It is pivotal for parents, young workers and employers to understand the rights that children have in the workplace. Regrettably, many teen workers face violations of their legal rights, and these violations take various forms. From occupational hazards to the number of hours a child can work, laws protect young workers in Illinois in many different ways.
Unfortunately, violations continue to affect teens who work in various fields.
Hour restrictions under the Child Labor Law
The Illinois Department of Labor provides information on hour restrictions applying to children under the age of 16 who work. It is important to understand that the hour restrictions vary depending on whether the school a child attends is in session.
During summer break and other times when school is out, 14-year-old and 15-year-old children can work up to eight hours each day, 6 days each week and 48 hours each week. However, when school is in, they cannot work more than three hours in one day or 24 hours in a week.
Other Child Labor Law requirements
All workers under 16 must have an employment certificate in order to work. A prospective employer must provide an intent to hire letter, which has to detail the hours a child will work. An employer can face fines for employing a teen who does not have a work permit, and children under 16 cannot work in various hazardous occupations. Furthermore, employers must give children a 30-minute meal period after five consecutive hours of work.
Employers who fail to abide by the Illinois Child Labor Law must face consequences for their actions.