Protecting Employers Since 1985

December 2012

By: Jennifer Adams Murphy, Esq.

The Child Labor Law, Part I (Prohibitions)

820 ILCS 205

Fact of the Month

There are many enumerated restrictions on the types of employers for which minors can work. In particular, Section 7 lists a number of occupations and employers that minors cannot work for. Many of these restrictions are not surprising because of the dangerous nature of the employer’s business (e.g. “any plant manufacturing explosives or articles containing explosive components…” 820 ILCS 205/7(6)).

Test Your Knowledge

The December 2012 and January 2013 editions of Test Your Knowledge will cover the Child Labor Law and will divide the Law into two components; its prohibitions and its certification requirements. This month’s Test Your Knowledge will cover the prohibitions. Look for Part II (Certification Requirements) in next month’s Illinois Client Update!

1. Illinois’ Child Labor Law applies to minors under _____ years of age.

A. 18

B. 17

C. 16

D. 10

2. Mallory owns, MO’s Grocery, a small mom and pop grocery store in the suburbs. Mallory’s business was so successful that she found herself short on employees to bag her customers’ groceries on the week and weekend day shifts. In response to Mallory’s employment advertisement for grocery “baggers,” Scott (age 15) applies for the position and, after an interview, Mallory decides to hire him. When can he work?

A. The day shift during the week. Who needs school anyway?

B. Outside of school hours (e.g. after school and weekends).

C. During school vacations.

D. A and B.

E. B and C.

3. Same facts as above, but now Scott asks Mallory if he can work the overnight shift and help stock the grocery store’s shelves from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. on weeknights. Can Mallory have Scott work the overnight shift since Scott is not in school during that time?

4. Mallory decides the best idea is to have Scott work a simple schedule; 8 hours on Saturday and 8 hours on Sunday. She knows that there is a law concerning rest periods (i.e. lunch breaks) but believes that a different law applies to minors. Is she correct?


Question 1. B. See 820 ILCS 205/1 (“No minor under 16 years of age…”).

Question 2. E. See 820 ILCS 205/1. Certain 14 and 15 year old minors can work outside school hours and during school vacations.

Question 3. No. Under the Law, no employer can allow or permit a minor under the age of 16 to work between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. from Labor Day until June 1 or between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. from June 1 until Labor Day. See 820 ILCS 205/3. Important Note: The Law also states that employers cannot allow or permit a minor to work for more than 6 consecutive days in any one week, more than 48 hours in any one week, more than 8 hours in any one day, more than 3 hours a day on days when school is in session, or for an amount of time exceeding 8 hours a day after combining the time spent in school and with the time worked outside of school hours. See 820 ILCS 205/3.

Question 4. Yes. Under the Child Labor Law, an employer cannot allow or permit a minor to work for more than 5 continuous hours without a 30 minute meal period. See 820 ILCS 205/4. Compare this to the One Day Rest in Seven Act that requires employers to give a twenty-minute meal period (no more than 5 hours after the start of the shift) to employees that work 7 ½ or more hours during a shift. See 820 ILCS 140/3.

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