Tennessee Child Labor laws & HR compliance analysis

Tennessee Child Labor: What you need to know

In Tennessee, the Child Labor Act defines workers who have not reached the age of 18 as minors for purposes of employment unless they have graduated from high school, have an equivalency degree (GED), or are otherwise not required to attend school. Tennessee law restricts the occupations in which minors may be employed and limits the number of hours and times they may work. Further distinctions are made according to age, with special rules and exceptions in some groups. Tennessee child labor law is extensive and complex; therefore, employers should consult the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development before employing minors in uncommon occupations or during unusual hours (TN Code Sec. 50-5-101et seq.).
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If there is a conflict between state and federal child labor law, the more protective standard applies. There is a comprehensive discussion of the federal child labor laws.
Prohibitions. No child under the age of 18 may be employed (TN Code Sec. 50-5-106):
• In or around explosives, radioactive substances, and sources of ionizing radiation
• To operate motor vehicles
• In coal mines and other mining occupations
• In logging occupations
• In most kinds of mills
• To operate circular saws, band saws, and guillotine shears
• Around most kinds of power-driven machinery, including woodworking, metal-forming, and other machines
• To operate an elevator or other power-driven hoisting apparatus
• In roofing and excavation operations
• To manufacture brick, tile, and similar products
• In wrecking, demolition, and ship-breaking operations
• In slaughtering, meat packing, meat processing, or rendering
• In any occupation in which the business grosses ...

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