Are the Kids Alright? Summer Employment & Child Labor Laws

Check out this article I found:

As the school year draws to an end, businesses will be inundated with applicants searching for temporary summer employment. For minors there may be no more pencils, no more books, and no more teachers’ dirty looks, but for employers summer comes with its own homework assignment: child labor law compliance. Accordingly, employers’ summer reading should include a review of applicable statutes and regulations governing minors’ employment, including requirements, obligations, and pitfalls associated with hiring minor employees.

Permitted and Prohibited Employment

Both federal and state laws place restrictions on the type of employment minors may perform and the equipment they may use. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides that “[n]o employer shall employ any oppressive child labor in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce or in any enterprise engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce.”1 The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division is charged with enforcing federal child labor laws and has created detailed regulations governing prohibited and permitted employment for minors falling in one of two categories: (1) 16 and 17 years old; and (2) 14 and 15 years old. Moreover, the FLSA permits states to enact more restrictive child labor laws.2 Accordingly, employers cannot assume that adhering to federal standards will guarantee state law compliance. Employers should follow whichever law provides minor employees with the most protection.

16 & 17 Years Old

Under the FLSA, “oppressive child labor” includes conditions of employment the Secretary of Labor deems “particularly hazardous.”3 The DOL has promulgated regulations related to the following non-agricultural occupations and equipment it deems particularly hazardous for 16- and 17-year-old employees:

  • Occupations in or about plants or establishments manufacturing or storing explosives or articles containing explosive components;
  • Occupations of motor-vehicle driver and outside helper;
  • Coal-mine occupations;
  • Forest fire fighting and forest fire prevention occupations, timber tract occupations, forestry service occupations, logging occupations, and occupations in the operation of any sawmill, lath mill, shingle mill, or cooperage stock mill;
  • Occupations involved in the operation of power-driven woodworking machines;
  • Exposure to radioactive substances and to ionizing radiations;
  • Occupations involved in the operation of power-driven hoisting apparatus;
  • Occupations involved in the operation of power-driven metal forming, punching, and shearing machines;
  • Occupations in connection with mining, other than coal;
  • Occupations involved in the operation of power-driven meat-processing machines and occupations involving slaughtering, meat and poultry packing, processing, or rendering;
  • Occupations involved in the operation of bakery machines;
  • Occupations involved in the operation of balers, compactors, and paper-products machines;
  • Occupations involved in the manufacture of brick, tile, and kindred products;
  • Occupations involving the operation of circular saws, band saws, guillotine shears, chain saws, reciprocating saws, wood chippers, and abrasive cutting discs;
  • Occupations involved in wrecking, demolition, and shipbreaking operations;
  • Occupations in roofing operations and on or about a roof; and
  • Occupations in excavation operations.

http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=c8811cb6-ed4d-4bd9-8e29-8b8466007923

Employment Attorney San Diego

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