Make Sure You Read This if You’re Hiring Minors This Summer

By John E. Thompson

Employers who will be hiring minors under 18 years-old should review in advance the federal Fair Labor Standards Act‘s prohibitions and restrictions applying to those workers.

It is always important to observe these requirements strictly, and the U.S. Department of Labor will not hesitate to impose civil money penalties when it finds violations. In recent months, for example, the DOL has assessed penalties of approximately:

  • $21,000 against three retailers in one mall in New Jersey;
  • $50,000 against a Pennsylvania pallet company;
  • $20,000 against two grocery stores in Wisconsin;
  • $53,000 against 14 grocery-store franchisees in Alabama and Mississippi (part of a USDOL “multi-year enforcement initiative”); and
  • $28,000 against nine California locations of a nationwide child-themed entertainment business.

A pertinent selection of our child-labor-focused posts can be accessed here. The Department of Labor has also provided employer “self assessment” tools for non-agricultural occupations and specifically for employers in the grocery and restaurant businesses.

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Remember also that most states and some other jurisdictions have their own child-labor limitations.

This was originally published on Fisher & Phillips’ Wage and Hour Laws blog.

John Thompson is a partner in the Atlanta office of the law firm Fisher & Phillips. His practice focuses on wage and hour law, assisting employers in preventive efforts designed to ensure compliance, and he handles both investigations conducted by government agencies and litigation in the wage and hour area. John has served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for wage-hour matters for the State of Georgia. Contact him at


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