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.