Summer Jobs & Child Labor

A little-noticed provision of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act increased child labor penalties under the Fair Labor Standards Act and added a significant penalty should an under-aged employee be seriously injured.

Penalties for violations have been increased to a possible $11,000 and there is a new $50,000 potential penalty if there is a death or serious injury of any employee under the age of 18 years who is working in violation of FLSA child labor limitations. The penalty may be doubled if the violation is a repeated or willful violation.  Serious injury means permanent loss or substantial impairment of one of the senses; permanent loss or substantial impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty; or permanent paralysis or substantial impairment that causes loss of movement or mobility of an arm, leg, or other body part.  Employers should take special care with regard to summer hires and to make sure that they are performing proper safety training.  These new penalties became effective immediately.