Illinois Child Labor laws & HR compliance analysis

Illinois Child Labor: What you need to know

In Illinois, workers under the age of 16 are considered minors for purposes of employment. State law limits the occupations in which they may be employed and the number of hours they may work. Further distinctions are made among minors according to age, with special rules and exceptions in some group (820 ILCS 205/1et seq.). Both federal and state child labor laws apply to most employers. If the laws conflict, the more restrictive provision applies--and child labor laws are strictly enforced.
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Because child labor law is complex, specific, and extensive, employers should consult the state Department of Labor before employing minors in uncommon occupations or during unusual hours.
Illinois child labor law does not apply to the work of minors:
• In agriculture, except for those under the age of 12
• Selling and distributing magazines when school is not in session
• In domestic work outside of school hours at the employer's home as long as the work is not in connection with or a part of the employer's business or trade
Officiating youth activities. A minor who is 12 or 13 years old may officiate at youth sports activities for a nonprofit youth club, park district, or municipal parks and recreation department if:
• A parent, guardian, or adult designated by the parent/guardian is present while the minor is officiating.
• The employer obtains an employment certificate for the minor.
• Hours worked do not exceed 3 per day on school days, 4 per day on a nonschool day, and 10 per week in any week.
• They do not work past 9 p.m.
• The participants in the activity are at least 3 years younger than the officiating minor, or a person who is at least 16 years old is also officiating at the same activity.

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