Make your home page

What do small business owners need to know about child labor laws?

Lacy Houle, Community Outreach and Resource Planning Specialist for the U.S. Department of Labor, joined us today to discuss what small business owners need to know about child labor laws. Here are some of her things to know

  1. Hazardous occupations that minors are prohibited from engaging in:
  • Driving a motor vehicle or work as an outside helper on motor vehicles. Example: delivering food
  • Power-driven hoisting apparatus occupations, including the operation of forklifts.
  • Occupations that involve power-driven meat-processing machines (including meat slicers and other food slicers), slaughtering and meat packing plants. So, no grocery store deli counter, sandwich shops that cut their own meat
  • Operating power-driven bakery machines, including vertical dough or batter mixers.
  • Power-driven paper-products machine occupations, including the operation of compactors and balers. Minors can not bale the recyclable cardboard boxes.

2. Restricted hours for 14 and 15-year-old:

Children ages 14 and 15 can only work between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. during the school year

14- and 15-year-olds may NOT:

  • Work more than 3 hours on a school day, including Fridays.
  • Work more than 8 hours on a non-school day.
  • Work more than 18 hours during a week when school is in session.
  • Children under the age of 14 are not allowed to work in non-agricultural jobs.

3. What small business owners need to know:

  • The law
  • Train their management and supervisors on restrictions for minors and hold them accountable
  • Tips for compliance- place STOP stickers on equipment with the restrictions, color code name tags for minors to remind supervisors which employees have restrictions.

For more information:

There is also a Child Labor Law webinar on Tuesday, September 20. You can find more information here.

You can find resources for employers here.