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Relating to restrictions on hours of employment for children;
creating criminal offenses.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
Current law places certain restrictions on the allowable hours and days a minor may work. This bill would add significant new restrictions on the employment of minors.
HB 1855 would prohibit an employer from allowing a 14 or 15 year old from working more than five days in a week. The bill would also stipulate that a person would commit an offense if the person permits a child who is 16 years old to work more than 10 hours in one day, 54 hours in one week, or six days in one week.
A person would also commit an offense if they allow a 16 year old employee who is enrolled in a public or private school to work between the hours of 11PM and 6AM on a day that is followed by a school day.
An exemption from these requirements would be provided if the child is a member of the person's family or household and the person employs fewer than 50 people including the child. Basically, this exempts small family businesses.
HB 1855 would add maximum number of hours and day a child can work, creating a criminal offense.
Adding these onerous new restrictions on the labor of minors is out of alignment with the principles of individual liberty, free markets, and limited government. Decisions about the working hours of teenagers is best made by parents who have better knowledge of the circumstances and best interests of their children than does the state. This is a top-down, one-size-fits-all policy that places government in the position of making family decisions. In the end, this will mostly hurt the teenagers it is intended to help by further limiting their already limited opportunities to have a job and earn money. For these reasons we oppose HB 1855.