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New Jersey Amends Child Labor Laws: What all Employers Should Know About Changes to Teen Employment Requirements This Summer

By: Cristina N. Hyde, JD

On July 5, 2022, Governor Murphy signed Assembly Bill No. 4222 into law (P.L.2022, c.63).   Hoping to help struggling businesses with anticipated labor shortages this summer, the legislation amends New Jersey’s current child labor laws in two important ways.  It allows New Jersey teens to work longer hours and simplifies the process of obtaining working papers.

Generally speaking, New Jersey’s child labor laws exist to protect youth workers by limiting the number of hours they can work and the type of work they can do.  The amended law will change the current restrictions in several fundamental ways.  Effective June 1, 2023, highlights of the new law include:

  1. The expansion of summer working hours for teenagers (16-18 years old) to a maximum of 50 hours per week (instead of 40).
  2. The expansion of summer working hours for teenagers (under 16 years old) to mirror the Child Labor Provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (40 hours per week).
  3. The expansion of the time a minor may work before a break is required to 6 hours (instead of 5).
  4. The creation of a centralized one-time registration database with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOL) for minors to register to work; thereby removing the authority from school districts to issue working papers.
  5. The removal of the parental consent requirement and replacement with a requirement that the DOL provide notification to the caregiver of a minor who has registered with the database, allowing the caregiver to authorize or reject the minor’s registration.
  6. The creation of a registration requirement for all employers intending to hire youth workers.

You can find out more information about the rights and protections that exist for NJ Youth Workers on the DOL’s website.  Caregivers and Teens can also find step-by-step instruction on how to obtain working papers, here.

If you are an employer who has questions about the recent changes to New Jersey’s Youth Labor Laws or would like assistance with updating policies and procedure related to teen employees, contact us.

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