Many small businesses provide excellent opportunities for young adults in our communities to have great employment options. In fact, small businesses in our local communities provide a significant number of jobs for youth, and the relationship is symbiotic. Small businesses can take advantage of hiring part-time help for busy times and much-needed experience for young adults looking to save money for things like a car or college.
In this article, we are going to explore the opportunities small businesses can capitalize on by hiring young adults while adhering to important child labor laws.
What are Child Labor Laws?
It is important to review the child labor laws in your state before hiring minors. In this article, we are covering the laws in the State of Ohio, but we also wanted to share a link to find the laws in your state. You can review child labor laws in your state here.
Reviewing the Ohio Revised Code 4109- Employment of Minors
In Ohio, they define a minor as any person less than 18 years old. Minors from the ages of 14-17 can work in Ohio, as long as child labor laws are followed correctly by employers. Violations of the law can mean problems for small businesses. It is important to get it right. Let’s review the child labor laws in Ohio as of 2023.
In 2023 the Child Labor Laws are as follows:
- Every minor 14 through 17 years of age must have a working permit unless otherwise stated in Chapter 4109.
- No employer shall give employment to a minor without agreeing with him/her as to the wages or compensation he/she shall receive for each day, week, month, year or per piece of work performed.
- No employer shall employ a minor for more than 5 consecutive hours without a rest period of at least 30 minutes.
- Employers shall keep a list of minors employed at each establishment. That list must be posted in a conspicuous place to which all minor employees have access.
- Every employer shall keep a time book or other written record showing the actual starting and stopping time of each work and rest period. These records must be kept for two (2) years.
Mandatory Employment and Age Certification
In addition, it is mandatory for employers to verify minor employees’ ages. Many of the states require working minors to provide their employers with an age certification document, this is not required for minors who wish to work in Ohio. However, employers are expected to identify minors whom they employ and ensure that their employment is in compliance with all Federal and state child labor restrictions. A full list of Ohio Labor Laws for minors can be found HERE.
Here are the important highlights:
- Work Permits are mandatory in Ohio for minors under 16 at any time and minors between the ages of 16 and 17 during the school term. A certificate must be acquired by the minor and presented to their employer to verify their ability to work BEFORE they are hired.
- Proof of age is required for minors 16 and 17 years of age for employment during school vacation.
- Minors who are 16- and 17-year-old are not required to provide a certificate to be employed at a seasonal amusement or recreational establishment if they have the approval of the Superintendent of Schools of the district where they live.
- In Ohio, minors can obtain an Employment Certificate through their school, generally by contacting a guidance counselor or school administrator. Often a work permit will be issued if the minor meets all of the state's criteria for employment.
Working Hours Restrictions
It is also important to understand the restrictions that minors have while working. These regulations have changed over the past few years and are important for all business owners to review.
For instance, minors who are authorized to work in Ohio are subject to restricted working hours, and how many hours per shift they can work. The exact restrictions depend on the age of the minor and are designed to ensure that work does not interfere with the minor's schooling.
Children who are under sixteen shall be employed:
- During school hours except where specifically permitted by Chapter 4109
- Before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m. from June 1st to September 1st or during any school holiday of 5 school days or more; or after 7 p.m. at any other time (Senate Bill 30, currently in the Ohio Legislature, may effect the hours if it becomes law).
- For more than 3 hours a day in any school day
- For more than 18 hours in any school week
- For more than 8 hours in any day when school is not in session
- For more than 40 hours in any week that school is not in session nor during school hours unless the employer is incidental to bona fide programs of vocational cooperative training, work-study, or other work-oriented programs.
No person 16 or 17 who is required to attend school shall be employed:
- Before 7 a.m. on any day that school is in session or 6 a.m. if the person was not employed after 8 p.m. the previous night
- After 11 p.m. on any night preceding the day that school is in session.
Prohibited Occupations for Minors
In Ohio, there are certain jobs in which minors may not participate between the ages of 14-17. Many of these positions are prohibited due to being deemed hazardous or detrimental to a minor’s safety or well-being.
These jobs include:
For the complete list visit: Ohio Revised Code 4109- Employment of Minors
- Occupations involving slaughtering, meatpacking, processing, or rendering.
- Occupations involved in the manufacture of brick, tile, and kindred products.
- Occupations involved in the manufacture of chemicals.
- Manufacturing or storage occupations involving explosives.
- Occupations involving exposure to radioactive substances.
- Power-driven paper products machines.
- Power-driven metal forming, punching, and shearing machines.
- Operation of power-driven circular saws, band saws, and guillotine shears.
- Power-driven woodworking machines, bakery machines, or hoisting apparatus.
- Occupations in connection with mining, coal, etc.
- Logging and sawmilling.
- Motor vehicle occupations.
- Maritime and longshoreman occupations.
- Excavation operations.
- Roofing operations.
- Wrecking, demolition, and shipbreaking.
The Federal and State child labor laws were created to give teenagers the opportunity to make and save money in a safe and healthy way. All employers who hire minor individuals are responsible for following these laws set in place. Today, employers are responsible for treating their employees fairly. Minors are also required to verify their age and ensure that they are following the regulations for shift length, and hours. Failure to follow these rules as an employer can lead to fines and or criminal prosecution. At ClarityHR our goal is to help small businesses navigate employment laws and to help small businesses create a great work environment for everyone on their team. We are here to help you navigate all the changing rules and regulations for child labor. Contact us to learn more!