employed as homeworkers to gather evergreens and make evergreen wreaths.
Different age requirements apply to the employment of youth in agriculture.
Many states have enacted child labor laws, some of which may have a minimum age for employment which is higher than the FLSA. Where both the FLSA and state child labor laws apply, the higher minimum standard must be obeyed.
Must young workers be paid the minimum wage?
The federal minimum wage is $5.15 per hour. However, a special minimum wage of $4.25 per hour applies to employees under the age of 20 during their first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment with an employer. After 90 consecutive days of employment, or when the worker reaches age 20 (whichever comes first), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay the full federal minimum wage of $5.15 per hour.
Other programs that allow for payment of less than the full federal minimum wage apply to workers with disabilities, full-time students, and student-learners employed pursuant to sub-minimum wage certificates. These programs are not limited to the employment of young workers.
DISABLED WORKERS
Individuals whose earning or productive capacity is impaired by a physical or mental disability, including those related to age or injury may be paid sub-minimum wages pursuant to a certificate issued by the Secretary of Labor. The sub-minimum wages are commensurate with wages paid to non-disabled workers. Employment at less than the minimum wage is authorized to prevent curtailment of opportunities for employment for disabled workers.
Employers interested in applying for a sub-minimum wage certificate for disabled workers should contact the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Midwest Region Office at 230 South Dearborn Street, Room 562A, Chicago, IL, 60604, telephone: (312) 353-3809.
FULL TIME STUDENTS
This program is for full-time students employed in retail or service stores, agriculture, or colleges and universities. The employer that hires students can obtain a certificate from the Department of Labor which allows the student to be paid not less than 85% of the minimum wage. The certificate also limits the hours that the student may work to 8 hours in a day and no more than 20 hours a week when school is in session and 40 hours when school is out, and requires the employer to follow all child labor laws. Once students graduate or leave school for good, they must be paid $5.15 per hour.
There are some limitations on the use of the full-time student program. For information on the limitations or to obtain a certificate, contact the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Western Region Office at 525 S. Griffin Square, Suite 800, Dallas, TX, 75202, telephone: (214) 767-6895.
STUDENT LEARNERS
This program is for high school students at least 16 years old who are enrolled in vocational education (shop courses). The employer that hires the student can obtain a certificate from the Department of Labor which allows the student to be paid not less than 75% of the minimum wage, for as long as the student is enrolled in the vocational education program.
Employers interested in applying for a student learner certificate should contact the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Regional Office with jurisdiction over their state. The Regional Office addresses and telephone numbers are:
Northeast Region (Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West Virginia)
USDOL Wage and Hour Division
Gateway Building, Room 15210
3535 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 596-1185
Southeast Region (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee)
USDOL Wage and Hour Division
Atlanta Federal Center
61 Forsyth Street, Room 7M40
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 562-2202
Midwest Region (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska)
USDOL Wage and Hour Division
230 South Dearborn Street
Rooms 816 and 820
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 353-7280
Southwest Region (Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming)
USDOL Wage and Hour Division
525 South Griffin Square, Suite 800
Dallas, TX 75202
(214) 767-6895
Western Region (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington)
USDOL Wage and Hour Division
71 Stevenson Street, Suite 930
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 975-4510
When and how many hours can youth work?
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the minimum age for employment in non-agricultural employment is 14. Hours worked by 14- and 15-year-olds are limited to:
? Non-school hours;
? 3 hours in a school day;
? 18 hours in a school week;
? 8 hours on a non-school day;
? 40 hours on a non-school week; and
? hours between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. (except from June 1 through Labor Day, when evening hours are extended to 9 p.m.)
Youth 14 and 15 years old enrolled in an approved Work Experience and Career Exploration Program (WECEP) may be employed for up to 23 hours in school weeks and 3 hours on school days (including during school hours).
The FLSA does not limit the number of hours or times of day for workers 16 years and older.
Many states have enacted child labor laws as well. In situations where both the FLSA child labor provisions and state child labor laws apply, the higher minimum standard must be obeyed.
What kinds of work can youth perform?
Regulations governing youth employment in non-agricultural jobs differ somewhat from those pertaining to agricultural employment. In non-agricultural work, the permissible jobs, by age, are as follows:
1. Workers 18 years or older may perform any job, whether hazardous or not;
2. Workers 16 and 17 years old may perform any non-hazardous jobs; and
3. Workers 14 and 15 years old may work outside school hours in various non-manufacturing, non-mining, non-hazardous jobs
Fourteen is the minimum age for most non-agricultural work. However, at any age, youth may deliver newspapers; perform in radio, television, movie, or theatrical productions; work in businesses owned by their parents (except in mining, manufacturing or on hazardous jobs); perform babysitting or perform minor chores around a private home. Also, at any age, youth may be employed as homeworkers to gather evergreens and make evergreen wreaths.
Different age requirements apply to the employment of youth in agriculture.

Must a youth have a work permit to work?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require that youth get work permits or working papers to get a job. Some states do require work permits prior to getting a job. School counselors may be able to advise if a work permit is needed before getting a job.

Employment/Age Certificate 1
January 1, 2003
Table of Employment/Age Certification Issuance Practice Under State Child Labor Laws
State Type of Certificate Issued
Employment
certificate Age certification
For minors of age indicated 2
Issued by: For minors of age indicated 2
Issued by:
Labor Department School Labor Department School
Alabama Under 18 (M)
18 in mines X Not issued
Alaska Under 17
Under 19 if employer licensed to sell alcohol (M) X3
Not issued
Arizona Not issued Not issued
Arkansas Under 16 (M) X 16 and 17 (P) X
California Under 18 for minors enrolled in school (M) X Not issued
Colorado Under 16 during school hours (M) X Under 18 except not issued to minors under 16 during school hours (R) X
Connecticut Under 16 (M) X 16 and 17 (M) X
Delaware Under 18 (M) X X No provision
District of Columbia Under 18 (M) X No provision
Florida No provision Under 18 (R)4
X
Georgia Under 18 (M) X No provision
Guam Under 16 (M) X Not issued
Hawaii Under 16 (M) X 16 and 17 (M) X
Idaho Not issued Not issued
Illinois Under 16 (M) X 16 to 20 (R) X
Indiana Under 18 (M) X 18 to 21 (R) X
Iowa Under 16 (M) 5
X 16 and 17 (M)
18 and over (R) 5
X
Kansas Under 16 and not enrolled in secondary school Not issued
Kentucky Not issued Under 18(R)6
X
Louisiana Under 18 (M) X No provision
Maine Under 16 (M) X 16 and 17 (R) X
Maryland Under 18 (M) X X No provision X
Massachusetts Under 16 (M) X 16 and 17 (M)
Michigan Under 18 (M) X No provision
Minnesota Under 16 during school hours (M) X Under 18, except not issued to minors under 16 during school hours (R) 7
X
Mississippi Under 16 in mills, canneries, workshops, factories (M) X Not issued
Missouri Under 16 (M) X 16 and over (R) X
Montana Not issued8
16 and over: in hazardous occupations (M); in other occupations (R) X
Nebraska Under 16 (M) X 16 and over (R) X
Nevada Under 14 (M) 9
Not issued
New Hampshire Under 16 (M) 10
X Not issued
New Jersey Under 18 (M) X 18 to 21 (R) X
New Mexico Under 16 (M) X X 16 and 17 (P) X X
New York Under 18 (M) X 18 and over (P) X
North Carolina Under 18 (M) X 11
No provision
North Dakota Under 16 (M) X 16 and over (P) X
Ohio Under 16 at any time, and 16 and 17 during school term (M) X Not issued 12

Oklahoma Under 16 (M) x 16 and 17 (P) x
Oregon Not issued13
No provision
Pennsylvania Under 18 (M) X No provision
Puerto Rico Under 18 (M) X 18 to 21 (R) X
Rhode Island Under 16 (M) X 16 and 17 (M) X
South Carolina No provision Under 18 (R) X14

South Dakota Not issued Not issued
Tennessee Not issued 15
Not issued 15

Texas No provision Under 18 (M) X
Utah No provision Under 18 (R) X
Vermont Under 16 during school hours (M) X Not issued
Virgin Islands Under 18 (P) X No provision
Virginia Under 16 (M) X 16 and 17 (R) X
Washington Under 18 (M) X No provision
West Virginia Under 16 (M) X 16 and 17 (R) X
Wisconsin Under 18 (M) X
through permit officers 16
18 and over (R) X
through permit officers 16

Wyoming Not issued 17
Not issued
Footnotes:
1Table includes both the general certification procedure required by law and those used in practice. Table does not include exceptions to the general procedures; nor does it identify certificates that may be required for employment in street trades, entertainment, or other work for which a special permit may be required.
2Under the columns "For minors of age indicated" an entry of M denotes "Mandated," i.e., the requirement is mandated under State law; R denotes on "Request," i.e., the certificate is not required under State law, but the law directs an administrative agency to issue the certificate on request; P denotes "Practice," i.e., the law makes no requirement, but the State issues the certificate on request.
3Alaska. In addition to individual certificates, employers may obtain advance approval for a specific job consisting of listed duties permitting them to hire minors, of at least 14 years of age, without prior individual approval.
4Florida. Employment or age certificates are not required. However, employers of any minor must obtain and keep on record proof of the child's age. An age certificate issued by the district school board is one method of meeting the proof of age requirement.
5Iowa. Employment and age certificates are issued by both the Division of Job Service of the Department of Employment Services and the schools.
6Kentucky. Employers of children under age 18 must maintain a proof of age.
7Minnesota. Age certificates are not required. However, employers of any minor must obtain and keep on record proof of the child's age. Age certificates satisfy this requirement as do copies of birth certificates, drivers licenses, and U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service Employment Eligibility Verification Forms I-9.
8Montana. No certificate is required at any age in nonhazardous employment. Since minors under 16 may not work in hazardous employment, certificates for this age category are not deemed necessary.
9Nevada. Only certificates issued are those for minors under age 14 with written permission of district judge.
10New Hampshire. Work certificates are not required for 16- and 17-year-olds. Instead, employers must maintain on file a signed, written document from the youth's parent or legal guardian authorizing the employment. The Department of Safety may issue age certificates to 16- and 17-year-olds
11North Carolina. Employment certificates are issued by the Department of Labor or the County Director of Social Services.
12Ohio. Age certificates are not issued, but proof of age is required for minors 16 and 17 years of age for employment during school vacation. With the approval of the Superintendent of Schools of the district where they live, 16- and 17-year-old minors are not required to provide a certificate to be employed at a seasonal amusement or recreational establishment.
13Oregon. Minors age 14–17 are not required to obtain work permits. Instead, employers are required to apply for annual certificates to employ these minors.
14South Carolina. The State Department of Labor issues Federal age certificates upon request for minors under age 18.
15Tennessee. No certificates are issued. However, employers of minors under age 18 must obtain and keep on file proof of the minor's age. A birth certificate, passport, driver's license, State issued identification, or parent's oath as to the minor's age are acceptable proofs of age under the child labor law.
16Wisconsin. Certificates are issued by volunteer permit officers who are representatives of the Department of Industry, Labor, and Human Relations. Many of the permit officers are school officials, but other public employees such as municipal and county employees and court officials are also included.
17Wyoming. Employers of children under age 16 must maintain a proof of age.
Note: N/A indicates "not applicable." "No provision" as an entry under either employment or age certificate indicates that the issuance of such a certificate is unnecessary because another type of certificate covers all minors.

 
Labor Law Posters
 


Labor Law Talk
Have questions about Labor Law?
Free Online Encyclopedia & Dictionary

Area Code Lookup Labor Law Posters