Child Labor Law Clarification


I had a quick question regarding employing teens younger than 18 years old.  I am looking to do that this Summer for one of my Dishwasher positions.  I did some research on teen labor, and I gathered the following:

On non-school days, not preceding school days, teens can work 48 hours/week, not more than 9 hours/day, and not more than 6 days/week.

Is that all correct?  Do you know if residential camps get a free pass??


Response: (courtesy of Church Church Hittle & Antrim, Noblesville IN)

Date: May 8, 2012


First, if the minor is between the ages of 14 and 18, the client should make sure that the minor has received a work permit. Indiana Code 20-33-3-5. There are a few exceptions to this rule (farm laborer, golf caddie, newspaper carrier, entertainer), but the work described does not fit within one of those exceptions. Indiana Code 20-33-3-6. The employee can obtain a work permit from an accredited school district in which he or she resides after being hired by the employer. The employer must provide the accredited school with written notice that they intend to hire the minor, as well as the hours the minor will work and the types of duties the minor will perform before the employee can receive a work permit. The employer can find the necessary form at the following link: .

            The minor must then return the notice, in person, to the Issuing Officer at the accredited high school.  The minor will also need to provide proof of age--traditionally by presenting a copy of his/her birth certificate.  If the minor does not attend the accredited high school, the minor may be required to provide a letter from his/her school stating that the minor is in good academic and attendance standing.  Once these documents are examined and found to be in good order, the minor should be issued a work permit.  There is no cost associated with filing for or issuing a work permit.  The work permit must remain on file at the site where the minor is working.

Our client will have some options regarding how to employ this minor. For a summer camp, an employer can choose to pay a flat salary for the entire summer. The employer of an organized camp does not need to comply with minimum wage and overtime requirements. Section 13(a) (3) of the Federal Labor Standards Act. Because the work being done seems to be more on an intermittent basis, the employer also has options regarding hourly rate. The Indiana minimum wage is $7.25/hour. Yet, because the employee is under the age of 20, the employer may pay the employee $4.25/hour (the Indiana training wage) for the first 90 consecutive days the employee works.

Indiana law does not exempt residential camps from complying with maximum hours for minors. Therefore, the minor employee can only be “on the clock” for the specified hours. Further, if an employee is on-call on the employer’s premises or under the employer’s direction or supervision, the employee is still on the clock. If the employee is 16 or 17 years old, he or she may only work 8 hours/day and 30 hours/week. With parental permission, this individual may work 9 hours/day and 48 hours/week. If the employee is 16 years old, he or she may not work before 6:00 a.m. or after 10:00 p.m. (the employee may work until 12:00 a.m. with parental permission). These time restrictions do not apply to someone that is 17 years old. A 16 or 17 year old may only work six days per week.

An employer must provide one or two breaks totaling 30 minutes to a minor working more than six consecutive hours. The employer must keep a log of these breaks. 610 Indiana Administrative Code 10-3-1.


Question part II:

Typically in Residence Camps, the counselor/dishwasher etc is provided housing and they stay on site 24/7 other than when they are off duty.  The value of the lodging is typically not considered income to the counselor/dishwasher, because it is “provided for the convenience of the employer”.   Please circle back and see if there are codified exceptions to your findings that get invoked when the child laborer is on site continuously.  I think that you nailed the rules for young workers generally.


Response part II:

If I am understanding you correctly, there is a question regarding whether or not time spent “on site” (i.e. in the housing units, dorms, etc.) threatens the maximum hour limits placed on minors. After discussions with the Dept. of Labor and extensive research, there is not an exception for the maximum working hours for minors EVEN WHEN they are continuously on site. The DOL emphasized that this was a gray area when it comes to residential camps but made sure to specify that exemptions do not exist. Therefore, the issue seems to be “when is the employee actually at work”. This is not clarified anywhere in the law but is generally seen as when the employee is doing camp related work. The Head of Child Labor at the DOL used the example of carrying a piece of paper across the camp as an activity that constitutes work. Yet, simply being in the living units or using camp facilities does NOT count towards a minor’s work hours for purposes of the maximum hours (and I think this is at the core of the inquiry).