If you have a child who wants to start working or who has been engaging in paid work, you may wonder whether it is legal for them to do so. There are laws in place to limit the amount and the types of work that children can engage in for their own protection.
The following are some of the key ways that child labor is regulated. It is important to understand the law if you are a parent of a child that you believe might have been exploited.
What jobs can children under 14 have?
Children under the age of 14 are extremely limited in the jobs that they are able to perform. Generally speaking, the only work that children under 14 can perform is agricultural, as long as the work is not hazardous. Other than this, they can work in acting or perform odd-jobs such as babysitting and newspaper delivery.
Teens age 14 and 15 subject to hour restrictions
If a child is between 14 and 15, they can work a maximum of 18 hours per week, with a maximum of three hours work on school days. They can only work in jobs like retail or delivery.
16- and 17-year-olds can’t work in hazardous environments
Teens age 16 and 17 can work unlimited hours, but are prohibited from working hazardous jobs like mining or firefighting.
If believe that your child or teenager is working too many hours for their age or if their jobs subject them to hazards, you should take action to enforce the labor laws and protect them from harm or exploitation.