• WisBusiness

DWD: Agency Issues Reminder on Child Labor Laws for Summer Employment

Teresa Weidemann-Smith, 608/266-3999

Madison – As the 2003-2004 school year comes to an end, many Wisconsin minors will begin seeking summer employment opportunities. In an effort to create awareness about what kids are and are not permitted to do under Wisconsin’s child labor laws, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) today issued a reminder to employers, minors and their parents to review the state’s labor laws.

"For the summer, many young people obtain jobs and it is important for young workers, their parents and employers to review the rules regarding our younger workers,” said DWD Secretary Roberta Gassman.

The law requires minors 12 years old and over to have a work permit. There are about 700 child labor permit offices in Wisconsin, primarily housed in high schools, government offices, YMCA’s and other volunteer facilities. Child labor permits cost $5 and are valid until the minor turns 18. In 2003, Wisconsin issued 90,049 child labor permits.

Employment options for 12 and 13 year-olds are limited to working in school lunch programs, in delivery (flowers) or distribution (newspapers), in agriculture and as caddies. These 12 and 13 year-olds may also work under the direct supervision of their parent or guardian in a sole proprietorship owned and operated by the parent or guardian.

Minors aged 14 or 15 may work between 7a.m. and 9 p.m. a maximum of eight hours per day and 40 hours per week during non-school days and weeks from June through Labor Day. Work times and number of hours worked during the summer and non-school days are not restricted for 16 and 17 year olds, however, state law requires compensation of time and one-half for work in excess of 10 hours per day or 40 hours per week, whichever is greater.

In addition to laws restricting hours of work, there are also laws to protect children from physical danger resulting from hazardous types of employment. In general, people under the age of 18 may not work in mining, logging, meatpacking, roofing, excavation or demolition. They are also prohibited from being a driver, operating a forklift, working with saws, explosives, radioactive materials and most power-driven machines.

More information about Wisconsin Child Labor Laws is available on the DWD web site at http://www.dwd.state.wi.us/er/ or by calling (608) 266-6860 in Madison or (414) 227-4384 in Milwaukee.

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