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April 12, 2008

Gov. Blagojevich reminds employers and teenage summer job seekers of state law that protects children in the workplace
State outlines requirements under Child Labor law for thousands of teenagers planning to work statewide over the summer

CHICAGO – As thousands of Illinois teenagers, facing what is expected to be a tough job market this summer, are starting to search for  jobs, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich is reminding employers and young teenage students about Illinois’ labor law that provides protections for children in the workplace.
“Summer is an exciting time for the youngest of job-seekers and we want to make sure they stay healthy and safe in the workplace.  I encourage teenage job-seekers, their parents and employers to familiarize themselves with the law. We are doing our best to help make it easier for young students who are serious about gaining strong work experience early on,” said Gov. Blagojevich.
The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) enforces the state’s Child Labor Law, which regulates the employment of workers who are younger than 16 years old.  The law requires that minors, ages 14 and 15, obtain employment certificates from their local high school or school administration office to confirm that a minor is old enough to work, is physically capable to perform the job, and that the job will not interfere with the minor's education.  The law prohibits work in hazardous occupations, limits working hours and requires that minors working five or more continuous hours receive a 30-minute meal period.
Procedures for teenagers:
  • Letter of intent to hire: When a student finds a job, he/she will need a “letter of intent to hire” from the prospective employer.  It must outline the hours the student will be working and the type of work as well.
  • Employment certificate: After checking the safety of work and for any conflicts in school schedule, the school must issue an employment certificate in order for the student to work.
Procedure for employers:
  • Employers who employ 14 or 15 year-olds must require them to provide an employment certificate which the employer must maintain on the premises
The Illinois Child Labor Law allows children ages 14 and 15 to work:
During the school year:
  • Between 7am and 7pm
  • Up to three hours per school day, but not more than eight hours per day when school and work are combined
  • Up to eight hours on a non-school day
  • Up to 24 hours a week, but not more than six consecutive days
During summer break (June 1st through Labor Day):
·        Between 7 am and 9 pm
·        Up to 48 hours a week, but not more than six consecutive days
Work is prohibited in any capacity:
  • On premises where liquor is served
  • In occupations at filling or service stations, including the retail portion thereof
  • In occupations requiring the use of power-driven machinery
  • In most occupations in logging and saw milling
  • Any occupation in construction, including demolition and repair
  • Occupations involving the use of ladders, scaffolds, or their substitutes
  • Occupations involving contact with moving vehicles
  • Occupations involving laundry, dry-cleaning or rug cleaning
Children under the age of 14 generally are not employable, with the exception of jobs such as babysitting, yard work, and other work in private homes.  Thirteen year-olds can work as golf caddies and 12 and 13 year-olds can officiate in certain youth sports activities.  For a complete list of hazardous occupations, please contact IDOL at 312-793-2804 or view on-line at www.state.il.us/agency/idol..  If you wish to file a child labor complaint, please call the Child Labor Hotline: 1-800-645-5784.
In an another effort to help teenage job seekers, Gov. Blagojevich also recently launched a Summer Job Central website, www.ILWorkInfo.com/icrn, run by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), to help high schoolers and college students find summer jobs.  A recent study showing a bleak job market for teenagers prompted the Governor to promote teen employment opportunities through the website, which provides useful hints for their job search and links to additional sites for finding summer job openings.  Jobs range from internships to part-time positions, government jobs and international opportunities.
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