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Employment of Minors Resources from FELS

Updated May 24, 2021


California: Your Kids are Employees

The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement publishes guidance of many employment related topics; one of these is a page of Frequently-Asked Questions on a variety of employment-related topics, including the employment of family members.  The question arose recently from a Farm Bureau member whose children work in the business who was uncertain whether it was neccessary to obtain workers compensation insurance to cover them.  The answer appears to be that California law requires all employers to obtain workers' compensation insurance for all employees, and that California law considers the business owner's children to be employees.


USDOL Uses "Hot Goods" as a Child Labor Enforcement Tactic

The U.S. Department of Labor has used the Fair Labor Standards Act's "hot goods" provision for enforcement purposes. "Hot goods" allows the Department to confiscate items produced in violation of the requirements of the FLSA. In particular, DOL has been using "hot goods" for enforcement against alleged child labor violations.  While "hot goods" might make sense to use as leverage with manufacturers of inanimate objects, use against farmers and their perishable commodities can threaten the economic viability of a farming operation.  Here's a report on DOL's use of "hot goods" in Oregon and other places.

Since DOL seems to taking a particular interest in child labor enforcement in agriculture, this might be an opportune time to review your compliance procedures.  FELS Newsletter subscribers can find child labor compliance resources at this link.


FELS Employment of Minors Resource

FELS has created this chart to illustrate the various restrictions on employment of employees under 18 years of age in agriculture and ag-related occupations.  Note that this chart reflects a combination of California and federal law, including requirements to obtain work permits. 


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