Child Labor Guidelines

September 15, 2012 in , , , , ,

This article provides general information about the federal child labor provisions and common violations found in all types of businesses, as well as industry-specific violations in the following industries:

  • Food service and restaurant
  • Construction
  • Wholesale or manufacturing

Note: This information covers federal law only. State child labor laws may be more stringent. For more information on state child labor laws, contact your local Department of Labor (DOL).

Federal Child Labor Provisions

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets out the federal standards for the employment of minors. They include:

  • Sixteen- and 17-year-olds may be employed for unlimited hours in any occupation other than those declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.
    • outside school hours;
    • no more than 3 hours on a school day , including Fridays;
    • no more than 8 hours on a nonschool day;
    • no more than 18 hours during a week when school is in session;
    • no more than 40 hours during a week when school is not in session;
    • between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. – except between June 1 and Labor day when the evening hour is extended to 9 p.m.
  • Young persons 14 and 15 years of age may be employed outside school hours in a variety of non-manufacturing and non-hazardous jobs for limited periods of time and under specified conditions.
  • Child Labor Regulation No. 3, 29 CFR, Part 570, Subpart C, (CL Reg 3), limits the hours and the times of day that 14- and 15-year-olds may work to:
    • outside school hours;
    • no more than 3 hours on a school day , including Fridays;
    • no more than 8 hours on a nonschool day;
    • no more than 18 hours during a week when school is in session;
    • no more than 40 hours during a week when school is not in session;
    • between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. – except between June 1 and Labor day when the evening hour is extended to 9 p.m.

The FLSA also establishes an 18-year minimum age for those nonagricultural occupations that the Secretary of Labor finds and declares to be particularly hazardous for 16- and 17-year-old minors, or detrimental to their health or well-being. In addition, Child Labor Regulation No. 3 also bans 14- and 15-year-olds from performing any work proscribed by the Hazardous Occupations (HO). There are currently seventeen HOs which include a partial or total ban on the occupations or industries they cover. They are:

  • Manufacturing and storing of explosives.
  • Motor-vehicle driving and outside helper on a motor vehicle.
  • Coal mining.
  • Logging and sawmilling.
  • Power-driven woodworking machines.
  • Exposure to radioactive substances.
  • Power-driven hoisting apparatus, including forklifts.
  • Power-driven metal-forming, punching, and shearing machines.
  • Mining, other than coal mining.
  • Operating power-driven meat processing equipment, including meat slicers and other food slicers, in retail establishments (such as grocery stores, restaurants, kitchens and delis), wholesale establishments, and most occupations in meat slaughtering, packing, processing, or rendering.
  • Power-driven bakery machines including vertical dough or batter mixers.
  • Power-driven paper-products machines including scrap paper balers and cardboard box compactors.
  • Manufacturing bricks, tile, and kindred products.
  • Power-driven circular saws, bandsaws, and guillotine shears.
  • Wrecking, demolition, and shipbreaking operations.
  • Roofing operations and all work on or about a roof.
  • Excavation operations.

Common Violations in All Types of Businesses

The following two lists detail the most common employment violations found in all types of businesses employing minors. Violations are divided by age groups:

  • Minors ages 14 and 15
  • Minors ages 16 and 17

Common Employment Violations Involving 14- and 15-Year-Olds

  • Working prohibited hours
    The most frequent child labor violations involve 14- and 15-year-olds working inappropriate hours — either too late at night or too many hours on a school day. Minors ages 14 and 15 may not work as follows:

      • During school hours
  • More than three hours on a school day (School days are generally Monday to Friday.)
  • More than eight hours on a non-school day (Non-school days include Saturday, Sunday, school holidays, and summer recess.)
  • More than 18 hours in a school week (Any day school is in session will make the week a school week.)
  • More than 40 hours in a non-school week o Before 7:00 a.m. and after 7:00 p.m. between Labor Day and June 1
    • Before 7:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. between June 1 and Labor Day
  • Operating prohibited power equipment
    Minors ages 14 and 15 are prohibited from operating most types of power equipment. Most frequent violations involve using the following types of equipment:

    • Lawn and garden equipment (i.e., lawnmowers, weed whackers, hedge trimmers, etc.)
    • Kitchen equipment (i.e., food grinders, choppers, mixers and slicers, etc.)
    • Golf carts
    • Motorized low-lift hand trucks

Note: Minors may use office machines, cash registers, vacuum cleaners, and certain kitchen equipment such as dishwashers, milk shake blenders, and toasters.

  • Loading and unloading any type of truck whether or not the truck is owned by the employer
    A common violation involves minors helping delivery drivers unload stock.
  • Performing hazardous duties that are prohibited for 16- and 17-year-old employees

Common Employment Violations Involving 16- and 17-Year-Olds

  • Operating a motor vehicle
    Even with a valid driver’s license, a 16-year-old may not drive for their employer and a 17-year-old may do so only under very limited circumstances.
  • Operating or riding on a non-automatic freight elevator
    (For example, employees of a retail establishment in a mall operating or utilizing a commonly used freight elevator on the premises.)
  • Operating, loading, or unloading most types of scrap paper balers and paper box compactors
    Loading of some balers and compactors is permissible provided that certain safety standards are met.
  • Operating, assembling, or cleaning meat slicers and dough mixers
  • Operating power saws, nail guns, and power staplers
    This includes circular, band and jig saws, power sanders, and other woodworking equipment.

For a complete list of prohibited occupations for minors, go to the US DOL website at www.dol.gov.

Industry-Specific Common Child Labor Violations

In addition to the violations listed above for all types of businesses, additional child labor restrictions apply to the following specific industries:

  • Food service and restaurant (includes grocery stores)
  • Construction
  • Wholesale or manufacturing

Food Service and Restaurant
Violations found quite often in the food service and restaurant industry involving 14- and 15-year¬olds include:

  • Baking (including pizza ovens) and most cooking
    Minors may perform simple cooking functions under specific conditions. These minors may not operate broilers, pressure cookers, ovens or large rotisseries. However, they may cook using only electric or gas grills that do not have open flames, and automated deep fryers. All other restaurant cooking is prohibited.

For more information see US DOL Fact Sheet #58: Cooking and Baking under the Federal Youth Employment Provisions of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

  • Working in freezers and meat coolers
    Minors may not be employed in positions where their job duties require them to enter and remain in freezers and meat coolers for extended periods of time. This would include stock work and performing inventory or clean up work.
  • Performing hazardous duties that are prohibited for 16- and 17-year-old employees
    Common violations made by food service and restaurant employers involving 16- and 17-year-olds include operating, adjusting, or cleaning power meat slicers, power dough mixers, fork lifts or high-lift trucks.

Construction
Minors ages 14 and 15 may not be employed in construction except for performing office or sales-related work where such work is not performed at a construction site.

Common violations often found in the construction industry involving 16- and 17-year-olds include:

  • Performing work in roofing operations
    This includes all work involving close proximity to roofs, such as air conditioning repair, gutter and down spout maintenance, installation of sheathing, roof trusses or roof bases, television antennas, exhaust and ventilating equipment, heating equipment and similar appliances attached to roofs. This prohibition also includes all jobs on the ground related to roofing operations.
  • Performing most excavation operations
    This applies whether or not the minor is operating the equipment.
  • Operating power saws, nail guns, and power staplers
    This includes circular, band and jig saws, power sanders and other woodworking equipment.
  • Operating fork lifts or high-lift trucks

Wholesale or Manufacturing
Minors ages 14 and 15 may not be employed in any manufacturing occupation.

Minors ages 14 and 15 may not be employed in any occupation in connection with warehousing or transportation (i.e., working in or about any vehicles), except for office and sales-related work performed in the office.

Common violations often found in the wholesale or manufacturing industry involving 16- and 17-year-olds include operating, adjusting or cleaning specific types of power equipment, whether portable or fixed. This includes a fork lift or high-lift trucks, saws (i.e., circular, band, jig, etc.), woodworking equipment (i.e., power nailers, staplers, sanders, etc.), and metal forming, punching and shearing machines. The most common violation found involves these minors operating fork lifts.

This information is furnished with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal or accounting advice. If legal or expert services are required, contact your attorney or accounting professional.

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Sorry, comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.