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Florida Child Labor Law

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in Employment Law,Hiring,HR Management,Human Resources

Florida’s child labor law prohibits employers from hiring minors under age 16 to work in hazardous jobs, ranging from operating industrial machinery and meat-packing equipment to even handling certain dangerous animals.

Teens must be at least 18 years old to work in the following situations:

  • With explosives or radioactive materials or around toxic substances such as pesticides
  • On scaffolding, roofs or ladders above six feet
  • On an electric apparatus or wiring
  • In the mining industry and most meat-packing jobs
  • Operating any power-driven woodworking machine; hoisting apparatus; metal-forming, punching or shearing machines; bakery machines; paper products and printing machines
  • In the manufacture of brick, tile or other similar products
  • In wrecking or demolition; excavation operations; logging or sawmilling; firefighting.

Minors under age 16 may not work prior to 7 a.m. or past 7 p.m. on school nights. During holidays and summer vacations they may work until 9 p.m. They may not work more 40 hours a week or eight hours a day.

For minors under age 18, employers may not schedule them to work before 6:30 a.m. or past 11 p.m. or for more than eight hours a day prior to a school day. When school’s in session, 16- and 17-year-olds may not work more than 30 hours per week. Minors under age 18 may not work more than six consecutive days in one week. They may not work more than four hours continuously without a 30-minute lunch break. (Any breaks shorter than 30 minutes aren’t considered an interruption of continuous work.)

Exception: Summer camps run by nonprofits that employ workers ages 16 to 18 during June through September are exempt from the law.

The Bureau of Child Labor in the Department of Business and Professional Regulation administers the law. For more information, go to www.state.fl.us/dbpr/reg/childlabor.

(To review the federal child labor rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act, go to www.dol.gov/dol/topic/youthlabor.)  

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Excerpted from Florida’s 9 Most Critical Employment Laws, a special bonus report available to subscribers of HR Specialist: Florida Employment Law.

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