The Wage and Hour Division's enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is carried out by investigators stationed across the United States. These investigators gather data on wages, hours, and other employment conditions or practices, in order to determine compliance with the law. Where violations are found, they also may recommend changes in employment practices to bring an employer into compliance. It is a violation to fire or in any other manner discriminate against an employee for filing a complaint or for participating in a legal proceeding under FLSA.

Willful violations may be prosecuted criminally and the violator fined up to $10,000. A second conviction may result in imprisonment. Violators of the child labor provisions are subject to a civil money penalty of up to $10,000 for each employee who was the subject of a violation.

Employers who willfully or repeatedly violate the minimum wage or overtime pay requirements are subject to a civil money penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation. The FLSA prohibits the shipment of goods in interstate commerce which were produced in violation of the minimum wage, overtime pay, child labor, or special minimum wage provisions.

The Department of Labor regularly issues news releases regarding egregious violations of child labor laws. Some companies make agreements with the Department to strengthen compliance within their industry. Examples of these agreements are also referenced here.

State laws and regulations are very specific about monetary, civil and criminal penalties that can be imposed on employers who violate child labor laws. Consult your state's labor office for specific guidance on the possible repercussions of such violations.

Webpages on this Topic

Child Labor Violations - Civil Money Penalties
Regulations on monetary penalties for violating federal child labor laws.

Wage and Hour Division's (WHD) Enforcement Statute Summary
Brief overview of what areas WHD administers and enforces, including child labor laws.

General Information About the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
An overview of many aspects of the FLSA, ranging from child labor to enforcement.

elaws Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Advisor - Child Labor Rules
This Advisor answers questions about workers and businesses that are subject to the FLSA's child labor rules.

State Labor Offices/State Laws
Information on state minimum wage rates and other state child labor topics.

State Departments of Labor Websites
Links to state departments of labor websites and contact information for each department.

Regulations on this Topic

29 CFR §§579.2 through 579.9 - Child Labor Violations - Civil Money Penalties