Three things to know about the new Child Labor Law

Allison B. Hudson

According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, changes to Louisiana’s child labor law became effective Aug. 15, 2011 with the changes aligning the state statute with current federal guidelines.

Act 177 was signed into law by Gov. Jindal following its passage by the Louisiana Legislature during the 2011 Regular Session. The new law makes changes to work hour restrictions for 14- and 15-year-olds, meal breaks, and how employment certificates are handled:

1. Hour restrictions: The new law now specifies that 14- and 15-year-olds can work between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. from June 1 through Labor Day, and cannot work between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. any other time of the year. The new law also specifies that the school day or week will be determined by the school calendar where the minor is enrolled or the public school calendar for the district where the minor lives. Minors who work in the dairy industry will continue to be exempt from the work hour restriction.

2. Meal breaks: The length of the meal break continues to be 30 minutes, but a shorter meal break will not be considered a violation of law if it is at least 20 minutes long.  Breaks shall be documented. If the minor fails to clock in or out and a record edit is necessary, the edit must be documented and signed by the minor and manager.

3. Employment certificates:  Employers are now required to maintain the employment certificate on file for 14 days after termination of a minor’s employment. Employment certificates no longer have to be returned to the issuing officer, and are not transferable.

The new law also removes previous state requirements that individual minors had to get a permit for theatrical performances. Production companies will continue to be required to have performance permits for minors under age

18.

The LWC’s Intention to Employ Minors Form, available online at the LWC’s website, www.laworks.net, has been updated to reflect the changes to the law.