The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes child labor standards (as well as minimum wage, overtime pay, equal pay, whistleblower, and record keeping standards). These standards affect full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in federal, state, and local governments.
The FLSA's child labor provisions are designed to protect the educational opportunities of minors and prohibit their employment in jobs and under conditions detrimental to their health or well-being.
The FLSA regulates child labor by (a) setting minimum ages for jobs that have been determined to be particularly hazardous, (b) setting minimum ages for all other jobs (that is, jobs that are not considered particularly hazardous), and (c) limiting the hours that children are permitted to work. There are also exceptions to some of these requirements.
Minimum Age for Particularly Hazardous Work:
The FLSA distinguishes between particularly hazardous work for children and other work that is not considered particularly hazardous.
The minimum age for particularly hazardous work in agriculture is age 16, whereas the particularly hazardous work in all other sectors of the economy is age 18. These minimum ages are established by law, and would require an act of Congress to be changed.
The FLSA gives the Secretary of Labor the discretion to issue regulations describing what occupations in agriculture and in all other sectors of the economy are particularly hazardous to children. These regulations are called Hazardous Occupation Orders (or more commonly Hazardous Orders or HOs).
There are 11 Hazardous Orders in agriculture that forbid children under age 16 from doing any of the following jobs:
1. Operating a tractor in most situations.
2. Operating or assisting to operate specified machinery such as grain combines, hay mowers and balers, feed grinders, and power post-hole diggers.
2. Operating or assisting to operate trenchers or earth-moving equipment, fork lifts, potato combines, and power-driver circular, band, or chain saws.
3. Working on a farm in a yard, pen, or stall occupied by a bull, boar, or stud horse maintained for breeding purposes; a sow with suckling pigs; or a cow with newborn calf (with umbilical cord present).
4. Felling, bucking, skidding, loading, or unloading timber with a butt diameter of more than 6 inches.
5. Working from a ladder or scaffold at a height of over 20 feet.
6. Driving a bus, truck, or automobile while transporting passengers, or riding on a tractor as a passenger or helper.
7. Working inside certain enclosed areas such as fruit, forage, or grain storage facilities designed to retain an oxygen-deficient or toxic atmosphere; as well as in a manure pit.
8. Handling or applying agricultural chemicals that are acutely toxic.
9. Handling or using a blasting agent, such a dynamite, ammonium nitrate, and blasting caps.
10. Transporting, transferring, or applying anhydrous ammonia.
There are 17 Hazardous Orders pertaining to all industries (other than agriculture) that forbid children under age 18 from doing any of the following jobs.
1. Manufacturing or storing explosives.
2. Driving a motor vehicle and being an outside helper on a motor vehicle.
3. Coal mining.
4. Logging and sawmilling.
5. Operating power-driven wood-working machines.
6. Exposure to radioactive substances and to ionizing radiations.
7. Operating power-driven hoisting equipment.
8. Operating power-driven metal-forming, punching, and shearing machines.
9. Mining, other than coal mining.
10. Operating power-driven meat-processing machines, and slaughtering, meat packing or processing, and rendering.
11. Operating power-driven bakery machines.
12. Operating power-driven paper-products machines, scrap paper balers, and paper box compactors (except that 16- and 17-year-olds can load – but not operate or unload – scrap paper balers and paper box compactors that meet certain safety requirements).
13. Manufacturing brick, tile, and related products.
14. Operating power-driven circular saws, band saws, and guillotine shears.
15. Wrecking, demolition, and shipbreaking operations.
16. Working in roofing operations (including any work on or in close proximity to roofs, such as installing or repairing gutters and cable and satellite dishes on roofs).
17. Working in certain excavation operations.
There are exceptions to some of these Hazardous Orders that permit children younger than age 16 in agriculture, and children younger than age 18 in all other industries, to do particularly hazardous work if they are apprentices or student-learners.
Minimum Age for Non-hazardous Work
In jobs that are not considered particularly hazardous, the FLSA sets the normal minimum age for employment in agriculture at 14 years, whereas in every other industry the normal minimum age is 16 ye
Answered By: Poor_Yorick - 4/10/2009