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Florida Eases Hourly Work Restrictions on Minors

08 May

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Update Applicable to:Effective date
All employers in Florida with at least 1 minor worker aged 16 or 17July 1, 2024


What happened?

On March 22, 2024, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that amends the state’s Child Labor Law to allow minors sixteen and seventeen years of age to work more hours.


What are the details?

The law amends Florida’s Child Labor Law to ease some of the restrictions on minors aged 16 and 17 and allows parents and school superintendents to waive the 30 hours-per-week work limitations.


Key Bites:

  • Work hours:
    • The law will allow minors to work more than 8 hours on Sundays and holidays, even when there is school the next day, but keeps restrictions that minors may only work 8 hours on any one day and between 6:30 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. when there is school the next day.
    • Allows parents and school superintendents to waive the limitation that minors may only work 30 hours per week when school is in session.
    • Lowers the age restriction on minors working more than 6 consecutive days from 17 years of age to 15 years of age.
    • Minors who are scheduled to work for 8 hours in one day will also be entitled to a meal break of at least 30 minutes for every 4 hours of continuous work.
  • Exclusions and Waivers:
    • The legislation removes limitations on working hours for minors participating in a “home education program” or those “enrolled in a sanctioned virtual instruction program where the minor and the teacher are separated solely by time.”
    • School superintendents can waive work hour restrictions for minors “enrolled in an educational institution who qualify on a hardship basis, such as economic necessity or family emergency.”
    • Hourly restrictions do not apply to minors working “…in domestic service in private homes” or those “employed by their parents.”
    • The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation can waive restrictions for minors when it is in the minor’s best interest, based on “extenuating circumstances” determined on a case-by-case basis.
    • The law prevents counties and municipalities from adopting or enforcing ordinances that are stricter than state law.
  • Penalties: 
    • Employers that violate the restrictions on minors could be subject to a misdemeanor and fines under Florida law.
    • Employers may further be required to take remedial actions.


Business Considerations

  • Employers should review and update their policies and practices regarding the onboarding of minors aged 16 and 17.
  • Employers should implement a good recordkeeping policy regarding the waivers and certifications, if available, of virtual instruction programs or homeschooling.


Source References


Resources

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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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