A Georgia company was found in violation of federal child labor laws prohibiting hazardous occupations for minors when it employed a 15-year-old to operate a power-driven weed cutter. Sadly, the teen drowned while cutting brush along a river. During its investigation, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) also found the employer had employed the teen to work outside of the restricted hours allowed for 15-year-old workers and for more hours than allowed by law while the teen’s school was in session. As a result of these child labor law violations, the company had to pay a civil penalty of $58,383.
Tips: Know the laws before employing workers under the age of 18. Visit the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s web page for young workers as well as the state agency sites for teenage workers in California, Montana, Oregon, and Washington for more information on specific restrictions. Idaho’s Department of Labor offers a brief description on its Idaho labor law FAQ web page. Also review the summary of federal and state rules in Vigilant’s Legal Guide, “Child Labor Laws” (1019), and contact your Vigilant employment attorney with any questions.
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