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Child Labor Laws - Questions about Child Labor Laws Answered

During the Industrial Revolution, young children -- often under the age of five -- were employed in production factories with dangerous, and often lethal, working conditions. In addition to being placed in an unsafe environment, children were often underfed, made to work long hours and were deprived of adequate sleep. Today in many developed countries, the use of children as laborers is now considered to be a human rights violation and is outlawed. While some poorer countries may allow or tolerate child labor, activists are working hard to improve child labor laws around the world. Below are a few of the top child labor related questions that have been answered by Lawyers on JustAnswer.

What is the definition of child labor?

Child labor is usually defined as the full-time employment of a child that is under the minimum legal working age. In many states children can work at the age of 16. Many times child labor is considered forcing an underage child to work.

Why were child labor laws put in place?

Child labor played an important role in the Industrial Revolution from its outset, often brought about by economic hardship. Employing young children in factories and mines and as chimney sweeps and even using them in coal mines, children would crawl through tunnels too narrow and low for adults. In the early 1800’s Factory Acts were passed to regulate the working hours of workhouse children in factories and cotton mills to 12 hours per day. This law paved the way for other types of child labor laws in America to be passed and implemented over the years.

In Missouri when is a child able to work in the regular work force and the work not be considered child labor abuse?

In Missouri once the child reaches the age of 16, they are able to work in the regular work force. For minors under the age of 16 the child labor laws would normally apply. If you’re not sure if your child can legally work, ask a Lawyer on JustAnswer.

In Ohio what are the hours a minor child can work and not violate the child labor laws?

In Ohio, minors of ages 14 and 15 are not allowed to work between the hours of 7:00 am and 7:00 pm or work more than 3 hours during the school week. On a non-school day, a minor can work between the hours of 7:00 am and 9:00 pm and can work 8 hour days, regardless of the parents’ permission. For minors aged 16 and 17, when on a school day they cannot work before 6:00 am or 7:00 am. They cannot be working after 8:00 pm, or after 11:00 pm Sunday through Thursday. They can work as many hours a day or week as they want to.

If a 13 year old wants to volunteer in a small restaurant is that breaking any of the child labor laws?

In most cases, as long as the child is just volunteering and not receiving payment for the volunteer work or duties that they do, this may not be seen as a violation of child labor laws. Also, the child needs to understand that they are doing this job voluntarily and do not need to conform to specific working hours, put in a certain number of hours. The child should also be aware that the work done is not for pay.

In today’s society, child labor is much more hidden. Instead of in factories and sweatshops, most child labor occurs in the informal sector, selling products on the street, working in farming communities, and often children are hidden away in housing projects away from labor inspectors and the media’s eye. If you suspect child labor issues, or need more child labor information, bring your questions to Lawyers on JustAnswer.

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