Federal child labor provisions are governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938. Commonly referred to as “child labor laws,” the FLSA is commited to ensuring that persons under the age of 18 are working in a safe environment and protected from any potential health risks. Construction firms need to have a firm understanding of child labor laws to ensure that they are compliant with the rules and regulations set forth by the Department of Labor (DOL).
DOL compliance is a serious issue. If you violate child labor laws, your business can be issued costly fines and projects can be paused. In cases with willful and serious infractions, you can even be sentenced to jail time. If you have been accused of violating child labor laws, consult a Sarasota construction attorney today.
Understanding Work Restrictions for Minors
There are both federal and state laws restricting minors from certain aspects of employment. Here is more information on the federal laws related to employment rules and regulations for workers under the age of 18:
- It should come as no surprise that children under the age of 14 are limited in the job tasks they can perform. For example, children 13 and under can deliver newspapers, babysit, act, or work for their parents’ business as long as it’s not a hazardous occupation.
- For children that are 14 or 15, there are many more occupations they can take part in; however, the total hours they work and tasks they can perform are limited. 14 and 15 year olds can work in retail, certain food service jobs, perform creative work (computer-related jobs, tutoring, acting, etc.), and work in other non-hazardous positions. These employees can only work up to three hours on school days and only 18 hours in a workweek during the school year.
- Federal laws are much more relaxed for 16 and 17 year olds. These employees can work an unlimited number of hours year round. With that being said, there are certain hazardous tasks that 16 and 17 year olds cannot perform in the workplace. In the second part of this article, our Sarasota construction lawyers will cover many of these jobs.
- Employees that are 18 and over have zero restrictions related to the number of hours they can work or the tasks they can perform. In other words, child labor provisions no longer apply to people that are 18 or older.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.