Hiring Minors This Summer? Review Child Labor Laws..

By: BLR and WAKEUP CALL

Most colleges have ended their academic year, and high schools will soon do the same. Many of the young people who are out of school will now be looking for summer jobs or intern opportunities. That raises lots of issues for employers.

Diverse Group of Teenagers - Isolated

When hiring young people, remember to keep child labor laws in mind. There are federal rules, but your state may have additional, more protective rules.

What is child labor? The child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) prohibit employers from hiring minors (individuals under the age of 18) to work at dangerous occupations, for an excessive number of hours, and at unsuitable times of the day or night. States also have child labor laws and when state and federal laws differ, the stricter law applies.

There are separate rules for minors under 18, under 16, and under 14 years of age, both on the number of hours and times of the day and year they may work, as well as the types of work that they are allowed to perform. In addition, there are rules on proof of age, minors driving motor vehicles, minimum wage rates, children working in agriculture, and work under federal contracts.

Severe penalties may be imposed on employers that violate child labor laws. Employers are prohibited from retaliating or otherwise discriminating against an employee who files a complaint or participates in a legal proceeding under the Act.

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