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U.S. Department of Labor cracks down on child labor laws as summer nears

A 'Now Hiring' sign placed outside of a Five Guys restaurant.
Fox 13
A 'Now Hiring' sign placed outside of a Five Guys restaurant.

With summer quickly approaching, many employers are looking to hire new employees but the U.S. Department of Labor has decided to step up its efforts in identifying child labor violations in Salt Lake City.

According to Kevin Hunt, the District Director of Salt Lake City Wage and Hour Division, there has been an uptick in the number of child labor violations. These violations have been spotted throughout a multitude of different job fields from retail to even construction. As a result of certain investigations into these violations, the U.S. Department of Labor has decided to crackdown on child labor laws and restrictions.

Currently, there are several restrictions placed upon teenagers entering the workforce. For teenagers between the ages of 14 and 15, there are hour restrictions and for teenagers aged 16 and 17 years old, there aren’t hour restrictions but they’re unable to perform certain tasks at hazardous jobs such as operating trash compactors.

Hunt revealed that many employers who were confronted on violating child labor laws, they didn’t even know that they were violating them in the first place. He then went on to explain that people often believe that since they’re following state guidelines, they tend to neglect the federal guidelines and find themselves in violation.

Hunt recommends that employers should go off of whichever guidelines are more strict and that officials want employers to be aware of the rules and guidelines that they must follow.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.