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Do Child Labor Laws Apply To Teenagers?

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According to Human Rights Watch, Philip Morris International, the tobacco giant, has changed a policy that may be good news for many child workers on tobacco farms in America. The company publicized on November 5, 2014 that it would begin purchasing US-grown tobacco only via third-party leaf supply companies, instead of buying from tobacco farmers directly. This policy shift requires the globe’s biggest tobacco leaf suppliers to put into place Philip Morris International’s detailed child labor policy on all US farms from which they procure their tobacco.

What are child labor laws?

The federal child labor provisions, which were sanctioned by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938, are also referred to as the child labor laws. These laws were put into place in order to protect children. This is so that when young people work, the activities are safe and don’t put their health or educational opportunities in harm’s way. There are also limited exemptions.

The Basics of Child Labor

Although you can hire persons under the age of 18, federal and state laws place limits on certain aspects of the job. Generally, these laws aim to protect younger employees by restricting the type of work they can do and the number of hours they can work. In some cities or states, there may even be curfews that have to be adhered to for younger workers. Before you hire any worker younger than 18, you should check the laws in your state as well as the country.

Child Labor Laws and Teenagers

Even though many teenagers are working full time jobs, and some even support families, if they are under the age of 18, they are considered children. Some agricultural jobs allow teenagers to operate certain types of machinery or perform highly physical work, but you need to be sure you check all laws and requirements for the specific job before you hire the employee.

Chicago Employment Law Attorneys

Contact our established Chicago employment attorneys for questions you have regarding child labor laws and teenagers. If you are an employer and need counsel in an employment law case, call Goldman & Ehrlich at 312.332.6733 today or contact our Chicago office online.