When you think of migrant farm workers, Michigan might not be the first state that comes to mind. However, thousands of migrant workers travel to Michigan during the warmer months to pick everything from strawberries to apples. In fact, many violations of the child labor laws have occurred on farms in Michigan.
A recent grant by the US Dept. of Labor will study and prevent Michigan child labor law violations. The $1.8 million award to Michigan State University will provide incentives for the children of migrant farm workers to stay in school. The young people will receive incentives to attend school, rather than work, during the school year. Poor attendance by the children of migrant workers means that they are more likely to have to repeat grades, or to be required to attend summer school.
Summer school poses a particular problem for the children of migrant workers. The children of many farm workers help their parents in the fields during the summer. Attending summer school may not be financially possible for the children or their parents, who are often on the move during the summer, going wherever there are crops to be picked. This program will provide incentives for the children to go to summer school, instead of going to work.
The project is designed to develop and pilot a national demonstration that offers improved education to the children of migrant farm workers in many areas In addition, the program will provide opportunities in alternative work experience for migrant youth. Eventually, the successful program will be expanded throughout the country.
Additional awards under the program went to two non-profit agencies that specifically work with migrant farm laborers. They are La Cooperativa Campesina de California, a non-profit organization in Sacramento and Rural Opportunities in Rochester New York. Together those two agencies received $3.25 million to fund the pilot projects for a period of 12 months.
I had no trouble finding the child labor laws for the state of Michigan online. If you need something which includes these labor laws, you can look for the Michigan Child Labor Law Posters. Employers are required to display the Michigan Child Labor Law Posters in an obvious place somewhere in the workplace. Normally, business owners or administration will post these in a work room or break area.
One thing that stuck out when I was reading through these laws is that work permits for minors under 16 will be a different color than those work permits given to minors 16 years and older. These work permits need to have the following items included: name, address of the minor, birth date of minor, job position that minor holds, employer’s name, employer’s address, and other items that the department of education requires. These work permits need to be kept at the workplace.
The minimum age that a minor can work in Michigan is 14 years old. There are some exceptions to this rule, however. There are occasions when a minor 11 years to 13 years old may be employed, normally with the stipulation of adult supervision.
The hours that a minor under 16 years may work are as follows: up to 6 days a week, up to 8 hours per day, up to 48 hours per week, and between 7 AM and 9 PM. For minors 16 and older, the hours are as follows: up to 6 days per week, up to 8 hours per day, up to 48 hours per week, and between 6 AM and 10:30 PM (extended to 11:30 PM during vacations). If a minor works over 5 hours in a row, they are required to be given at least a 30 minute break period.
All minors under the age of 18 years are also limited in the positions they can hold. Any job which is considered to be hazardous is restricted.
I hope that you found this summary of the child labor laws in Michigan helpful. If you need additional information, you should look for copies of the Michigan Child Labor Law Posters. For other labor related information, you can look to the Michigan Complete Labor Law Poster.