by Damon Boughamer
Public Radio Capitol News, serving Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, Penna. (PRCN, 29 May 2007) – The state is reminding potential employers about Pennsylvania’s child labor laws as summer school vacations begin.
State and federal laws limit when those under 18 can work. Whichever law is more stringent is the one that applies in a given situation.
Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry spokesman Troy Thompson notes summer employment can yield gains for both employers and young employees – as long as the rules are followed.
Thompson says children under 14 can be newspaper carriers or caddies, they can do neighborhood chores and they can do some farm work, but that’s about it.
He says young high-schoolers can work more hours, while older teens face fewer restrictions.
"Youth ages 16 and 17 can work a maximum of 8 hours a day – there are no limits between the times they can work – or 44 hours a week during summer vacation with no night work limit. They can be issued a transferable work permit to be used if they change jobs," Thompson says.
Occupations classified as dangerous are off-limits. These include electrical, explosive and excavating work and activities like welding, roofing and mining.
More information is available at the department website, keyword "labor laws."