Everything You Need to Know About Child Labor Laws

Child labor laws are legal restrictions that are set to keep children from being exploited while they are working. Both the federal government and individual states have established sets of laws governing children in the workforce. Each state has its own set of child labor laws which are enforced by a state organization. In Arizona, child labor laws are enforced by the Labor Department of the Industrial Commission of Arizona. The AZ labor department laws help ensure that children do not work for too many hours per day or week. Child labor law restrictions are also in place in AZ to prevent children from working under potentially hazardous conditions or in positions that are too strenuous. All employers in Arizona must abide by federal and state child labor laws or face legal penalties. Below is information about the various child labor laws restrictions in Arizona, as well as penalties for breaking AZ child labor laws.

Federal Child Labor Laws Versus Child Labor Laws in Arizona

At the federal level, child labor laws are established by the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act. However, the Labor Department of the Industrial Commission of establishes its own laws to protect the children working in AZ. State and federal laws governing child labor may conflict or vary in severity at times. When there is an obvious conflict between the two sets of laws, the stricter labor law must be followed by the employer of the child.

Arizona Child Labor Laws Governing the Number of Hours Children Can Work

Arizona laws governing the amount of time children under 16 years of age can work vary based on whether or not the school year is in session. During the school year, children are only legally allowed to work for up to three hours on school days. On weekends or days when school is not in session for other reasons, such as holidays, children may work for up to eight hours per day. However, the number of hours worked in a school week must not exceed 18.

Child labor laws in AZ are less restrictive during the summer months when schools are closed. When Arizona schools are not open due to the summer break, children are allowed to work for up to eight hours per day. However, they may work for no more than 40 hours per week. Therefore, children working eight-hour work days may only work five days per week.

Arizona Child Labor Laws Governing Times of Day When Children May Work

In Arizona, the times of day during which children may work are also restricted in an effort to keep children safe and guarantee they get enough rest. Under AZ law, children may not work between 9:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. if school will be in session the following day. Children may work until 11p.m. if they do not need to attend school the day after the work day in question because the following day is a weekend or holiday. The 11 p.m. work time limit also applies during the summer when schools are closed. Additionally, children in AZ may not work in sales positions requiring them to knock on the doors of strangers after 7 p.m.

Arizona Child Labor Laws Governing Types of Work Allowed

In Arizona, children are restricted from performing several specific types of work. For example, children under 18 years of age may not accept jobs involving radioactive substances or explosives. Children are also restricted from accepting positions involving the use of different types of equipment and machinery, including meat processing machinery, elevators and forklifts. There are also both state and federal restrictions preventing children who are 16 or 17 years of age from driving vehicles excessively during the execution of their work duties. Children who have driver’s licenses may drive for a limited amount of time if they are only traveling short distances during the execution of their jobs. However, the driving time may not exceed twenty-five percent of the work day, or two hours, and the distance driven must be less than 50 miles per work day.

Arizona Youth Employment Exemptions

Several employment exemptions exist in Arizona that will allow children to work with fewer restrictions. For example, children who are working under recognized training school programs may be allowed to work for more hours than would otherwise be allowed or during evening hours. Similarly, children working as television, movie, radio or theater actors may be eligible for employment exemptions in AZ. Arizona child labor laws are also less restrictive if the children in question are assisting in businesses owned by their parents.

Arizona Child Labor Law Violation Penalties and Appeals

Any employer or parent found to be in violation of child labor laws in AZ receives a Cease and Desist Order and is fined an amount which may not exceed $1,000 per offense. Employers who feel they were unfairly penalized because they did not violate the child labor laws in Arizona may appeal the decision by requesting a review. However, appeal requests must be sent to the State Labor Department no more than 20 days after the penalty is issued and must be submitted in writing. Employers who are appealing child labor law penalties may also request to meet informally with the Director of the State Labor Department if they feel their cases require in-person explanations of the circumstances involved.