In California, there are strict laws to protect minors’ health and safety and ensure that they have time for education and recreation. If you are a business owner with employees under the age of 18, here’s what you need to know to ensure your employees are safe.
What is child labor abuse?
Child labor abuse is the exploitation of children through their employment. This includes working long hours for little or no pay, being exposed to hazardous conditions, and being subjected to physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
Laws protecting minors
We’ve written before about California’s law regarding minor protections. Minors have maximum hours they can work, requirements to be employed and limitations on late and overnight work. Before you hire a minor, first of all, they must provide you with a certification that verifies their ability to work. You can ask them to get this certificate from the California Department of Labor or their school administrator.
If certified, a minor under the age of 16 can work for a maximum of three hours per school day for six days a week; the max is four hours per day for minors aged 16 and 17. When the school is not in session, they can work for eight hours a day for a total of 48 hours a week. Keep in mind the employer must comply with overtime rules.
Taking steps to preserve a safe workspace
Many consider the matter of child labor rights as a human rights issue. You may want to do more research or consult with relevant authorities to avoid problems with the law. Violations of child labor laws could lead to imprisonment and hefty fines.