Illinois reminds young job seekers and employers of safety
Labor Law provides protections for children younger than 16
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[May 15, 2012]
CHICAGO -- The Illinois Department of
Labor is reminding students under the age of 16, employers, parents
and caregivers about state labor laws that protect children in the
workplace. The Illinois Child Labor Law limits the number of hours a
child can work and prohibits work in hazardous environments.
"Many young teenagers across the state will start looking for summer
jobs, and we want to make sure they are aware of labor laws that
require adequate protections in (the) workplace," said Department of
Labor Director Joseph Costigan. "Employers, parents and caregivers
should familiarize themselves with the law’s requirements to ensure
a safe and healthy work environment for children."
the Illinois Child Labor Law, which regulates the employment of
workers who are younger than 16 years old. The law requires that
minors ages 14 and 15 obtain employment certificates from their
local high school or school administration office. The certificate
confirms that a minor is old enough to work, is physically capable
of performing the job and that the job will not interfere with the
The law prohibits work in hazardous occupations. Under the act, a
few examples of hazardous occupations for children under the age of
16 are working at a construction site, working at an establishment
that serves alcohol or operating machinery. The act limits working
hours and requires that minors working five or more continuous hours
receive a 30-minute meal period.
Under the Illinois Child Labor Law, the department is providing
the following information:
Procedures for teenagers:
When a student
finds a job, he or she will need a "letter of intent to hire"
from the prospective employer. It must outline the hours the
student will be working and the type of work.
After checking the safety of work and
for any conflicts in school schedule, the school must issue an
employment certificate in order for the student to work.
Procedures for employers:
- Employers who employ 14- or 15 year-olds must require them
to provide an employment certificate, which the employer must
maintain on the premises.
The Illinois Child Labor Law allows children ages 14 and 15 to
work during the school year:
Between the hours
of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. -- only up to three hours per school day,
but not more than eight hours per day when school and work are
Up to eight hours
on a non-school day.
Up to 24 hours a week, but not more
than six consecutive days.
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During summer break (June 1 through Labor Day), the law allows
children ages 14 and 15 to work :
Between 7 a.m. and
9 p.m., but no more than eight hours per day.
Up to 48 hours a week, but not more
than six consecutive days.
Work of the following
nature is expressly prohibited for 14- and 15-year-olds:
establishments where liquor is served.
Working at gas or
service stations, including the retail portion thereof.
Work requiring the
use of power-driven machinery or contact with moving vehicles.
including demolition, repair and jobs involving the use of
ladders or scaffolds.
dry-cleaning or rug cleaning work.
Operation of amusement rides or
For more information regarding Illinois’ Child Labor Law, contact
IDOL at 312-793-2804. To file a child labor complaint, call the
Child Labor Hotline, 1-800-645-5784, or print out a
complaint form available at
There are several exceptions to the Child Labor Law, such as
baby-sitting, yardwork and other work in private homes. Though
children under the age of 14 generally are not employable,
13-year-olds can work as golf caddies, and 12- and 13-year-olds can
officiate some youth sports activities.
Illinois Department of
Labor file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]