It’s the end of the school year, and many teenagers are looking for summer employment. Employers should make sure that they are in compliance with Alabama’s child labor laws before hiring any teenagers. The Alabama Department of Labor has published a child labor law pamphlet which provides some insight. It can be found here: Child Labor Pamphlet. Among the highlights of Alabama law are the following:
- Employers must obtain a Child Labor Certificate from the Department of Labor before employing teenagers.
- If an employer hires a teenager under age 16, then the employer must obtain an Eligibility to Work form from the teenager’s school.
- Employers must post a Child Labor Law poster.
- Employers must comply with record keeping requirements, including:
- A copy of an Employee Information form for each teenager, which can be found here: Employee Information Form
- Proof of Age. Acceptable proof of age includes a copy of a birth certificate or a driver’s license.
- Time records showing hours worked.
- Employees under age 16 must receive a 30 minute break for every 5 hours worked.
- During the school year, no teenage employee may work between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on any night proceeding a school day.
In addition to Alabama law, employers should be knowledgeable of the child labor requirements from the United States Department of Labor. The DOL has published a web page with extensive information on child labor laws. Here is the page answering questions for non-agricultural jobs: DOL Non-Agricultural Jobs. Both Alabama law and federal law restrict employment of teenagers in “hazardous” jobs and employers should review the lists of hazardous positions to ensure that they are not inadvertently violating the law. In particular, employers should be aware that employees under age 18 are prohibited from holding most jobs that require driving a motor vehicle on a public road or highway.
The foregoing discussion merely touches the high points of summer employment for teenagers, and employers should be careful to comply with the law.