Washington Child Labor laws & HR compliance analysis

Washington Child Labor: What you need to know

Washington's child labor law governs the work life of almost all workers under the age of 18, distinguishing among minors according to age, type of occupation, and hours of work (WA Rev. Code Sec. 49.12.010et seq.; WA Admin. Code Sec. 296-125-010et seq.). Because Washington's child labor law is both complex and extensive, employers that are uncertain about prohibited work or restricted hours should consult the Department of Labor and Industries before hiring minor employees.
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Both federal and state child labor laws apply to most employers. If the laws conflict, the stricter law applies--and child labor laws are strictly enforced.
Prohibitions. Long-standing child protection laws prohibit children under the age of 18 from employment involving dangerous practices or those injurious to life, limb, health, or morals. They may not work as beggars or mendicants; as participants in immoral exhibitions; as messengers for delivering items to brothels.
The state's administrative code lists a number of specific prohibitions. Closed to minors under these regulations are occupations involving:
• Explosive and ammunition manufacturing
• Mining
• Logging and sawmill occupations
• Operation, setup, and maintenance of most power-driven paper-processing, woodworking, metal-forming, punching, and bakery machines
• Selling candy, flowers, or other merchandise to passing motorists
• Operation of power-driven hoisting machinery
• Working with radiation-emitting materials
• Slaughterhouse and meat-packing work
• Demolition and wrecking
• Roofing
• Excavation, backfilling, and any work in proximity to earth-moving machines, cranes, or similar heavy equipment, operation of circular saws, band ...

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