Child Labor Laws You Need to Know

With the advancement of agriculture and textile manufacturing industries, dangerous child labor came into existence. Several effects came about because of Industrial Revolution like economic growth, population growth and the role of women was immensely redefined. A middle-class category of people arose with a working-class type rapidly developing.


You would, however, tend to think that with the rising population, daily industrial operations would be easier and more straightforward for everybody involved. This was unfortunately not the case. Exploitation of workers in industries arose.



Working Conditions

People worked for long hours in hostile conditions that put their health in multiple risks. Recruitment or employment of children in these industries was a normal state of affairs. It was because children were more susceptible to exploitation due to their fragile nature in society. They were overworked and underpaid, unlike other people. This continued until 1938 when there was a need to cater for the welfare and needs of all workers.



The Fair Labor Standards Act

The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 came into existence, and new laws on employment took effect after President Franklin D Roosevelt signed and acknowledged them. These laws looked into crucial factors such as addressing minimum wage issues, number of working hours and abolishing child labor.


Child labor laws are rigid and transparent on who a child is and the conditions surrounding the employment of a minor. A child is anyone under the age of 18 years. Provisions were enacted to ensure that a minor’s health and mandatory education programs are not compromised by the work they do.



Know Your Laws

It is essential to familiarize yourself with such laws so that you do not end up on the wrong side of the law. As you know, ignorance of the law is no defense.


California federal child labor provisions do not limit individuals of 16 years and above on the number of work hours they should put in or the type of agricultural work they should do. Such work includes that which has been declared as hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.


It is also a general custom that minors under 16 years should not work outside school hours unless they are working for their parents or individuals that stand in place of their parents. These child labor laws are also clear in that children can work in any job as long as it is not declared as hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.



Lowest Age Restriction

Children less than 12 years old should not be employed whatsoever unless they are working outside school hours with written parental consent on agricultural jobs or agricultural employment. It is worth noting that school hours strictly mean the number of hours set by the official calendar of the school district.


Keep Records

All employers that seek the services of minors should at all times keep a record with details of the child. Such information includes the date of birth, place of residence, the name of the minor and a written consent of the parent or person that has custody of the child (the one that stands in place of the parent).


California state laws allow parents to determine their children’s earnings. If you are thinking of employing minors, it would be prudent of you to consult an attorney within your area to clarify any details concerning child labor laws.