In New Jersey, child labor laws restrict the ability of children to work. These laws state how old children must be before they can work. They also define when minors are able to work and the types of jobs that they can do. Child labor laws are designed to protect children from work that might be dangerous and to make certain that they remain focused on their education. Here is an overview of the child labor laws from the employment attorneys at Swartz Swidler.
Age restrictions play a major role in child labor laws. In general, children must be a minimum of 14 years old to perform non-agricultural work. Different restrictions apply according to the age of the children.
Under age 14
In general, children who are under age 14 cannot work in non-agricultural jobs. However, there are a few jobs that they can do, including acting, newspaper delivery, and babysitting. Younger children are also allowed to work in a business that is owned by their parents.
Ages 14 to 15
Children who are ages 14 or 15 have limits on the types of jobs that they can have and the hours that they are able to work. While school is in session, 14- and 15-year-old children may only work a maximum of three hours on school days and 18 hours per week. During the summer months, they can work a maximum of eight hours per day or 40 hours per week. They are only allowed to work between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. when school is in session and until 9 p.m. during the summer. They are not allowed to work in jobs that are dangerous.
Ages 16 and 17
Children who are 16 or 17 are allowed to work for unlimited hours in any nonhazardous job. They are restricted from using certain types of equipment such as meat slicers and commercial mixers. When children turn age 18, they are not restricted under the child labor laws.
There are certain types of jobs that are exempt from child labor laws, including the following:
- Businesses owned by the parents except in manufacturing or mining
- Agricultural jobs
- Newspaper delivery jobs
- Entertainment jobs
Minimum wage for youth workers
Under federal law, employers are allowed to pay workers who are younger than 20 a lower wage for 90 days when they are first employed. Once this period is over, they must be paid the state minimum wage.
Contact Swartz Swidler
If you have questions about the child labor laws or believe that they are being violated by a business, Swartz Swidler might be able to help. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.