Employing a person younger than the age of 18 requires adherence to a specific set of labor laws, referred to as Texas Child Labor Law. The law is not there to prohibit or impede the hiring of minors; rather, child labor laws protect the safety and rights of minors in the workplace.
Learn Age- and Hour-Appropriate Hiring Rules
The minimum age for employment, with a few exceptions, is 14 years old. Exceptions to the rule include working for a business owned by the child’s parents or neighborhood newspaper delivery. A child as young as 11 years old can have a paper delivery route.
Minors age 16 and 17 are not restricted with regards to the number of days or hours they may work. Children 14 and 15 years old are restricted to:
- A maximum of 8 hours per day
- A maximum of 48 hours per week
- No work before 5 a.m.
- No work after 10 p.m. before a school day during the regular school year, and during the summer session if enrolled in summer school
- No work after midnight before a non-school day
- No work during school hours
Minors are prohibited from working in certain industries and from working in a hazardous occupation. These occupations include roofing, excavation, coal mining, explosives manufacturing, and most other occupations that involve operating machinery.
Texas Penalizes Labor Law Violations
Violations of child labor laws in the state of Texas are usually Class B misdemeanors. The exception to that is if the child is employed in an occupation deemed hazardous. These violations are Class A misdemeanors.
Administrative penalty fines for these violations can be as much as $10,000 for each violation. When calculating the amount of the fine, the judge may consider:
- Effort to correct the violation
- Amount the judge feels is necessary to deter repeated violations
- History of violations
- The nature, extent, circumstances, and gravity of the violation
Consult a Legal Professional
Minors can be valuable members of a team. If you are considering hiring a minor, the best practice is to consult a legal professional who can review your employment plan to ensure compliance with the law.