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Child Labor Laws: What To Do When Hiring Minors

by FrankCrum on May 26, 2015

Minor Working

Summer time has finally arrived! Well, not technically for a few more weeks, but for many high school students, their break has already started. And for many businesses, it means the hiring pool just got a little bigger.

Hiring high school students can be very beneficial to both your business and students. But, before you do so, you may want to be familiar with your federal and state child labor laws that are applied to employees under the age of 18.

Employers accustomed to working with adults may be unfamiliar with laws relating to the hours that minors may work and the types of work they are permitted to do. Even informed employers may unintentionally violate child labor laws when minors work side by side with adults. The employer is responsible for assuring that young employees do not work more hours than legally permitted and do not perform prohibited hazardous duties.

Under federal law, employers may be subject to civil penalties for each employee who is the subject of a child labor violation, in addition to possible criminal penalties and/or imprisonment. Employers may also be subject to further penalties for violations of state child labor laws.

On the federal level, child labor is regulated by sections 12 and 13(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”). The FLSA and the regulations of the DOL have established the number of hours per day and per week that minors of various ages may work, as well as the types of work they may and may not perform. However, you should always be aware of and adhere to the laws of your state, which often impose greater or different requirements on employers.

If you plan to hire minors, be aware that some states that also require work permits have different guidelines than the federal laws. Please contact us if you have questions about your state’s requirements.

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FrankCrum is a professional employer organization (PEO), founded in 1981 dedicated to helping business owners boost HR capabilities and broaden convenient services and benefits to employees. The origin of FrankCrum dates back to 1981, when Frank W. Crum, Jr. and his father, Frank Crum, Sr., founded the Great American Temporary Service. With a passion for helping small business owners succeed, the company has evolved and grown over several decades.