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What Are Illinois Child Labor Laws?

Aug. 16, 2023

There are many child labor laws in Illinois that you should be aware of that regulate the employment of those under 16. Below are some of the most critical child labor laws, and if you have questions after reading this article, our Chicago employment law attorney can assist you.

Child Labor Age Restrictions

One of the most important labor laws in the state involves age restrictions. Here are some of the most critical restrictions to be aware of for those under 16:

  • Children under 16 cannot be employed in manufacturing or mechanical occupations or processes, and they also cannot work in the building trades or on scaffolding. Those under 16 are also prohibited from using a motor vehicle or working in a quarry or mine.

  • They cannot be employed in dangerous jobs or that can damage their health or morals. They also cannot work in gas stations, railroad jobs, or specific construction and manufacturing jobs.

  • They also cannot serve or handle alcohol or work in amusement parks or bowling alleys.

However, those under 16 can do work busing tables and help in the kitchen related to serving food at fraternal organizations and private clubs. If you are still determining if a certain job is appropriate for a child under 16, talk to an employment attorney for advice.

Child Labor Time and Hours

There are detailed laws in Illinois for times of day and hours of work for minors that you should be sure to follow. First, children under 16 can work up to eight hours per day or up to six straight days a week. They can also work up to 48 hours per week.

Children under 16 are prohibited from working more than three hours on a day they have school or more than 24 hours in a school week. These minors can work on Saturday and Sunday for as much as eight hours per day if they do not work outside of school for more than six days per week and if their work outside school is not more than 24 hours per week.

Illinois law also places limits on working late at night for minors and how long they can work between breaks. However, some additional work hours for minors during summer breaks are allowed.

Child Labor Employment Documents

Illinois law also requires that all minors under 16 have an employment certificate that may be valid for up to a year. Employment certificates, sometimes called working papers, are issued by the superintendent of the child’s school district. The child must apply for the employment certificate, and their parent or guardian must accompany them. The potential employer must have a statement of intention regarding the type of employment and the hours and days per week the child will be employed.

The employer must keep the employment certificate while the child is employed there. The employer has to return the employment certificate to the official who issued it when the employment period is over.

Speak to Our Chicago Employment Law Attorney

If you have questions about employing a minor or have concerns about Illinois child labor laws, it is essential to have accurate legal advice. Please contact our Chicago employment law attorney at Law Office Of Michael T. Smith & Associates for a consultation.