Youth & Labor

The Department of Labor is the sole federal agency that monitors child labor and enforces child labor laws. The most sweeping federal law that restricts the employment and abuse of child workers is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Child labor provisions under FLSA are designed to protect the educational opportunities of youth and prohibit their employment in jobs that are detrimental to their health and safety. FLSA restricts the hours that youth under 16 years of age can work and lists hazardous occupations too dangerous for young workers to perform. Enforcement of the FLSA's child labor provisions is handled by the Department's Wage and Hour Division.

Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) Resources for Youth ODEP's focus on youth policy is aimed at improving transition outcomes of youth and young adults with disabilities toward successful employment and adulthood.

The Department's YouthRules! initiative seeks to promote positive and safe work experiences for young workers.

The Employment and Training Administration sponsors many programs designed to provide training opportunities and and job placement assistance programs for America’s youth.

The Department's Bureau of International Labor Affair's (ILAB) Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking efforts and activities include research and reporting on international child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking; administering grants to organizations engaged in efforts to eliminate child labor; and working to raise public awareness and understanding of these issues.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which serves as a statistical resource to the Department of Labor, gathers statistics on a variety of subjects including those related to child labor.