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Wage and Hour Division
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Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Child Labor

Overview

The federal child labor provisions, authorized by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938, also known as the child labor laws, were enacted to ensure that when young people work, the work is safe and does not jeopardize their health, well-being or educational opportunities. These provisions also provide limited exemptions.

Key News

The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division announced that on November 15, 2018 it will publish a notice to extend the comment period for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Expanding Employment, Training, and Apprenticeship Opportunities for 16- and 17-Year-Olds in Health Care Occupations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The comment due date will be extended to 12/11/2018.

The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division announced that on September 27, 2018 it will publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Expanding Employment, Training, and Apprenticeship Opportunities for 16- and 17-Year-Olds in Health Care Occupations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. For more information, please see News Release [9/26/18]: U.S. Department of Labor Announces Proposal to Allow Younger Americans to Safely Develop Skills for Careers in Healthcare.

General Guidance

  • YouthRules! — Describes the requirements of the child labor laws as they relate to teens, parents, educators and employers.
  • Child Labor Bulletin No. 101 — Describes the occupational requirements for nonagricultural employment.
  • Child Labor Bulletin No. 102 — Describes the occupational and hours limitations for agricultural employment for minors.
  • State Child Labor Laws — links to state employment laws which also regulate the employment of young workers.

Fact Sheets and FAQs

e-Tools

Publications

Interpretive Guidance

Applicable Laws and Regulations

  • Law
    • The FLSA — Establishes the child labor provisions for the employment of young workers.
  • Regulations
    • 29 CFR Part 570 — Regulations of the child labor provisions under the FLSA.

Rulemaking Resources

  • NIOSH Hazardous Orders
    • Former Administrator McCutchen’s Response to NIOSH Recommendations
    • SiloSmashers Determination of the Costs and Benefits of Implementing NIOSH Recommendations Relating to Child Labor Hazardous Orders

Presentations

Child Labor CMP Assessment Amounts