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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of December 12, 2019

Title 29Subtitle BChapter VSubchapter APart 570Subpart G → Subject Group


Title 29: Labor
PART 570—CHILD LABOR REGULATIONS, ORDERS AND STATEMENTS OF INTERPRETATION
Subpart G—General Statements of Interpretation of the Child Labor Provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as Amended


Oppressive Child Labor

§570.117   General.

(a) Section 3(1) of the Act defines “oppressive child labor” as follows:

Oppressive child labor means a condition of employment under which (1) any employee under the age of sixteen years is employed by an employer (other than a parent or a person standing in place of a parent employing his own child or a child in his custody under the age of sixteen years in an occupation other than manufacturing or mining or an occupation found by the Secretary of Labor to be particularly hazardous for the employment of children between the ages of sixteen and eighteen years or detrimental to their health or well-being) in any occupation, or (2) any employee between the ages of sixteen and eighteen years is employed by an employer in any occupation which the Secretary of Labor shall find and by order declare to be particularly hazardous for the employment of children between such ages or detrimental to their health or well-being, but oppressive child labor shall not be deemed to exist by virtue of the employment in any occupation of any person with respect to whom the employer shall have on file an unexpired certificate issued and held pursuant to regulations of the Secretary of Labor certifying that such person is above the oppressive child labor age. The Secretary of Labor shall provide by regulation or by order that the employment of employees between the ages of fourteen and sixteen years in occupations other than manufacturing and mining shall not be deemed to constitute oppressive child labor if and to the extent that the Secretary of Labor determines that such employment is confined to periods which will not interfere with their schooling and to conditions which will not interfere with their health and well-being.

(b) It will be noted that the term includes generally the employment of young workers under the age of 16 years in any occupation. In addition, the term includes employment of minors 16 and 17 years of age by an employer in any occupation which the Secretary finds and declares to be particularly hazardous for the employment of children of such ages or detrimental to their health or well-being. Authority is also given the Secretary to issue orders or regulations permitting the employment of children 14 and 15 years of age in nonmanufacturing and nonmining occupations where he determines that such employment is confined to periods which will not interfere with their schooling and to conditions which will not interfere with their health and well-being. The subsection further provides for the issuance of age certificates pursuant to regulations of the Secretary which will protect an employer from unwitting employment of oppressive child labor.

§570.118   Sixteen-year minimum.

The Act sets a 16-year-age minimum for employment in manufacturing or mining occupations, although under FLSA section 13(c)(7), certain youth between the ages of 14 and 18 may, under specific conditions, be employed inside and outside of places of business that use power-driven machinery to process wood products. Furthermore, the 16-year-age minimum for employment is applicable to employment in all other occupations unless otherwise provided by regulation or order issued by the Secretary.

[75 FR 28458, May 20, 2010]

§570.119   Fourteen-year minimum.

With respect to employment in occupations other than manufacturing and mining and in accordance with the provisions of FLSA section 13(c)(7), the Secretary is authorized to issue regulations or orders lowering the age minimum to 14 years where he or she finds that such employment is confined to periods that will not interfere with the minors' schooling and to conditions that will not interfere with their health and well-being. Pursuant to this authority, the Secretary has detailed in §570.34 all those occupations in which 14- and 15-year-olds may be employed when the work is performed outside school hours and is confined to other specified limits. The Secretary, in order to provide clarity and assist employers in attaining compliance, has listed in §570.33 certain prohibited occupations that, over the years, have been the frequent subject of questions or violations. The list of occupations in §570.33 is not exhaustive. The Secretary has also set forth, in §570.35, additional conditions that limit the periods during which 14- and 15-year-olds may be employed. The employment of minors under 14 years of age is not permissible under any circumstances if the employment is covered by the child labor provisions and not specifically exempt.

[75 FR 28458, May 20, 2010]

§570.120   Eighteen-year minimum.

To protect young workers from hazardous employment, the FLSA provides for a minimum age of 18 years in occupations found and declared by the Secretary to be particularly hazardous or detrimental to the health or well-being for minors 16 and 17 years of age. Hazardous occupations orders are the means through which occupations are declared to be particularly hazardous for minors. Since 1995, the promulgation and amendment of the hazardous occupations orders have been effectuated under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 551 et seq. The effect of these orders is to raise the minimum age for employment to 18 years in the occupations covered. Seventeen orders, published in subpart E of this part, have thus far been issued under the FLSA and are now in effect.

[75 FR 28458, May 20, 2010]

§570.121   Age certificates.

(a) To protect an employer from unwitting violation of the minimum age standards, it is provided in section 3(1)(2) of the Act that “oppressive child labor shall not be deemed to exist by virtue of the employment in any occupation of any person with respect to whom the employer shall have on file an unexpired certificate issued and held pursuant to regulations of the Secretary of Labor certifying that such person is above the oppressive child labor age.” An age certificate is a statement of a minor's age issued under regulations of the Secretary (Child Labor Regulation No. 1),31 based on the best available documentary evidence of age, and carrying the signatures of the minor and the issuing officer. Its purpose is to furnish an employer with reliable proof of the age of a minor employee in order that he may, as specifically provided by the act, protect himself against unintentional violation of the child labor provisions. Pursuant to the regulations of the Secretary, State employment or age certificates are accepted as proof of age in 45 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and Federal certificates of age in Idaho, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas. If there is a possibility that the minor whom he intends to employ is below the applicable age minimum for the occupation in which he is to be employed, the employer should obtain an age certificate for him.

31Subpart A of this part.

(b) It should be noted that the age certificate furnishes protection to the employer as provided by the act only if it shows the minor to be above the minimum age applicable thereunder to the occupation in which he is employed. Thus, a State certificate which shows a minor's age to be above the minimum required by State law for the occupation in which he is employed does not protect his employer for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act unless the age shown on such certificate is also above the minimum provided under that act for such occupation.

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