Alerts and Updates
U.S. Department of Labor Issues New Regulations on Nonagricultural Child Labor
June 3, 2010
On May 20, 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (DOL) published a final rule in the Federal Register, updating its long-standing regulations designed to protect working children from hazards in the workplace. The new regulations, which will go into effect on July 19, 2010, are designed to better reflect the modern work environment. They are intended to enhance the safety of workers ages 14 through 17 and provide this age group with additional opportunities to develop skills and join the workforce. Since the new regulations are too varied and detailed to summarize in this Alert, we will now provide an overview of their scope.
- Expansion of Work Opportunities for Minors Ages 14 and 15
- New Permitted Industries for Employment. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) prohibits children under the age of 16 from performing any work, unless permitted by the U.S. Secretary of Labor (via order or regulation), upon a finding that the work does not interfere with the children’s schooling or health. The old regulations authorized the performance of certain activities in retail, food-service and gasoline-service establishments. The new regulations expand this list to include such industries and functions as advertising, banking, computer programming, drawing, teaching and, for those who are at least age 15, lifeguarding at swimming pools and amusement parks under certain circumstances.
- Work-Study Program. The old regulations, which remain unchanged, permitted school students ages 14 and 15 to work while enrolled in school as long as they met certain conditions (e.g., no more than three hours of work per day or 18 hours per week when school is in session). These old regulations permitted certain variances from those conditions for students enrolled in work-study programs supervised and administered by a school (Work Experience and Career Exploration Programs), designed to help dropout-prone youth become reoriented and motivated toward education and to prepare for the world of work. The new regulations add a new work-study program designed to accommodate the needs of students enrolled in a college-preparatory curriculum, as a means to use work experiences (and the wages such experiences generate) for students to realize their academic potential and acquire a college education.
These new regulations addressed only nonagricultural employment. According to the DOL, it next intends to focus on updating its child-labor regulations for agricultural employment.
For Further Information
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