Consider Youth Labor Laws (News Release)

Farm operators keep all kinds of business records but may overlook work permits for high school students they employ during summer months.

Iowa law requires employers to keep work permits on file for all employees under 16 years of age. To protect themselves from unintentional violation of child labor laws, farm operators can ask youth employees for a valid work permit. The permit, issued by the Iowa Job Service or local school superintendent, certifies the youth's age and describes work that will be performed.

Students under 16 years are prohibited from doing certain kinds of agricultural work, such as operating a tractor or working with most farm machinery, unless they've completed a certified tractor or machine operation training course. Students who work on their parents' farm or students who work for seed companies to detassel corn are exempted from child labor laws in Iowa.

Each violation of a federal child labor law can result in a civil penalty of up to $1,000. Intentional violations of the law carry an additional $10,000 fine.

Records that a farm operator may find helpful to keep on file include the student's full name and home address, date of birth, and a certificate of training. For more information on this topic, contact your local extension office for a free copy of a new publication, Know Laws about Youth Farm Workers, Pm-1518f.

This news release was distributed by Iowa State University Extension as part of the Safe Farm Program. Safe Farm promotes health and safety in agriculture. It is funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Iowa State University, and a network of groups that serve Iowa farm workers and their families. Distribution date: June 1993.

Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More