Youth Labor Laws Know the RULES School to Work Alliance Program 2935 North Avenue Grand Junction, CO 81504
Childhood Lost: Child Labor During the Industrial Revolution When we turn the pages of our history books to the early 1900’s we see that existing industries flourished and new opportunities developed, such as petroleum refining, steel manufacturing, and the widespread use of electrical power. The use of railroads grew exponentially and industry and services once in isolated areas of the country entered into a national market economy.
History Young children working endured some of the harshest conditions. Workdays would often be 10 to 14 hours with minimal breaks during the shift. Factories employing children were often very dangerous places leading to injuries and even deaths. Machinery often ran so quickly that little fingers, arms and legs could easily get caught. Beyond the equipment, the environment was a threat to children as well as factories put out fumes and toxins. When inhaled by children these most certainly could result in illness, chronic conditions or disease. Children working in rural areas were not faring much better. Harvesting crops in extreme temperatures for long hours was considered normal for these children. Work in agriculture was typically less regulated than factory duties. Farm work was often not considered dangerous or extraneous for children, even though they carried their weight and more in loads of produce and handled dangerous tools.
The Federal Child Labor Provisions were enacted to ensure that when young people work, the work is safe, positive, and complements the educational process! Work Hour Restrictions
Beyond the topic of safety, children working lengthy hours had limited access to education. Many families relied on income earned by each family member and did not allow children to attend school at all. Those fortunate enough to be enrolled often attended only portions of a school day or only a few weeks at a time. (Source: Library of Congress Learning Page Features and Activities Accessed 9.24.08) • Reforming child labor laws and creating new laws that would enforce a minimum working age, prohibiting dangerous jobs and conditions and establishing maximum hours children could work was not a popular endeavor. It took several years and many attempts by Congress to pass national laws designed to improve working conditions and regulations relative to children in the workforce. Summary
Fast Forward… Youth Employment Today
Colorado Youth Law • A person under the age of 18, except a person who has received a high school diploma or GED. DEFINITION OF A MINOR
Work Permits • Are NOT required by Colorado law. Age Certificates • Any employer desiring proof of the age of any minor employee or prospective employee may require the minor to submit an age verification. Age certificates are issued by or under the authority of the school superintendent of the district or county in which the applicant resides. School Release Permits • Any minor 14 or 15 years of age who wishes to work on school days during school hours shall first secure a school release permit. Such permit is issued only by the school district superintendent, his agent, or some other person designated by the board of education. Overview
No employer shall be permitted to work a minor more than forty hours in a week or more than eight hours in any 24 hour period. General Restrictions
School Day Restrictions On school days, during school hours, no minor under the age of 16 shall be permitted employment except as provided by a school release permit. After school hours no minor under the age of 16 shall be permitted to work in excess of 6 hours unless the next day is not a school day. General Restrictions
Nighttime Restrictions Except for babysitters, no minor under the age of sixteen shall be permitted to work between the hours of 9:30 p.m and 5:00 a.m unless the next day is not a school day. An exception to this rule is a minor employed as an actor, model, or performer. General Restrictions
Hazardous/Prohibited • Operation of any high pressure steam boiler or high temperature water boiler • Work which primarily involves the risk of falling from any elevated place located 10 feet or more above the ground except that work defined as agricultural involving elevations of 20 feet or less above ground. • Manufacturing, transporting, or storing explosives • Mining, logging, oil drilling • Any occupation involving exposure to radioactive substances or ionizing radiation. • Operation of power-driven machinery: Woodworking, metal-forming, punching or shearing, bakery machines, paper products machines, shears, automatic pin-setting machines and power food slicers and grinders 7. Slaughter of livestock and rendering and packaging of meat. 8. Occupations directly involved in the manufacture of brick or other clay construction products, or silica refractory products. 9. Wrecking or demolition but not including manual auto wrecking 10. Roofing 11. Occupations in excavation operations No No’s
The minimum wage is $7.78 per hour effective January 1, 2013 • Tipped employee’s- $4.76 /hr + tips= $7.78 • No illegal deductions that drop wages below the minimum wage (property damage, cash register shortages, work tools=illegal deductions) • Most training must be paid • Overtime=time and a half the regular rate after 40 hrs. worked Minimum Wage
Meal Periods • Employees are entitled to an uninterrupted and duty free 30 min unpaid meal period when their work shift exceeds 5 consecutive hours. • The employee must be completely relieved of all duties for the meal period. • If the above conditions are not met, then the employee must be allowed to consume a meal on-duty, and be compensated for the entire on-duty meal period. Rest Periods • Employees are entitled to a compensated 10-minute rest period for each 4 hours of work. Wages may not be deducted for the rest period. • It is not required that the employee be permitted to leave the premises for the rest period. Breaks
For Additional Information Contact SWAP The Youth Employment Experts!