In looking at Florida’s laws regarding child labor, I think it is interesting to see that, like many states, Florida does place additional restrictions on 16 and 17 year olds above what is found in federal law. However, unlike many states, Florida does not require minors to obtain any sort of work permit. Employers do need to keep documentation showing proof of age for any minors they may hire.
In reviewing the work hour restrictions placed on 14 and 15 year olds, I found that Florida’s law is very much like the Federal law. During times school is in session, minors of this age may not work during school hours. They are allowed to work up to three hours per day on school days, but this work must be between the hours of 7am and 7pm. The total hours per week must be 18 or fewer. During the summer months (defined as June 1st through Labor Day), a 14 or 15 year old minor may work between 7am and 9pm. However, a minor of this age may still work no more than 40 hours per week or 8 hours per day during the summer months.
Florida’s laws do place a few restrictions on the employment hours of 16 and 17 year olds. Minors of this age are only allowed to work 30 hours per week while school is in session, with the per-day maximum being 8 hours. Work must also take place between the hours of 6:30am and 10:30pm if the next day is a school day, but they also must not work during the school day while school is in session. The Child Labor Law of Florida does not place any restrictions on hours worked when the next day is not a school day or during breaks when school is not in session.
Florida law mirrors federal law when it comes to jobs a minor is not allowed to hold. As a reminder, this means that no minors under 18 are permitted to work in hazardous occupations such as mining and logging. The law also states that minors under 16 are prohibited from working in any manufacturing environment, and in a variety of other hazardous situations involving such things as machinery and hot cooking surfaces.
The Florida Complete Labor Law poster is available with the most recent child labor laws as well as all of the current federal laws.
I understand that Florida’s Child Labor Law is in place to protect children from long, unsafe work practices. The law lets employers, workers, and parents know when, for how long, and what jobs a child may work.
When school is in session, 14 and 15-year-olds may work three hours a day on school days, or eight hours a day on weekends. When school is not in session, they may work eight hours per day between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., and up to 40 hours per week. 16 and 17-year-olds can work up to 30 hours a week when school is in session, eight hours per day between 6:30 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. There are no limits on weekend or vacation hours.
Children can’t work during normal school hours, and they can’t work more than six consecutive days. Children are also not allowed to work for more than four hours without a 30-minute break.
I know that the Florida Law is meant protect minors while encouraging them to remain in school, but some children may be exempt. Waivers may be granted on a case-by-case basis by the courts. Teens are also exempt from the hours restrictions if they have been married, graduated from an accredited high school or hold a high school equivalency diploma, served in the military, or are authorized by a court order.
Some jobs are too dangerous for children to do, and the Florida law spells those out. Children under the age of 18 may not work with explosives or radioactive substances, logging, meat processing, demolition, roofing, mining, toxic substances and pesticides, firefighting, electric wiring. They may also not drive or operate heavy machinery. 14 and 15-year-olds are also restricted from working with freezers or meat coolers, slicing machinery, cooking and baking equipment, loading and unloading trucks, handling dangerous animals, door-to-door sales, and spray painting.
Employers are required to keep proof of age on all child employees. Employers must also post information outlining the Child Labor laws in a visible place. The Florida Complete Labor Law poster reflects not only the child labor laws but also all of the state, federal, and OSHA requirements. Employers who violate the Florida Child Labor laws may be fined up to $2,500 per offense and/or be guilty of a second degree misdemeanor.