PA Child Labor Act Modernizes And Clarifies Work Hour Restrictions for Minors In Time For Summer Hiring Season

by McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC

With spring upon us and warmer temperatures hopefully just over the horizon, many employers are beginning to recruit high school students for after-school and summer employment. When doing so, employers must be aware of specific rules under both federal and state laws regarding the employment of minors (i.e., individuals under 18 years of age).

Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania Child Labor Act (“PCLA” or “Act”) went into effect. The Act is designed to clarify the state law and make it consistent with child labor standards imposed under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). For all intents and purpose, compliance with the PCLA will satisfy the employer’s obligations under the FLSA.

The Act sets forth minimum age requirements, permissible working hours and time restrictions, and permitting requirements. The most notable requirements of the PCLA are outlined below:

Minimum Age

  • With limited exceptions, children under the age of 14 may not be employed in any occupation

Hours of Work and Work Time Restrictions

  • Minors who work more than five continuous hours are required to be given a 30-minute uninterrupted rest period.
  • Minors are prohibited from working more than six consecutive days.
  • Minors Ages 14 & 15:
    • During School Term – maximum 3 hours / school day, 8 hours / non-school day; maximum 18 hours / school week (M-F) with 8 additional hours on Sat / Sun; no interference with school attendance.
    • During School Vacations – maximum 8 hours / day; 40 hours / week
    • Work Time – employment between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. during school term; during school vacations, minors may work until 9 p.m.
  • Minors Ages 16 & 17:
    • During School Term – maximum 8 hours / day; maximum 28 hours / school week (M-F), with 8 additional hours on Sat / Sun; no interference with school attendance.
    • During School Vacations – maximum 10 hours / day; 48 hours / week; minor may refuse any request to work more than 44 hours / week.
    • Work Time – employment between 6 a.m. and midnight during school term; during school vacations, minors may work until 1 a.m.

Place and Type of Employment

  • Minors are prohibited from working in establishments where alcoholic beverages are produced, sold, or dispensed. Except:
    • Minors under 16 may be employed at a recreational establishment (e.g., golf course, amusement park) where alcohol is served, provided the minor is not handling or serving alcohol.
    • Minors over 16 may work in the part of the establishment where alcohol is not served or in a hotel, club, or restaurant provided the minor is not handling or serving alcohol.
  • Minor employees are prohibited from working in occupations designated as “hazardous” by state or federal law – e.g., machinery, electrical work, explosives, demolition.
  • Minors are prohibited from engaging in “youth peddling” – e.g., selling or promoting of goods or services to customers at locations other than the employer’s establishment.
  • The PCLA establishes specific guidelines for children working in the entertainment industry or in other performance-related employment.

 Work Permits and Work Authorizations

  • In order to work, a minor must have a valid work permit issued by the school district in which the minor resides. The type of work permit required varies based on the age of the minor.
  • If the minor is under the age of 16, the employer must obtain a written statement from the minor’s parent or legal guardian acknowledging understanding of the duties and hours of employment and granting permission to work. This form prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (“L&I”) is one way to satisfy this obligation.

Employer’s Notice, Posting, and Recordkeeping Obligations

  • Within 5 days of the minor’s start date, the employer must provide written notice of employment to the school district issuing the permit. The PCLA sets forth the specific content that must be included in this notice. Written notice must also be provided within 5 days of the minor’s termination of employment.
  • Employers employing minors are required to post, in a conspicuous place, the new “Abstract of the Child Labor Act Hours Provisions” prepared by L&I and updated to reflect these changes.
  • Employer must maintain at the place of employment a list of all minors employed, the schedule for each minor (including the daily and weekly hours worked and rest breaks taken), copies of the minor’s work permit, and any required parental authorizations. (NOTE: These recordkeeping requirements are in addition to those imposed by the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act.)

The PCLA imposes criminal penalties on employers for intentional violations of the Act and failure to produce the required records. In addition to criminal penalties, the PCLA also creates administrative penalties that may be imposed where criminal penalties are not pursued.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC

McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.