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DOL stiffens child labor penalties

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in Compensation and Benefits,Employment Law,Human Resources

The U.S. Department of Labor has raised the penalties for employers that violate the nation’s child labor laws.

Fines for employers with workers under the age of 12 now start at $8,000. Minimum fines for employers that hire 12- or 13-year-olds now stand at $6,000 for each violation. In cases where 14- or 15-year-olds are illegally hired, the fines range between $6,000 and $11,000 per violation.

Children under age 16 may work only limited hours outside of school hours. Additionally, 14- and 15-year-olds may not work before 7 a.m. or later than 7 p.m. In summer—June 1 through Labor Day—work can end as late as 9 p.m.

For details on job and hour restrictions for 14- and 15-year-olds go to the Labor department’s “YouthRules!” web site:

Final note: Children under age 12 may be employed in agricultural positions with parental consent, but only on very small farms that are not subject to federal minimum wage requirements. Children ages 12 and 13 may be employed in agricultural work on the same farm as a parent, or with a parent’s consent.

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