Federal Child Labor Laws

Almost everyone remembers his or her first job, whether he or she had it at the age of 14 or 24. For many individuals, their first jobs were undergone in high school as a move towards some extra cash or a major purchase such as a car. In current times it is still common for companies and businesses to employ those under the age of 18 in order to get some part time employees while providing young people with their first employment opportunities. If you are considering hiring some underage employees for your business it is important you abide by all laws concerning child labor, be they federal or state.

Federal and state labor laws concerning children exist to offer protection to underage individuals while still giving them the opportunity to work and build their professional experience. All employers who might at some point hire an individual under the age of 18 must follow these restrictions and utilize hiring and scheduling practice that comply with all child labor laws.

Common Federal Laws on Child Labor

While each state has the ability to set its own restrictions concerning child labor practices, there are a number of overarching federal child labor laws which all employers are required to follow. These include the following:
  • Youth under the age of 14 cannot be employed
  • Youth under the age of 16 cannot be scheduled to work before 7am or after 7pm on a school night when school is in session. They also cannot work more than 3 hours on a school day.
  • Individuals under the age of 16 can only work up to 18 hours a week during periods when they are in school.
  • Individuals age 16 and below cannot work more than 40 hours a week when school is not in session. They cannot work more than 8 hours a day when school is not in session.
  • Youth under the age of 16 cannot work during regular school hours when school is in session.
If you would like to know more about federal or state labor laws concering children, or if you would like to get assistance in developing a legal hiring and employment practice for underage individuals, visit the Texas Business Lawyer website of Slater & Kennon today.

David Caldwell

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