Throughout history the role of children in the workplace has been a constant source of regulation and policy. Given the extensive regulation many people today are not sure what the current roles of children in the workplace are in Arizona. The following are some common questions that come up regarding this issue.
Can children under the age of 18 work in Arizona?
Yes. In Arizona, children as young as 16 years of age can work during school hours, and outside of school hours children 14 years of age and older can be employed.
Does it matter what type of work a child is doing?
Yes. Both Arizona state law and the Federal law governing child employment have a variety of age restrictions based on the type of work. Furthermore, certain types of work are prohibited to children in certain age groups because they are considered to hazardous occupations.
Does Arizona require employment or age certificates?
No in the state of Arizona neither employment certificates nor age certification is required.
Are certain occupations exempt from the age and hour restrictions?
Yes. For example, child actors or child stars are exempt from these requirements in Arizona. Children “[e]mployed as stars or performers in motion picture, theatrical, radio or television productions if before the beginning of production the production company provides the department of labor of the industrial commission with the name and address of the person, the length, location and hours of employment and any other information required by the department.” Arizona Revise Statutes 23-235.
Are there a maximum number of hours a child can work?
Yes. Children under the age of 16, who are employed in non-farm employment, can work a maximum of 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week during the non-school day period. During the school day, children under 16 years of age, they can only work 3 hours per day and 18 hours per school week. Arizona law further limits employment of children under the age of 16 making it unlawful for a child under the age of 16 to work between the hours of 9:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. If the child is working in door-to-door sales or deliveries, they may not work between the hours of 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.
My son or daughter wants to have a paper route, do they have to wait until they are 14 to be a paperboy or papergirl?
No, Arizona law allows children ten years of age and older to sell or deliver newspapers or periodicals.
What if my son or daughter wants to work on a farm?
In Arizona, Children 16 years of age and older can work during school on a farm, and children as young as 14 years of age can work on a farm, outside of school hours. The same maximum school day/school week apply. 8/40 during a non-school period, and 3/18 during the school day/school week period.
What if Federal and Arizona state laws conflict or are different on an issue? Which one applies?
Federal law usually preempts, or controls when state and federal laws directly conflict because of the Preemption Clause of the US Constitution; however, in this area of law, whichever law is stricter is the law that must be followed. Arizona law can be found under A.R.S. 23-230 et seq. Federally, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) restricts the employment and abuse of child workers.
What agencies enforce these laws?
The Industrial Commission of Arizona’s Department of Labor is charged with enforcement and administration of the Youth Employment Laws in Arizona. At the Federal level, the United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division enforces the FLSA’s child labor provisions.
I am an employer, who employs children, are there resources that can help me make sure I’m following the law?
Yes. The Department of Labor has an Office of Compliance Assistance. The link to it can be found atwww.dol.gov. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor’s “YouthRules!” website has several guides for employers, in different industries, which have employees who are children. An attorney may also be extremely helpful in making sure that an employer is properly complying with both federal and Arizona state laws governing the employment of children.
What happens if an employer violates the laws protecting child employees? Who should I contact if I want to report a possible abuse?
When the commission has reasonable cause to believe that any person is violating any provision of this article or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this article it may issue a cease and desist order. The cease and desist order shall include a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars against the person named in the order. If you know of a possible violation you should contact either the Arizona Department of Labor in Phoenix at (602) 542-4515 or in Tucson at (520) 628-5459 or via email at [email protected]
What if you are an employer, who feels you have been improperly issued a cease and desist order? Is there anything I can do?
Yes. You may request a hearing in writing within twenty days after the date of issuance of the order. If you are an employer, who has received a cease and desist order and are unsure of how to proceed, you should contact an attorney immediately.
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