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Are you hiring teenages for summer work?

By David Griffiths, Insurance By Ken Brown /dgriffiths@insbykenbrown.com

It’s that time of year.  Many young people are out looking for full and part-time summer jobs.  So, what considerations do you have as a business owner?

Young workers can be an asset to your workforce; however, young workers have unique and substantial risks for work-related injuries and illnesses due to a variety of factors. On-the-job injuries to young workers may be significant and costly.

There are also several laws and procedures to consider when hiring a minor, as follows:

Posting Requirements
Employers who hire minors must display a poster in a conspicuous place on the property or place of employment notifying them of the Child Labor Law. Child labor posters may be obtained by calling Child Labor Compliance at 1-800-226-2536 or online at www.laborposters.org/florida/97-florida-child-labor-laws-poster.htm.

Documentation Requirements
Employers are required to keep waiver authorizations, proof of age documentation, and proof of exemption from minor status for all employees who are under 18. These records must be maintained for the duration of the minor’s employment. Unless exempt from the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), the records must be kept until the minor turns 19.

Parental Permission to Hire
Employers are not required by law to have permission from the parents to employ their minor child. However, we strongly encourage employers to include parents in the process.

Work Permits
“Work Permits” and/or “Working Papers” are not required in Florida and are not issued by either the schools or any governmental agency in Florida. Please see Waivers.

Hour Limitations
Minors are limited in the hours they may work to permit them to attend and complete their educational responsibilities.  Go here for more information:
www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/reg/childlabor/documents/ChildLaborBrochureEnglish.pdf.

Breaks
Minors may work no more than four consecutive hours without a 30-minute uninterrupted break.

Exemptions
Minors are exempt from the hour limitations of the Child Labor Law if they have been married, graduated from an accredited high school or hold a high school equivalency diploma, served in the military, have been authorized by a court order, or been issued a partial waiver by the public school or the Child Labor Program.

Safety
Each year minors suffer injuries in the workplace. OSHA has recommendations and guidelines regarding this area.  You can view these at:  www.osha.gov/youngworkers.
Also, please visit the following website for additional training tips for minor workers: www.cdc.gov/niosh/talkingsafety/states/fl/2015-124/default.html

Waivers
The Florida Child Labor Law is designed to serve and protect minors and to encourage them to remain in school. At times, however, some minors feel that the law conflicts with their best interest or that their life circumstances are such that they need to work. Minors have the right to request that the Child Labor Office exempt them from parts of the Child Labor Law. For detailed information on waivers please call 1-850-488-3131.

Penalties
Employment of minors in violation of Florida child labor laws may result in fines up to $2,500 per offense and/or be guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor.

More Information
Employers who have an interest in learning more about Florida’s child labor law may request training by contacting the Bureau of Child Labor at 1-800-226-2536 or 850-488-3131.

We support your companies giving young people the opportunity to learn your business, learn what work ethic is and have some spending money or money for future education.  It’s great for the future of our country.  However, we encourage you to take the right steps to protect both you and them!

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