Child labor laws are meant to protect the children from exploitation. These laws safeguard the rights of the children by stipulating how the children can be employed. In California, these laws were drafted at the end of 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. This is after factories started to have a huge demand for labor where they started hiring children.
Under 12 Years Old
According to the California child labor laws, all children under the age of 12 cannot be employed at all except under very special circumstances. The children who are between the ages of twelve and sixteen can be employed in certain jobs. The laws also stipulate that these children can only be employed for limited numbers of hours.
The children who are between sixteen years and eighteen years can be employed for a limited number of hours provided their working environments are not hazardous. Even these laws are very strict there are some exceptions such as when employed by parents and aforementioned child actors.
These laws are different when it comes to agricultural employment. In this category of employment, the children who are above 12 years and above can be employed for a limited number of hours provided their parents approves. The laws state that this type of employment can only happen after school hours.
This is meant to ensure that the children get time to attend school. Children working in agricultural jobs in California are usually exposed to various kinds of harm such as the pest sides used on plants. These hazards usually increase the chances of these children being affected by various health conditions.
In fact, most of the children who work in agricultural jobs usually do not complete high school. Such children are also compelled to work for longer hours where they at times work for more than ten hours. It is the duty of the employer to ensure that the children who work in such jobs are not exploited.
When it comes to child actors there are also concerns that the children might be exploited. The laws allow the parents to control the earnings of the children who are acting. This is helpful especially because some of these children make substantial amounts of money. In some cases, the earning made by children who act usually leads to bitter disputes in case of a divorce.
Most of these California laws are usually complemented by the state laws for children who are employed. The laws which are stricter are the ones which are usually applied in case of a dispute.
In case one intends to employ a child it is advisable to consult a qualified attorney. This is because the attorney will have a better understanding of the California child labor laws. Therefore, understanding these labor laws meant for children can significantly help in avoiding the legal issues that might arise from not following the set laws while employing children.