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DOL Issues Proposed Changes to Child Labor Rules

    Client Alerts
  • April 27, 2007

Last week, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division issued proposed changes to its child labor regulations.  These rules restrict maximum working hours for persons under 18, as well as prohibit youths from working in certain defined hazardous occupations.  The majority of proposed changes deal with the definition of hazardous occupations.  DOL intends to expand the list of prohibited jobs for youth based upon recommendations made by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.  For example, current rules prohibit youths from using chain saws to cut wood.  The proposed rules would expand this prohibition to any use of chain saws by minors.  Although not included in the proposed rules, DOL is also seeking comment on a NIOSH recommendation to prohibit minors from any work on construction sites.

In addition to updating the prohibited job list, the new rules also make slight changes to allowable working hours for 14 and 15-year old employees.  DOL is soliciting comments on the proposed rules through June 16, 2007, with final rules expected later this year.  The proposed youth employment regulations can be found at