Child Labor Laws in West Virginia

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The West Virginia State Division of Labor has guidelines regarding children in the workplace. Children ages 13 to 17 may have jobs, but the restrictions are different for each age and in some cases a permit may be necessary. When a permit is required, a copy of is forwarded to the Division of Labor, which assures that the minor is not working in unsafe conditions or working in a job that may be unsafe for that age.

13-year-old children

  • Children who are 13 years old may, according to the West Virginia Division of Labor: babysit, work for their parents in a family-owned business, be a performer, deliver newspapers or work in age-appropriate agricultural activities.

14- and 15-year-olds

  • In the state of West Virginia, 14- and 15-year-olds may have jobs but are required to obtain work permits. Youths this age may not work during school hours and can work up to three hours per day and no more than 18 hours per week They may not work before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. without a special permit. During summer vacation, children 14 and 15 years old may not work more than eight hours per day, more than 40 hours per week or before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m. without a supervision permit. Children who are homeschooled are restricted from working during normal school hours.

Under 18 years old

  • Those under the age of 18 may not work: as the driver of a motor vehicle or the outside helper who must ride on the vehicle; in the manufacture, storage, handling or transportation of explosives or highly flammable substances; in ore reduction works, smelters, hot rolling mills, furnaces, foundries, forging shops, or in any other place in which the heating, melting or heat treatment of metals is carried on; in logging and saw milling occupations; in power-driven woodworking machine occupations; in any occupation that involves exposure to radioactive substances and ionizing radiations; with power-driven hoisting apparatus; with any sort of power-driven metal-forming, punching and shearing machines; in mining of any sort, including coal; in the slaughtering or meat-packing or rendering process; with any power-driven bakery machines or paper-products machines; in the manufacturing of brick, tile or like products; operate power-driven circular saws, band saws or guillotine shears; work in wrecking, demolition or ship-breaking operations; in roofing jobs above ground level; or with excavation operations.

Other Issues

  • No one under the age of 18 may work in a bar or sell, dispense or serve alcohol in an establishment that is licensed to do so. Also, no one under 18 may work in any situation deemed to be potentially dangerous or injurious. However, a youth between the ages of 16 and 18 who is properly trained and with the permission of his or her parents can work with a volunteer fire department but may not, according to the law, "operate any firefighting vehicles, enter a burning building in the course of his or her employment or work or enter into any area determined by the fire chief or fireman in charge at the scene of a fire or other emergency to be an area of danger."

References

  • Photo Credit West Virginia state contour against blurred USA flag image by Stasys Eidiejus from Fotolia.com
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