If you’re a parent like me, you are counting down the days until your kids can get a job and stop asking you for money. If you live in Texas, as well as the rest of the United States, there are laws that govern if your child is old enough to legally work. If they are old enough to be employed, Texas labor laws outline what they legally can and cannot do. By law, a child is any person under the age of 18. The reason child labor laws are in effect is to make sure that a child is not employed in a job or manner that is hazardous to that child’s health, safety, or well-being. In Texas, a child must be at least 14 years old to hold a job. But, there are a few exceptions for younger children. Children younger than 14 may work in non-hazardous occupations, while under the supervision of a parent or legal guardian, or in a business owned & operated by a parent or legal guardian. If the younger child is employed in agriculture and works during non-school hours, participating in a school event, employed through a rehab program supervised by the court, or in a non-hazardous occupation consented to by their parent or legal guardian. Any child over the age of 11 may deliver newspapers as long as they are not involved in the selling of the papers.
Don’t Go Breaking the Law!
Texas labor laws dictate that a severe penalty will be assessed to anyone found employing any child under the age of 14. A child aged 14 or 15 may not work longer than 8 hours in any one day or 48 total hours in any one week. And, if that child is in school, they may not work between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on school nights. They also cannot work between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. on non-school nights. The same rules apply for the summer nights while school is not in session. A child who is either 16 or 17 years old has no restrictions on them as far as the hours they work or how many.
It’s never too early to start teaching your kids about responsibility and financial independence. But, that should never be done at the expense of breaking the law. Kids aren’t kids forever, so it’s best not to rush them into adulthood. But, if they really want to start working, please check out the labor laws of the state you live in so that they can do it legally and safely.
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For more information on Texas labor laws or child labor, contact Jeana Olchowy. Follow her @jolchowy25