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Illinois Child Labor Law

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in Employment Law,Hiring,HR Management,Human Resources

With the exception of minors age 14 or older participating in federally funded work-experience programs run by the State Board of Education, the Illinois Child Labor Law prohibits employers from hiring minors under age 16 to work in:

  • Theatres, concert halls or places of amusement.
  • Mercantile institutions, stores, offices, hotels and laundries.
  • Manufacturing establishments, mills, canneries, factories and workshops.
  • Restaurants and lunchrooms.
  • Beauty parlors and barbershops.
  • Bakeries.
  • Coal, brick or lumber yards.
  • Mines, quarries, or stone cutting or polishing businesses.
  • Plants that manufacture, store or transport explosives.
  • Any type of construction site.

Minors ages 14 and 15 years old may work in nonhazardous occupations during nonschool hours and during summer vacation. Exception: Minors may work during school hours as part of a bona fide vocational training program.

Youth under age 16 may not work more than six consecutive days or more than 48 hours a week during summer vacation. During the school year, they can’t work more than three hours a day or eight hours per week.

If you employ minors under age 16 who work five consecutive hours, you must give them a 30-minute unpaid meal break. Any break of less than 30 minutes is considered continuous work time, for which you must pay them.

Record-keeping: The law also requires you to keep a register of each worker under age 16, including the person’s name, age, address and where he or she worked each day.

Note: Youth may work as golf caddies starting at age 13 with written parental permission. Similarly, children 12 years of age or older can officiate at youth activities with parental permission.

You can access more information on the Illinois Child Labor Law at
Excerpted from Illinois’ 10 Most Critical Employment Laws, a special bonus report available to subscribers of HR Specialist: Illinois Employment Law.

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