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Youth Labor Law

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Definition: Federal child labor laws and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) have set the minimum age for employment in non-agricultural jobs at 14 years and restrict the hours that workers under the age of 16 can work.

Youth workers under the age of 18 are prohibited from working in hazardous occupations. Employers must have authorization from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)'s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) to pay subminimum wage to youth workers. Many states have their own child labor laws, in which case the higher minimum standard applies.

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