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Child Labor provisions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

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The Fair Labor Standards Act sets 14 as the minimum age for most non-agricultural types of work but limits the number of hours that may be worked for minors under age 16. It also prohibits minors under age 18 from working in any occupation that is deemed to be hazardous. Of particular interest to all agencies are Hazardous Orders prohibiting the employment of minors between 16 and 18 years of age such as motor vehicle drivers and helpers, operators of elevators and in occupations involving the operation of certain power driven woodworking and bakery machines.

Agencies should review the Child Labor provisions in the FLSA if questions of minimum age arise. (Website: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/youthlabor/agerequirements.htm)

The FLSA provides for a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation of the child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Minors will be paid the same rate of pay as other employees doing similar type work, including overtime premium pay for hours worked in excess of 40 per week. The only exception is for agriculture workers as explained below.

Last Edited: December 3rd, 2010