On May 20, the federal Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division issued final rules revising its restrictions on minors working in certain hazardous occupations. These rules constitute the first major revisions to the hazardous occupation rules in more than 30 years. The new regulations change restrictions for minors working in seven hazardous occupation classifications, and also amend the general rules for 14 and 15-year-old employees to clarify restrictions and to allow work in certain non-hazardous jobs.
The most widely applicable change applies to power-driven hoisting equipment such as forklifts, cranes, derricks and man-lifts. The old rules prohibited minors from operating this equipment. The new rules also prohibit minors from riding as passengers on this equipment, even if an older worker is operating it.
Fourteen and 15-year-old employees will be permitted to work in advertising, banking and information technology jobs. They will be prohibited from engaging in youth peddling activities, or for-profit door-to-door sales.
Businesses currently subject to youth labor restrictions for use of certain equipment should review these changes to determine the impact on their operations. These new federal rules do not affect state child labor restrictions on hours worked or excluded jobs, many of which are already more restrictive than the new federal regulations. The new rules take effect on July 19, 2010. A fact sheet on their requirements can be obtained at http://www.dol.gov/whd/cl/whdfsCLFR.htm.