Child Labor Laws in Florida
Florida restricts the hours available to be worked and the total hours worked by minors according to age.
Certain jobs are also deemed too hazardous for minor employment. Florida law splits these categories as jobs too hazardous for those under age 18 and those under age 16.
Examples of hazardous job conditions include ladders over 6 feet tall, radioactive material, meat packing, sawmills and spray painting.
Florida's child labor law generally follows federal law, which considers age 14 (outside of agricultural work) to be a minimum age for employment. Florida law generally prohibits employment to anyone age 13 or younger with some exceptions. Those aged 10 or younger may not engage in selling or delivering newspapers.
However, Florida makes provision for minors in specific jobs. The state allows people of any age to participate in the entertainment industry, perform domestic work within their own homes, work on a family farm, or be a page for the state legislature.
Some minors under age 17 are not considered minors for the purpose of the Florida child labor statute. Court rulings, service in the military, marriage, and high school graduation (or GED) status may exempt a minor from qualifying for child labor restrictions.
However, these exemptions are not automatic across all limits, so a person under age 17 may be restricted by part of the Florida child labor rules but not restricted by other regulations under the statute.
Most of the hourly restrictions revolve around ensuring minors do not have a work/school conflict. Minors under age 18 may be exempt from these hour limits if specific conditions are met. School exceptions may include graduating high school, receiving an equivalency certificate (GED), or obtaining an exemption certificate from the school superintendent.
Additional exemptions include suffering hardship or family emergency needs, if the minor works as a page in the state legislature, is employed by his parents, or is engaged in domestic work in a private home.
Minors under age 16, in addition to daily (3 hour) and weekly (15 hour) limits during school, may not work before 7 a.m. or 7 p.m. on a school day or the day before a school day.
Further, in addition to not working during school hours, they can not work before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m. when school is not in session, although daily (8 hours) and weekly (40 hours) limits are increased for that time.
Those 16 to 17 years old also have daily (8 hours) and weekly (30 hours) limits during school sessions as well as times of day they can work. When school is in session, on days of school or when school is scheduled the next day, those 16 and 17 can not work before 6:30 a.m. or after 11:00 p.m., or during school hours. If enrolled in a career program, they may be allowed to work during some part of the school day.
All minors under age 18 are restricted from working more than six consecutive days in a week. Florida minors under age 17 must be given at least a 30-minute meal break any time they work 4 hours or more.